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What Obama’s decline in job approval means – and does not mean

Instapundit, whom I revere for his relentless, industrial strength linkage (happy tenth anniversary Professor), has been in the habit, in recent times, of linking to pieces about how Americans are getting ever more disappointed by President Obama. But, as I am sure that Instapundit himself appreciates, the disappointment with Obama coming from Obama’s own former supporters is not because Obama’s preferred economic policies are now correctly understood by those ex-supporters to be disastrously destructive, but rather because Obama seems insufficiently determined and skilful in imposing these policies upon Americans who would prefer relatively sensible economic policies.

Obama’s leftist critics are not disappointed with Obama because they have come, reluctantly and through bitter experience, to share the opinion of his policies held by the Tea Party. Rather are such critics disappointed with Obama because he is not crushing the Tea Party, but instead haggling with them, and doing so, as these critics see it, with insufficient skill and nastiness.

Yes, Obama still seems to believe in the same daft policies that these leftist critics favour. But where is the passionate commitment to folly that he persuaded them he felt when he was getting elected, and that they still yearn for? Perhaps someone else (Hillary Clinton?), with greater energy, industriousness and human warmth, could lead America over the cliff with the proper amount of dash and determination, instead of Obama just leading the herd from somewhere in among it.

One should not, in short, confuse the fact – if fact it be – that President Obama is now being thought by ever more Americans to be doing a bad job, with the claim that all of America is coming to its senses in the matter of what it should do about its current economic woes, or what will happen to it, and to the world, if it does not do what it should do.

15 comments to What Obama’s decline in job approval means – and does not mean

  • RRS

    Motivations and objectives, then selection of the means to gratify and achieve each.

    The passage of time and the waves of events remove all the obscuring fabrications, leaving those essential elements exposed.

    Emotional responses and judgments follow.

  • JH

    In a similar manner, the Coalition government here has low poll ratings because it is not actually conservative, and is not pursuing deficit eradication with enough vigour.

  • RRS

    Motivations and objectives, then selection of the means to gratify and achieve each.

    The passage of time and the waves of events remove all the obscuring fabrications, leaving those essential elements exposed.

    Emotional responses and judgments follow.

  • and is not pursuing deficit eradication with enough vigour.

    The deficit is set to grow, so it isn’t pursuing deficit eradication at all.

  • Subotai Bahadur

    The way I read INSTAPUNDIT on this is:

    1) he has been clear that the disenchanted Left is primarily upset that Obama has not ushered in the Great Proletarian Revolution yet.
    2) that their discontent is notable not because they are going to either oppose him in the primaries, or those who do vote will fail to vote for him; but rather that the surge of enthusiasm that supported him will not be there in any putative 2012 election. Election fraud can only do so much before reaching an intolerable level. This has implications in the actual electoral vote count.
    3) a certain amount of Schadenfreude as Obama’s polling numbers approach Bush levels, despite the rigging of the “internals” of polls [mostly overpolling registered Democrats by about 10% and underpolling Republicans by a similar amount based on actual registration figures].
    4) a realization that civil violence is increasingly likely as opinion turns and the Left’s program suffers more defeats. There are signs:
    a. racially motivated flash mobs across the country[scores, albeit carefully not reported by our MSM, see the sourced and hyperlinked database at violentflashmobs.com
    b. the ongoing Leftist violence in Wisconsin, that includes specific death threats against the Republican legislators, the Governor, and their families at home. Last week Center-Left University of Wisconsin law professor Ann Althouse, who has been documenting the Wisconsin violence, was herself attacked in the street by a Union thug. The attack itself was videoed, and the unionized police apparently will not file a charge.
    c. polling showing widespread [high 40's %] belief that any non-defense budget cuts will trigger urban violence. Given our nations’ different approaches to self-defense, it will not be one sided.
    d. our Department of Justice’s explicit statement and actions that they will not investigate violations of the civil rights of whites, nor prosecute vote fraud and voter intimidation from the Left. Add to that a refusal to comply with subpoenas from a Congressional committee investigating specific felony violations of Federal law by the Department of Justice.

    I think he has been quite clear on the concept that the Left is doubling down, not changing its views. YMMV.

    I have to note that the main post is the first time I have seen the name Hillary Clinton linked with the concept of “human warmth”. She perhaps would be more effective in implementing the Left’s agenda, or at least not caught flat-footed and twitter-pated nearly as often as Obama. However, she is as full of human warmth as a wolverine with piles. On a good day.

    Subotai Bahadur

  • steve

    Anger from the left at their own champions can only be good news even if it doesn’t mean the war is over.

  • llamas

    Subotai Bahadur wrote:

    ‘I think he has been quite clear on the concept that the Left is doubling down, not changing its views. YMMV.’

    I think this hits the nail on the head. President Obama will have no problem doubling down to appease the hard-left bloc of his party in the run-up to the election and regain what part of their support he may have lost by not being sufficiently ‘progressive’ for their taste.

    Even if he has to lie about his actual intentions. Why not? It worked for him last time. Look at all the promises he made to the Left wing of the party! They were all the equaivalent of ‘yeah, yeah, of course I love you . . . now lie still.’ And since his attaraction for most of these folks was nothing more than what Bernard Goldberg christened ‘ a slobbering love affair’, he’ll have no problem wooing them back.

    Michele Bachmann does well to keep playing this note. None of these folks would vote for her in a million years, but she’s smart enough to keep picking at the scab, to ensure that they also won’t vote for Obama. It may be the first really-effective vote-splitting strategy played on the Evils for about 40 years.

    llater,

    llamas

  • However, [Hillary Clinton] is as full of human warmth as a wolverine with piles. On a good day.

    It would have gone without saying before we’ve all met Obama – but since than things will never look the same…

  • lucklucky

    I am seeing him steady around 40% which shows how long already are the hands of the Statism in USA.

  • Paul Marks

    Given the domination of the left in the education system and the mainstream media (including the entertainment media) for Obama to be down to around 40% approval is astonishing.

    Deep down it may be that human “common sense” really exists.

    As for what the left will do…..

    They will do anything – they do not believe in “capitalist” morality.

    They will tell any lie and pull any trick in order to stay in power – and, yes, the violent flash mobs (and other such) are already active in most States . And they are motivated by “social justice” ideology – one only has to listen to the things they say.

    They do NOT just grunt like animals – they produce words, about how people “owe them” and so on (as well as attacks on “corporations” and “eat the rich” stuff)..

    Of course the media does not report this (although they were quick to report the Oslo murderer, in reality a supporter of William James in philosphy and “Saga” in music, as a typical American right wing “fundementalist” as if such people would really like “Christian athiesm” and other such) – because the media have the same ideology and the mobs and it would make them look bad.

    Although the masks are starting to come off.

  • However, [Hillary Clinton] is as full of human warmth as a wolverine with piles. On a good day.

    Yeah, she’s a politician.

  • Kim du Toit

    Michael, she’s like a wolverine with piles compared to other politicians. Obama’s a doctrinaire socialist, Hillary’s a Stalinist.

  • Paul Marks

    No – Hillary lacks Stalin’s ability to wait.

    When Saul Alinsky offered her the spot of second in command of the movement in Chicago, Hillary (some rumours claim) got angry and went off to Law School instead (I want to be in charge NOW).

    A true Stalinist would have said (and sweetly) “thank you Saul” – and then (at a suitable time) organized events so that Saul Alinsky was not around any more. Hillary still lacks a true power base in Chicago – or even in New York (where she has to rely on other people to help her – the “soldiers” are really their people, not her people).

    Of course the above is not the official version of events.

    There are in fact two “official versions”.

    The official version for the general public – either there was no such person as Saul Alinsky or Hillary never met him – and shut up you evil McCarthyite bastard servant of the great rightwing conspiracy.

    And the official version for young leftists.

    Noble Hillary was made the offer by noble Saul – but did not get in a huff (dear me no). Noble Hillary just thought she could do more “good” by going to Law School and working “within the system” (in order to bring it down).

    By the way Hillary is the favourate object of study of Jonah Goldberg (I hope for strictly political reasons).

    To him she is the classic example (in the American context) of a type leftist heretic.

    I.E. a leftist who beomes so interested in state power (for its own sake) that she no longer even pays lip service to (long term) non state independent local commual relations, or the state “withering away”.

    Hence the title “Liberal Fascism”.

    The heresy is, in the European context, associated with Mussolini – who moved from Marxism to what he called “Fascism”.

    Hillary is interesting – for example her nationalism (nationalism of a sort anyway) makes her hard to just put in the “Comrades” box and then ignore her.

    On the other hand, Barack is boring – just another academic Marxist (sadly they are hardly rare).

    The only interesting (and horrifying) thing about him is that he is President of the United States.

  • By the way Hillary is the favourate object of study of Jonah Goldberg (I hope for strictly political reasons).

    Oh boy…:-)

  • Sam, USA

    Ha… “dash and determination” I do think many Americans might well fall for that. They despise uncertainty, which is why so many could vote happily for Bush who knew nothing, but was frightfully determined about everything — and he took us pretty darn far over the cliff in just one term too many! We could have survived one term, but not two.

    Same deal here. Meanwhile, despite second place in straw poll of sacred heart of Iowa, Ron Paul, the only candidate who’s ALWAYS believed in fiscal soundness is ignored like a 13th floor (as John Steward put it).

    Funny that. Must be Mrs. Bachman has more “dash” about it.