The next two years, more than the last two even, depend on President Barack Obama. While conservatives and fiscal hawks pin their hopes on the newly elected House members to trim the Federal government, nothing will happen if President Obama vetoes.
Hopefully, the House will put forth bold legislation that the corpulent Democratic Senators will be forced to eat because they face re-election and thus put the pressure on President Obama. But more likely, the Senators will start screaming about how children will be harmed and how Republicans hate babies and puppies. This will give President Obama space to preen and dither.
Preen and dither–that’s been President Obama m.o. for the last two years and it has worked remarkably well. For all the failure that has been a mark of his presidency thus far, he’s still has 48% approval according to Rasmussen.
Rusty Weiss has a good piece on President Obama’s failures but I disagree with his conclusion [please go read the whole thing]:
And unlike former President Bill Clinton’s shift to the center during his tenure, Obama’s backroom successes and polarizing failures will only result in a perpetual downturn in his approval rating. His recent ceding of the podium to Clinton seems to indicate an acceptance of this fate.
How does this explain 48% of the country still approving of the president? A good percentage will never leave his side, so probably 25% of his approval is solid no matter. But what about the other half?
Remember Bill Clinton?
Bill Clinton was the cheating, authority-abusing, intern-molesting miscreant who occupied the Oval Office before George W. Bush cleaned the place up. Bill Clinton destroyed the women’s movement in one stroke of the cigar by revealing that special interest group as an empty leftist cause. But no matter, he retained approval ratings that a squeaky-clean GW could envy.
Why should Barack Obama be any different? People still like him, and more importantly, want to like him.
Sure, he’ll be clumsier than Bill Clinton. But then, he won’t be humping the staff, either. He will just bumble around the White House being the same old President Obama–seeking to offend no one, seeking to keep everyone happy, and irritating everyone but not being so repugnant that he’ll tip everyone to his apathy and emptiness.
President Obama excels at obfuscation. It’s how he’s succeeded and will continue to succeed. How?
1. He’ll look good.
2. He’ll sound smart.
3. He’ll smile broadly.
4. He’ll dither and people will believe he’s thinking things over.
In short, he’ll do what he’s done so far. People elected President Obama because of these traits. Just like American voters knew what they were getting with President Clinton, people know what they’re getting with President Obama. And they like him. Enough. For now.
The most disconcerting and difficult thing about President Obama is that he’s all over the road. It’s challenging to predict where he’s going. It’s tough to know what he believes. This uncertainty makes it very challenging for people to make decisions.
The new Congress will, hopefully, force the President to choose. Although, more likely, the Obama Administration’s many agencies will continue to usurp power and force Congress to put out all the many petty, vindictive, and industry-killing forest fires.
President Obama manages to make it seem like he’s not responsible for all the flakiness. People who pay attention, even those on the left, are somewhat aghast at the president’s indifference, but people who don’t pay attention, notice it less.
The next two years, will be much like the last two years. There will be blaming and hating the game and shameless demonization and self-promotion.
The best thing a patriotic American can do for these next two years? Work hard to unseat the current crop of evil Senators on both sides of the aisle. The biggest hope for change America has today doesn’t reside in the Oval Office, but in the smelly halls of Congress.
I’ll write more on that in another post. But for today, I wouldn’t pin my hopes on President Obama changing or on his ouster in 2012. It could happen, but history and human psychology are in his favor. People don’t like change. And they don’t like believing they made a huge mistake when it comes to their presidential choice.
For better or worse, we’re married to President Obama. The relationship will be frustrating, enigmatic and unsure. Just like him.
Every word Rusty and then Ace wrote was 100% true. And STILL the President has 48% of the electorate in his hip pocket. How can this be?
It can be because the people want to like the President. They want him to be good. Most of all, they want to be right.
They don’t want the ultimate truth, that President Obama is actually a lazy moron, to be true. And so, they’ll play a giant game of “let’s pretend” just like they did with Bill Clinton.
I want to be wrong. I like Ace’s optimism. But it’s Ace’s own words that make me worry. Liberalism is the default position.
If the economy perks up a bit. If the Republicans don’t make every right move. If the press succeeds in selling the Rebound Kid narrative about Barack Obama…
If. If. If. President Obama wins. Handily. Mark my words.*
*I want to be wrong.