So, Barry's a "post-partisan" president? Yeah, right ...
Only last summer we were told that Barack Obama’s political appeal rested on his vision for a “post-partisan future.” The post-partisan future was one of the press corps’ favorite phrases. It served as shorthand for the candidate’s repeated references to “unity of purpose,” looking beyond a red or blue America, and so on.
Six months into the president’s term, you don’t read much about this post-partisan future anymore. It may be because on almost every big-ticket legislative item (the stimulus, climate change, and now health care), Mr. Obama has been pushing a highly ideological agenda with little (and in some cases zero) support from across the aisle. Yet far from stating the obvious—that sitting in the Oval Office is a very partisan president—the press corps is allowing Mr. Obama to evade the issue by coming up with novel redefinitions.
The redefinition started during the stimulus debate, but it really picked up steam late last month with David Axelrod’s appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” There the president’s chief strategist explained that a bill didn’t need Republican votes to be “bipartisan”; it was enough if Republican “ideas” were included. A few days earlier, Rahm Emanuel had offered reporters another redefinition, suggesting that a bill was bipartisan if people merely “saw the president trying” to get Republicans on board.
The president himself endorsed this redefinition during Rose Garden remarks delivered after a Senate committee passed a health-care bill on a strictly party-line vote. Perhaps only someone who truly embraces “the audacity of hope” could see healthy bipartisanship at work in the complete lack of GOP votes. Here’s how he put it: “It’s a plan that was debated for more than 50 hours and that, by the way, includes 160 Republican amendments—a hopeful sign of bipartisan support for the final product.”
Let’s leave aside specific complaints from Republicans, who note that the “Republican” amendments the president cited are mostly technical in nature. The larger point is that the White House’s new definitions of bipartisanship are just like the fake “jobs saved or created” numbers Mr. Obama used to justify the stimulus at a time when the economy was in fact shedding tens of thousands of jobs. And the press should call him on it.
Honest reporting would seem especially important at a time when the future of a large and vital segment of the American economy is at stake. In addition to higher costs, other Republican objections to the president’s health-care proposal include the establishment of a government-run insurance plan that will compete with private insurers—and the refusal to equalize the tax treatment between individually purchased and employer-provided health insurance. In all these areas, the president has shown no interest in compromise.
And if people think that the president is still enjoying the wonderful approval numbers think again, folks:
Trust in President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies to identify the right solutions to problems facing the country has dropped off significantly since March, according to a new Public Strategies Inc./POLITICO poll.
Just as Obama intensifies his efforts to fulfill a campaign promise and reach an agreement with Congress on health care reform, the number of Americans who say they trust the president has fallen from 66 percent to 54 percent. At the same time, the percentage of those who say they do not trust the president has jumped from 31 to 42.
The president’s party has taken a similar hit since the last Public Trust Monitor poll, with only 42 percent of respondents saying that they trust the Democratic Party, compared with 52 percent who do not. The party’s numbers are nearly the inverse of March’s survey, in which 52 percent said they trusted Democrats and 42 percent did not.
Obama’s personal approval rating has fallen below 60 percent in a number of recent major polls, and according to a Washington Post/ABC News survey out Monday, support for the president’s leadership on several key issues has fallen below 50 percent.
But whatever the problems faced by Obama and his party, they still earn higher approval ratings than other Washington leaders or the Republican Party, according to the Public Trust Monitor poll. And the loss in trust in Democrats did not correspond with a gain for the GOP: Trust in Republicans fell from 40 percent in March to 36 percent in the recent survey.
We take issue with that last paragraph. Not too long ago Rasmusson conducted a survey that was widely reported that on a generic ballot, the Republicans lead Democrats on eight of ten key issues. The facts are simple, folks: People are seeing that not only is Barry not accomplishing what he promised to do, but that he's anything but "post-partisan." Last week I pointed out the "post-partisan" tactics of this president and his administration towards the state of Arizona. We live in Arizona, and we're none too pleased with the extortion tactics used by this administration to get their way.
His bully tactics are translating to his poll numbers. People are seeing this man for what he is. He's a thug. He's a Chicago Machine pol that has brought his bully tactics to DC, and he's willing to strongarm anyone who opposes him. Granted, his minions will love him regardless, but his numbers last week weren't pretty. The drop in support with Democrats and Independents, and the rise of his disapproval numbers, represents a 16 point shift, overall .... in one month.
Things don't look good for him, or the rest of his agenda right now. He's pi$$ed away his political capital, and we're not sure if he's got enough left to get Crap and Tax or the Slow-Death Reform passed. Members of Congress, squeamish about their reelection bids next year, aren't exactly hanging around his bandwagon. They're running like Hell from him as the ire of their constituents is brought to their attention.
One thing is certain: Barry has shown the nation, and the world, that he's hardly above partisanship. He's the epitome of it, and people are getting turned off by it.