He’s nice. Affable, even. He’s got a good build and a killer smile. He’s perfect on the small screen. He’s big in Germany.
He’s … David Hasselhoff?
No — Barack Obama.
Why did we elect this guy, anyway? As it turns out, hardly half of Americans are optimistic about the president’s signature piece of legislation, the Porkulus. Other polls show that most Americans don’t feel the economy is set to return to robust growth any time soon. And it must be said that even without a teleprompter, Hasselhoff is capable of turning in a convincing, heart-wrenching performance.
A recent Pew Research poll showed that 58 percent of Americans were against giving more tax dollars to GM and Chrysler — just 36 percent were in favor. Similar percentages are against the new Cash for Clunkers law, perhaps because it uses a trade-in formula even more complex than the math used by car dealers to conceal what your actual monthly payment will turn out to be.
Where the president has succeeded — largely, in getting his massive stimulus bill through congress — it hasn’t exactly inspired the American people. Three quarters of us are sure that “the government is likely to waste” the money. Slimmer majorities believe that the stimulus hasn’t worked, or won’t work. Opposition to the new cap ‘n’ trade ‘n’ tax’the’tar’out’of’everybody bill is growing.
And while the number of Americans who believe that the country is on the right track has increased since President Bush left office, that percentage peaked in May (at between 40 to 50 percent, depending on the pollster) and has since been slipping or holding steady at best.
Then there’s health care. We have a popular president who wants to reform it. His party enjoys overwhelming majorities in both houses of congress. And the American people understand that something about our health care system is very, very sick. Yet Senator Diane Feinstein (D, Military-Industrial Complex) says “I don’t know that he has the votes right now” to get reform passed — even though Obama is letting Congress (specifically, Montana Democrat Max Baucus) write most any bill it wants.
It’s not as though the president needs to deal with a popular, well-disciplined (or even extant) opposition party. MSNBC reports that “opinions about the Republican Party are at an all-time low.” And that was before South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford admitted to cavorting across the Argentine plain with a woman with eyes of night and lips as bright as flame.