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Bored with Obama

With declining poll numbers, the president must stoke the anger of his base.

by
Rich Baehr

Bio

July 28, 2013 - 12:44 am

President Obama spoke for 66 minutes at Knox College the other day, trying one more time to change the subject and “pivot to the economy.” As he has many times before, both in campaign speeches and other talks, the president promised to expand the middle class, create jobs, and reduce inequality. The reviews  were not generally favorable. Even for Obama sycophants, of whom there are many in the press, the president’s message seemed repetitive and uninteresting, as if he were reading, which, of course, he was.

That same day, Obama spoke at another university in Missouri, where college Republicans with tickets to the event were excluded as a “security risk.” With public opinion on the president’s job performance sinking, the White House has no interest in visuals that might reflect anything less than enthusiastic (and unanimous) approval from young people.

Obama’s recent talks have referred to what he calls “phony scandals,” which are allegedly distracting Congress from its real work — to pass the president’s agenda. Jay Carney, the president’s press secretary and loyal hack, had introduced this language  before Obama repeated it. A few months ago, the president argued that the IRS’s targeting of tea party groups and the Justice Department’s tracking of reporters were serious issues that needed to be investigated. Now that the IRS scandal is getting perilously close to the White House (was the IRS targeting a directive from Obama, rather than the agency making policy after following the gist of Obama’s political speeches?), a pivot away from “phony scandals” may have seemed necessary, even with the mainstream press having largely dropped the scandal stories in favor of the race baiting that has taken over since the George Zimmerman verdict. One writer angered by the “phony scandal” language put it this way:

“Phony”? What’s phony about the fact that the IRS targeted citizens based on their ideology? That the discussion of this targeting went all the way up to the president’s hand-picked IRS chief counsel William Wilkins? That Wilkins met with Obama in April 2012 just two days before “new guidance” on how to handle Tea Party applications was sent from Washington to IRS operatives? …

“Phony”? What’s phony about the family members of a Fox News reporter being spied on by the Department of Justice? About Attorney General Eric Holder lying about his knowledge of “potential prosecution” of the media by his department?

And then there’s Benghazi. Almost a year later, we still don’t know where the president was when the terrorist attack started, whether the military was ordered to leave Glen Doherty to die, or why the White House continued to push the phony story of a video weeks after it knew it was a terror attack and not a movie protest.

The president’s declining approval numbers are not the only worrisome numbers for the White House. Support for Obamacare, the president’s signature legislative “achievement” of his first term, is sinking to its lowest level yet, just months before implementation of the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion are scheduled to occur. The delay in the implementation of the employer mandate seemed like an unspoken acknowledgement by the administration that the requirement may have slowed job growth for several years and accelerated the shift from full-time work to part-time employment (under 30 hours per week).

Every month, it seems, the president convenes a meeting of liberal bloggers to give them their new marching orders on how to sell  that “all is well” with Obamacare and we just need to give it a little more time before everyone recognizes its greatness. Writers like Jon Cohn and Ezra Klein have been shilling so long and so hard for Obamacare that they are at least as invested in its success as the president is. Whenever there appears to be an ounce of “good” news on the premiums in the exchanges in certain states, it is heralded as an achievement on a par with the Red Sea parting.

Even more dangerous to the president is that the polling on the direction of the country has sunk to George W. Bush’s second-term levels, with more than 2 of 3 polled believing the country is headed in the wrong direction. The unemployment rate has held at 7.5% or above for the longest  period in American history. About six trillion dollars in new federal borrowing has been put on the books to pay for this dismal recovery. The Federal Reserve has held interest rates near zero by buying a trillion a year of Treasury paper, which has fueled the stock market but done little for those without money to invest.

It is not surprising, then, that the president and his attorney general have sought to make such a direct appeal on racial issues.  The pivot to the economy is designed to suggest the president is busy on the people’s agenda, despite what little he has to show for it. But the racial messaging is different. It is designed to stir up the groups who provided the greatest electoral support for Obama in his two presidential runs. It helps to solidify his polling numbers by providing a floor, and at best will get minority turnout to respectable levels in the 2014 midterms, in order to avoid another 2010-like drubbing for the Democratic Party. Obama and Holder need to fuel the racial and minority grievance industry. Of course, they believe in this, so unlike other initiatives, this appeal is not faked.

Roughly 8,000 African Americans are murdered each year, about 95% of them by other African Americans, but the only death that matters is that of Trayvon Martin. The president does not identify any other victim as someone who could have been his son (or Obama himself 35 years back). Somehow, a shooting that occurs after  a fight that may have been started by Martin is a bigger deal than the ruthless carnage of blacks killing blacks every night in Chicago. This is not surprising, since the Zimmerman affair fits a grievance narrative, as did the Duke lacrosse fake-rape case, the fake Tawana Brawley story, or the Crown Heights pogrom that followed a traffic accident.  Only when white people are alleged to have done wrong to African Americans does the media (and Al Sharpton and his crowd) pay attention.

The president won 93% support from African Americans in 2012, and 95% in 2008. Turnout was higher for African Americans in 2012 than in 2008, while it declined for other groups. Stirring the pot on Trayvon Martin and the allegation that Southern states were taking away blacks’ voting rights worked wonders to get African American voters to show up and back the president. Combined with the class warfare argument focused on Bain Capital and the phony Republican “war on women,” Obama managed to get his groups to the polls and discouraged turnout among those who might have gone for Romney.

At this point, the administration, which ranks with the Clinton administration in its obsession with electoral standing, sees African Americans again enraged over Trayvon Martin and voting rights, and Hispanics angry with the House GOP for not passing immigration reform. If reform passes along the lines of the Senate bill, the Democrats gain long-term electoral advantages. If a weaker compromise is reached, the president may elect to tell his operatives in Congress to kill it, since this would offer short-term electoral advantages in 2014.

In three polls — The Economist/You Gov, McClatchy/Marist, and Reuters/Ipsos — the president has sunk to 41% job approval.  Given the stoking of resentment of African Americans and Hispanics, there may not be much further for these numbers to fall.  The Joan of Arc treatment afforded Wendy Davis in Texas suggests there will be a campaign repeat of the charge of a “GOP war on women” to stoke up enthusiasm among single women — another very strong Democratic voting group. The president will continue to message these groups to keep the anger level near boiling for another year, while attacking the GOP House for obstructionism and failing to help fix the economy (“Don’t blame me, blame them”).  Of course, the GOP is prone to self-destruction with both its candidate selection and policy formulation, and they may save the president and his party next year, despite the unfavorable climate.

Obama has been a failure at his job (the foreign policy track record may be even worse than the domestic trifecta of high unemployment, huge debts, and the miserably designed Obamacare), but no one should underestimate the president’s skill at politics.

Richard A. Baehr is the co-founder and chief political correspondent for the American Thinker. For his day job, he has been a health care consultant for many years doing planning and financial analyses for providers.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
May I offer a different perspective? Everyone is assuming that what is worrying to the regime is a fear of an electoral outcome. I submit that with the rampant vote fraud practiced in this country to the benefit of one side, their control of the media, and the constant collaboration by the Institutional Republicans; elections do not constitute a source of worry for them. The goal, rather, is to keep the level of discontent with their policies below overt resistance to those policies as they dismantle the Constitutional order and ensure victory if/when resistance comes.

I see our poor country entering into a period equivalent to the Roman "Principate",roughly from the time of Julius Caesar to Vespasian. During that time the institutions that made the Roman Republic [the Senate, the Courts, etc.] were rendered moot and political power was concentrated in the will of the single person at the top. Augustus called himself "First Citizen", but his whim was law. By the time of Vespasian [roughly a half century after Augustus] "The Republic" was gone and replaced by the Empire and the Emperor, however created, had absolute power.

A similar process [History does not repeat itself, but human greed and stupidity do.] is happening now. The Executive Branch routinely ignores or perverts the law and Constitution, as we have learned from their own admissions in the last 3 months. Its minions perjure themselves under oath to Congress and the courts; with no consequences. Court orders are ignored if inconvenient, and the defiance is accepted meekly. Each successful such act by the Executive destroys the legitimacy of the Constitutional order.

Obamacare was forced through with bribery and blackmail. But it was signed into law and is a Federal statute. That statute has hard calendar deadlines for each phase, no "at the will of the President". I dare any reader to find a clause in Article II of the Constitution that empowers the President to suspend any Federal statute at will.

And he did it with deliberate contempt for all Constitutional forms and means. It was not an Executive Order, which itself has limitations to its power and can be challenged in the courts. It was an anonymous statement on the White House website.

His success in castrating the institutions of the Constitutional order is shown by the reaction. There is literally more outcry in defense of the Constitutional limitations on the government here on the pages of PJMedia, than there is from the Institutional Republicans who are supposed to be the Opposition Party and a check on government over-reach.

The process of dissolution is progressing unhindered. The Statists are defeating the Constitutionalists, functionally unopposed. I would note that in the process of moving from rule by the First Citizen as tyrant to rule by an Imperator as God/Tyrant; Rome had endure Nero, Tiberius, and Caligula. Look at the supporters of Obama, and figure out which one will gladly take the role of each.

Subotai Bahadur

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Obama has been a failure at his job ........".

He has? That's news to me. Obama and his handlers have made gaint strides toward their ultimate aim of transforming America into a Marxist utopia. By the end of his hellish term the "Mission Accomplished" banner will fly over the White House with the keys to be handed off to Hillary so that she may preside over the spoils.

Well done, Barry. You shall have earned your place in history as the "battering ram" that broke through the gates of "that shining city on the hill". Lucifer will smile.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
At least the parts I could stand to listen to, much of that Galesburg speech was an indictment of Washington. And all I could think at each successive slam on Washington was, honey, you're the man, you're Washington. You're the one keeping us in spiritual and economic limbo. On purpose, even.

George Will put it more eloquently...

“Obama’s leitmotif is: Washington is disappointing, Washington is
annoying, Washington is dysfunctional, Washington is corrupt, verily
Washington is toxic — yet Washington should conscript a substantially
larger share of GDP, and Washington should exercise vast new controls
over health care, energy, K-12 education, etc. Talk about a divided brain.”

~George Will, January 29, 2010
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (45)
All Comments   (45)
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like George responded I'm amazed that a mother can earn $6772 in a few weeks on the internet. have you read this web link http://www.wep6.com
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Bored" is much too mild.
"Fed up" seems more accurate.
"Told you so" is the precise sentiment.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And so the boredom will continue, for every appearance, lecture or speech
by Obama (for the next 1200 days) will be the same old repetitive rhetoric and narrative, all designed to be a deflection and distraction from the multiple scandals that plague the White House.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Balkanization of the nation and destruction of the economy continues unabated, except of course with the capable and willing assistance of the GOP to commit suicide en-masse and drag the nation down with them...

Has anyone wondered why the GOP has been so marvelously helpful to Obama...???

One guess NSA targeting.

In Liberty
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" The unemployment rate has held at 7.5% or above for the longest period in American history."

Oh really? I guess maybe you forgot about the Great Depression which lasted for nearly 12 years, in which the unemployment rate never went below 17%. I'm no fan of Obozo, but don't BS us, okay?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
and silly me, didn't B.O. tell those that opposed him to shut up and go sit in the back of the bus, elections mean things and I won.

Now that is way to deal with divisiveness
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama has the Midterm election pretty well in hand. Think of it this way. Turnout among out side isn't going to be any better than it was in 2010. That year was as good as it gets. And in 2010, the Dems were caught flat-footed, but they won't be this time. Yes, Obama is stoking up the racial stuff to gin up his base, but his real ace in the hole has almost nothing to do with him. The Republicans now have a State-level record of stripping away abortion rights and access in every state in which they have full control. A massive backlash is growing at the State level, and is further enhanced by the pernicious effects of Obamanomics. Obamanomics destroys the job market, and thus increases the public demand for abortion rights and social benefits. It also decreases the demand for marriage and family production. So, Obamanomics produces more Democratic voters, which further entrenches Obamanomics. A positive feedback loop.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The Republicans now have a State-level record of stripping away abortion rights..."

Wake up and smell the polls, Andrewp111. The vast majority of Americans - including females - agree with ending unrestricted abortion on demand. Only when hysterics mischaracterize the Republican effort to make the law conform to what most Americans believe it should be does it become a turn-off to low-information voters (who are neither the GOP base nor election-deciding swing voters).

Try again.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A base most base.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
#WhenIHaveAPhonyScandal I pivot to jobs for the bazillionth time like a godforsaken transvestite ballerina in a trillion-dollar tutu.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Barack Obama no longer shocks the electorate with his political blather, pointless policies, or absolute incompetence. He is boring and has lamed ducked any chance of being consequential. He best serves the country by remaining on vacation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Each and every day, another race card play. "Account overdrawn," more and more Americans frown, most often declining it today.

The content of your character is less than zero, Mr. Obama. We see that your account is in the red, not black.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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