Ed Driscoll

Mister, We Could Use a Man Like Richard Nixon Again


And aside from the gravitas, foreign policy and military acumen, he’s here: “Obama’s Current Approval Rating Is The Ugliest Since Nixon,” left-leaning Business Insider reports:

President Barack Obama is ending his fifth year in office with the lowest approval ratings at this point in the presidency since President Richard Nixon, according to a new Washington Post/ABC poll released Tuesday.

Obama’s approval rating in the poll stands at 43%. By comparison, President George W. Bush had a 47% approval rating at the end of the fifth year of his presidency. And all other Post-World War II presidents had approval ratings above 50% — with the exception of Nixon, who, amid the Watergate scandal, had a dreadful 29% approval rating.

The brutal numbers underscore what has been something of a lost year for the President. His approval ratings have been plunging recently as a result of the botched implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In the Washington Post/ABC poll, only 34% approve of how Obama is handling his signature health law’s implementation.

Presumably, the return of Richard Nixon should make many on the left happy*. Back in September of 2009, Nick Gillespie spotted Paul Krugman longing for the 37th president, when Krugman titled an article with the three scariest words to emerge from a Timesman: “Missing Richard Nixon.” After first outlining how badly divided the country was post-1968, when the left had begun their long descent into perma-malaise, Gillespie wrote in response:

The proximate cause of Krugman’s Nixostalgia is the current health-care reform debate, during which various voters and officials have, my god, expressed discontent with both the status quo and proposed reforms (as vague as they are, and will almost certainly continue to be even after Barack Obama’s speech next week). To Krugman that represents the ascent of corporate influence and “the right-wing fringe” (which despite being powerless is somehow holding a Democratic Congress in thrall). It has deranged him at least as much as the electoral success of George W. Bush, which is to say Kruman now needs a rubber room the size of airplane hangar just to keep from bouncing off the walls. Yes, there is something really rotten to the core with a country that actively debates a massively important issue that may well define quality of life and economic vitality for, I don’t know, the next generation or two. What are we thinking, people? Shouldn’t we rush through whatever plan Krugman, or Steny Hoyer, or Ted Kennedy, or Bob Dole, or some other grand vizier, says is all good? For god’s sake, alternative proposals for actual reform, such as Whole Foods CEO John Mackey’s real-world plan, are just getting in the way.

Of course, Krugman wasn’t the only employee of the Gray Lady who had newfound approval of Nixon’s Johnson-esque love of Leviathan government — in the early 1990s, veteran Timesman Thomas Wicker wrote One of Us : Richard Nixon and the American Dream. And the Chicago Sun-Times’ Roger Ebert longed for Nixon in late 2008, in his review of the Ron Howard film version of Frost/Nixon, as part of his long descent in the last decade of his life from family-friendly film critic to raving moonbat leftie.

And even Barack Obama secretly wishes he was more Nixon-like, Time magazine reports today:

At the start of a meeting with tech industry CEOs on NSA surveillance, Obama quipped “I’m just wondering if [Netflix CEO Reed Hastings] brought advance copies of House of Cards,” according to a pool video camera in the room.

As the CEOs laughed and joked that Obama should make a cameo appearance in the series, the president continued to praise the series, which revolves around a power-hungry House Majority Whip played by actor Kevin Spacey.

“I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient,” Obama said in his first public remarks on the show. “It’s true. It’s like Kevin Spacey, man this guy’s getting a lot of stuff done.”

Well, you got what you wished for Paul, Tom, and Roger. You too, Barry. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde on the effects of alcohol, we’ve made an important discovery: Nixonian policies, taken in sufficient quantities, produce all of the effects of Nixonian poll numbers.

And with three more years to go, I’m sure Mr. Obama can drag those poll numbers — and the rest of the country — down even further. Forward!

* Curiously many on the left aren’t very happy to see the return of the 37th president: “Pew: Liberal support for Obama at all-time low, worse than George W. Bush and conservatives.”