Politics is a funny business. In American politics, it’s often better to be liked than to be honest. You can lie and lie to people and if they like the lies or don’t see the lies as directly harmful to them, you can skate away and even become more popular. Bill Clinton is a case in point. Everyone knows that he lies as easily as breathing, everyone knows that he does terrible things “because he can,” yet Clenis is consistently among the most popular political figures in America. Maybe it’s the fusion of entertainment and public policy at work.
Barack Obama has enjoyed a somewhat similar run. Many Americans personally liked him for one reason or another even while his specific policies and proposals weren’t always popular. Enough could split their minds wide enough to re-elect the man who foisted Obamacare on them, even though they didn’t like that specific policy. And too many Americans just don’t stay informed enough to get past the Wizard of Oz media image that Obama projects, and see the conniving man behind the curtain.
But brazenly lying doesn’t always work, and Barack Obama staked his signature policy and his re-election on one of the most brazen lies ever offered in American public life. Several, actually, but one that strikes very close to home for most Americans. He specifically promised “If you like your healthcare, you can keep your healthcare.” Yesterday he added a command to that that’s both arrogant and, at the moment, impossible.
It turns out that if he intended to be honest about his policy, Barack Obama should have stated the line a little differently: “If I like your healthcare, you can keep your healthcare.” Americans may not mind liars per se, but we really don’t like dictators. We also don’t like incompetence, and yesterday Obama told Americans that if his law has canceled their healthcare, then they should go shop for a new plan on a website that doesn’t even work.
Thanks for nothing, jerk!
At any rate, a new poll suggests that the reality of the incompetent, dishonest, bystanding dictator may be starting to sink into American public opinion. A new NBC/WSJ poll finds Obama’s approval rating sinking fast.
President Barack Obama’s approval rating has declined to an all-time low as public frustration with Washington and pessimism about the nation’s direction continue to grow, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Just 42 percent approve of the president’s job performance, which is down five points from earlier this month. By comparison, 51 percent disapprove of his job in office — tied for his all-time high.
The NBC/WSJ pollsters argue that no single reason explains Obama’s lower poll standing. Rather, they attribute it to the accumulation of setbacks since the summer — allegations of spying by the National Security Agency, the debate over Syria’s chemical weapons, the government shutdown and now intense scrutiny over the problems associated with the health care law’s federal website and its overall implementation.
All of that probably does feed into Obama’s plummet. But Obama’s own reaction to problems surely isn’t helping. He extravagantly takes credit for all the good that happens in the world, but disowns any bad things that happen even though he is directly responsible for them. He never just steps up and owns a problem. He never claims to know what’s going on in his own administration. NSA? Obama didn’t know. Benghazi? Obama wasn’t responding. Fast and Furious? He had no idea. Jobs? He’s too busy to deal with that, until he pivots back to it.
Those are abstractions to most Americans. But healthcare isn’t abstract at all, and Obama told Americans that he wasn’t even making sure that his own signature policy’s website would work. That’s what he said when Healthcare.gov turned out to be one of the worst websites ever built. Now that Obamacare sticker shock is setting in, his big idea is to give another speech and throw out commands that people can’t follow, because his website doesn’t work, because President Obama never made sure that it works.
According to the poll, all of this spells major trouble for Obama and his signature law. Allahpundit noticed this:
[S]upport for the law has slipped with one key group – women, who traditionally rank health care as a higher priority than men, and who are seen as an important plank in selling the law.
Americans called it a bad idea by a 47-37 percent margin – a shift from 43-38 percent earlier this month. But among women, a group President Barack Obama won by 11 points in 2012, just 38 percent think it’s a good idea, while 45 percent do not. That’s down from early October, when most women said the law was a good idea by a 41-39 percent margin.
Among white women, results are even worse. Three weeks ago, they thought it was a bad idea by a 46-36 percent margin. Now a majority say so, at 52-32 percent.
Fox News had a woman on earlier, I didn’t catch her name, but what she said sheds some light on the graphs above. She was a white woman, middle aged, and said she believed Obama when he said “If you like your healthcare, you can keep your healthcare.” She liked her healthcare and expected to keep it. She supported him and Obamacare. But now, thanks directly to Obamacare, she has lost the healthcare she liked and is having to replace it with a far more expensive plan with a huge deductible and she cannot afford any of it.
“He lied to me,” she said, several times. And he lied to her not about “that woman” or some distant thing, but about her own life and in a way that hurt her directly. Then he ordered her to fix the problem he created via a website that doesn’t work and is not even secure.
There isn’t anything to approve of in that.