Column: Obama’s got his groove back?
Sep. 21, 2010
The opinions expressed by The Maneater columnists do not represent the opinions of The Maneater editorial board.
On Sunday, former President Bill Clinton made a particularly absurd statement regarding President Barack Obama on NBC’s Meet the Press. According to Clinton, Obama has been “socked by the intensity of Republican opposition” over the past 20 months and is just now “getting his groove back.”
Really? Maybe I’m missing something.
I was under the impression that the job market still sucks, with unemployment hovering at 9.6 percent nationally and about 9.2 percent in Missouri. The housing market continues to stagnate, consumer confidence and spending remain low, and many companies — small and large — are wary of hiring new employees or making other financial investments with heavy tax increases looming in the coming year.
But what do I know? Apparently, the president has just been in a funk for 20 months and is now going to “groove” America back to prosperity!
I don’t buy it, and something tells me Missourians aren’t buying it.
On Aug. 3, Missourians overwhelmingly passed Proposition C, rejecting a federal mandate to buy health insurance, which was a staple of the president’s health care overhaul. Obama’s approval ratings are dropping nationwide, but particularly so in Missouri.
In fact, his disapproval rating here in the Show-Me State sits at 58 percent, with 49 percent “strongly disapproving.” Republican Senate candidate Roy Blunt appears to be leading Democrat Robin Carnahan in the November Senate race, with most polls giving Blunt a healthy 6-10 percentage point lead. From what I can see, Missourians are over Obama and the political agenda he has been pushing through Congress.
While Missouri’s support for the president is waning, it seems the once-adored Democrat wunderkind is unable to unite even his own party. It was not Republicans in Congress who stopped the President’s much-discussed “public option” in healthcare reform, but Democrats. Republicans did not have the votes to stop the bill. It was the fractured Democratic Party that led to the demise of the public option. Democrats have had the numbers to pass any piece of legislation that they so desire, but have been hindered (thank God) due to weak leadership.
Now that the health care bill is law and its unpopularity is becoming increasingly evident, Democrats across the nation are backpedaling. POLITICO.com reports that since the beginning of the August recess, Democrats have spent $930,000 on advertisements deriding the health care law, and only $300,000 promoting it. At least five Democrat candidates have run advertisements proclaiming their opposition to the health care reform law.
Now, Democrats in Congress are even weighing the option of extending former President George W. Bush’s tax cut package, in the face of vehement opposition from the White House.
When it comes down to it, the economy is struggling, despite the nonsense that the White House continues to spew. The health care law was a mistake. It was a mish-mash compilation of special breaks for special interests and backroom deals to win swing votes. Americans know it, and 71 percent of Missourians know it.
While Americans were focusing on jobs and the economy, the out-of-touch president was focused on health care and cap-and-trade. He cannot even dream of bipartisan support, and he can’t get full Democrat support on key issues such as health care and the expiration, or extension, of Bush’s tax cuts.
But at least he’s got his groove back.