Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Obama's Polarization of America

Amy Walter has published a great essay at National Journal, "From 'Post-Partisanship' To Polarization":

Despite calls for a "post-partisan" presidency, a recent Pew Research Center study found that President Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings for a new president in 40 years.

The 61-point gap in opinion is driven by almost universal support from his party (Democrats give him an 88 percent approval rating) and very low approval ratings (27 percent) from Republicans. In comparison, President Bush had a 51-point gap in April 2001 (he had higher approval ratings among Democrats than Obama has among Republicans), while President Clinton had a 45-point gap in April 1993 (his support among Democrats wasn't as strong as Obama's, though he had the same approval ratings among Republicans).

This sounds shocking on its face -- Obama more polarizing than Bush after the 2000 election? But it shouldn't come as that much of a surprise. After all, when a president pushes -- and passes -- an agenda that leans heavily on government spending, Democrats rally around him while Republicans move away from him. Our own polling backs up this theory.
You can read the entire essay, here, but the point is obvious for anyone with a moderate interest in politics: This administration has aggressively combined leftist big government activism with dishonest claims to bipartisanship. Just one look at this administration's sheer magnitude of deceit and hubris illustrates why Barack Obama is dividing the country more than any of his recent predecessors.

What's even more interesting is how totally cocooned are the hardline Democratic progressives. As soon as conservatives start to act like an actual opposition movement, they're branded by the leftist nhilists and libertarians as "
hysterical bed-wetters" and panicked militia-movement "birther" extremists? Indeed, Michael Cohen's got a whole piece up at The Politico on Glenn Beck's recent hypothetical anarchy segments entitled, "Extremist rhetoric won't rebuild GOP."

Jimmy at Sundries Shack takes down the Cohen piece, in "
It’s Easy to Call Someone a Conspiracy Theorist When You Can Just Make Up What They Believe."

Ain't it the truth.

But I'm glad to see some pushback here, because while polling data show that it's in fact the Obama administration that's now polarizing the nation, the
left-liberaltarians and the progressive totalitarians are making a play to dominate the political framing wars. But let's return to Amy Walter's piece, where she notes:

With almost universal support from Democrats, Obama doesn't have to worry so much about keeping his base happy. But the fact that he has so little support from Republicans means that he can't afford to lose his standing with independent voters. At this point, independent voters are showing signs of disenchantment with the Democrats, but Republicans still need to give them a reason to support them and their policies.
So that's our play. As Robert Stacy McCain notes today, with reference to this week's bogus New York Times poll:

We are barely five months past the last election, the biggest Democratic victory since 1964, and Obama's been in office less than 90 days ... Opponents of Obamanomics ought not be worrying about polls at this point. Organize! Raise money! Identify and support promising candidates in promising districts.
Yeah, organize ... like a few more tea parties!

It's happening already, folks. The conservative comeback is the light at the end of the tunnel!


rbosque said...

His constant comparisons and disparaging remarks about Bush aren't consistent with his bipartisanship either.
It's like he still thinks he's on the campaign trail.

Tim said...

What is shocking is this: Obama is working. Something Bush didn't do his first 8 months, let alone first 100 days. Georgie was famous for retiring at 7:00 p.m., no questions asked. And more famous for working on his ranch than in the White House. And America paid. And America, the real America that is supported by the across the board Democrats, sees that Obama is working his ass off these first 100 days, and making amends for the nightmare 8 years we just got out of.

Obama is rockin' it.

Personally, at this point in the game, I could really, really care less what a Republican thinks. They got nothin'. I would go so far as to say that Republicans are the new nihilists.

Gayle said...

Watching Obama's BS is making me near hysterical, Donald, but I swear I'm not a bed-wetter!

He's acting exactly like he's still on the campaign trail and I think it's because he doesn't know how to do anything else. He only speaks well with a teleprompter and the Office of the President is way above his ability. All he does well is read well. The man is not qualified to run this country. As far as I can see, he's not qualified to run a dog and pony show!

Tom the Redhunter said...

What's shocking, Tim, is your inability to comment on what the post was actually about.

Re the post - no doubt if Bush was still in office the polarization would be portrayed as his fault and damaging to the country. But since Obama is in office, it's the Republican's fault for not going along with him.

dave in boca said...

Dr Sanity remains my resource when I want to understand the motivations of the hysterical attacks the zampolitsya are launching almost daily in the blogosphere against Glenn Beck now, [I saw for a nano-second the lizard Odorboy attacking GB while surfing with my remote] and Palin, Rush, Eric Cantor [a Britney concert!?], and other conservatives being demonized while Barney Frank, Charlie Rangel, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden's coke-fiend daughter, yadda, yadda, yadda all proceed to violate the laws of God and in Frank's case, Nature with no comment from said zampolit Cerberuses [homage to Victor Davis Hanson].

Tim should check my link to Pat Santy for multiple references to various symptoms exhibited in his weird comment [projection for one, being called a "nihilist" by a nihilist is a symptom of that].

As for Gayle's comment, I am laughing hysterically over the jejune naive silliness of a POTUS who can insult the USA for saving Europe with the Marshall Plan and then winning The Cold War.

Tsk, tsk.... What a terrible thing to do, and then finally to pull Iraq out of a socialistic Stalinist dictatorship and finally win a war with Harry Reid's saying "The War is Lost."

Such disrespect for the worst SML in US history, hands down.

Tim said...

Tom: The reason why Obama has this crazy approval rating amongst us Dems is that we see he is working. Which is my point, and the reason why there is a great disparity.

The Republican plan was...no plan. Nothing. So, when you have no plan, you bash Obama. Who is a rock star right now.

As for bipartisanship, what about Arlen Specter?

Righty64 said...

I find it interesting that lefties claim they do not care what conservative/Republicans think and yet, voila! They end up at conservative sites. Of course they care what conservative/Republicans think. As far as what can be accomplished, who cares if the president "retires" at 7pm or 12 midnight? It is what is done in that time that counts. But, on the post itself, the reality as I noted is when the so-called independent voters come to realize that the Hope and Change is more like Hype and the Same. Only with one helluva price tag. When those people abandon President Obama, we will see how well the current way of doing things works.

Tim said...

Righty: Who knows in the end. Donald has made many erroneous predictions here, and he may make some that are correct too. That's politics. No one is right 100% of the time. Except Rush Limbaugh, of course.

All I know is what I see. And I am mightily impressed so far. Remember the Bush "derangement" that Donald talks about? Well, what's the diff here?

I love that the right seeks to destroy the very fabric of America in order to prove their point.

Such patriots.

rbosque said...

It's hard to imagine a President would disparage our country and his predecessor overseas, that's really bad form; then the Democratic Black caucus goes over to Cuba and does the same. Must be a Democratic "thing" I don't remember any politician in our history that sank to that level except other Democrats. What happens to their brains when they go overseas? I'm sure glad they're on our side, I'd hate to think what they'd do or say if they actually hated America. Oh yeah, and Obama is busy alright, running our economy into the ground while expanding governmental powers. That should give pause to anyone.

Rich Casebolt said...

Tim ... Obama is working, all right ...

... exactly as conservatives like myself predicted; heading down the same road of spend, tax and "help" from (control by) our "betters" that we tried in the 1970's.

Ever consider that having the wrong plan is worse than "no plan"?

You say Republicans have "no plan". You may be right ... but have you ever considered that it is good, and right if they don't?

For it will not be the plan of any political party or elite group that will get us out of this ... it will be 300 million, individual plans that will ultimately get us out of this.

Mr. Obama can work all the hours he wants, just as you can spin his efforts like they had a Pratt & Whitney nameplate on them ... but in the end, it is actual performance, not hours-put-in, that counts.

And if his plan does not effectively motivate, leverage and empower the ability of 300 million problem-solvers to bring about the solutions we need -- as opposed to placing the authority and responsibility upon an elite few who CAN NEVER be connected to the situations of those 300 million, to the degree needed to solve their problems for them -- it is doomed to failure.

Just as it was in the 1970's.

Anonymous said...

But, Tom, when Bush took office there was not the same amount of polarization despite his being elected in a 5 to 4 vote. That's what the Pew numbers say. Democrats, despite the close election were willing to give his policies a chance. Republicans, on the other hand, following what was a clear victory for Obama have done nothing but whine about the birth certificate, going Galt and now Tea parties. It would be different if the right was actually proposing much of anything. But, they are mostly just sitting back tossing spitballs.

Rich Casebolt said...

DLB -- we "whine", because what Mr. Obama is proposing and/or implementing is not new, and needs no honeymoon period to see it for what it is.

We've seen it before, and it did not work as advertised (then or now).

And, as for having "no plan" ... as I said to Tim, it is not going to be a Dem plan, or a GOP plan, or any one plan, that will get us out of this mess.

It will be 300 million plans ... unfortunately, plans that the policies of this Administration will wind up inhibiting through elitist nanny-state intrusions upon them.

Like I said, we've seen this show before.

rbosque said...

One doesn't need to have a degree in economics to know that Socialism has never worked wherever it was tried, the effects have always been disastrous. This is economics 101 stuff.

Obama is ignorant and inexperienced and at every turn the media keeps wiping his ass for him and encouraging him to turn harder to the left. This is what happens when the majority of the ignorant class elect one of their own.

Anonymous said...

You don't need a degree in economics to know that supply side didn't work either, unless running up the national debt was the goal. There are no economies that practice pure capitalism or pure communism. So, if you choose to use the word, socialism, then you can apply it to any economy on the face of the Earth. Was it socialism the last 3 years of the Clinton administration when we ran surpluses? Republican ideas on economics don't have a good track record.

Dave said...

That poll is pretty damning this early in the Obama "presidency," particularly in the face of the unflinching support Obama has been getting from the mindless myrmidons in the MSM.

My expectation is that by the end of the summer, Obama will be polling lower overall that Jihad Jimmy was the day he left office.

Even though the pace seems, to me at least, agonizingly slow, as each hour passes more and more Americans are waking up to the fact that, at best, Obama is an incompetent president or, at worst, there is something truly sinister afoot here. (I am in the latter group)

Let the libs have their fun while they can, as I have a feeling they are rapidly approaching their come-to-Jesus moment.

Should be big fun to watch.


jim treacher said...

What is shocking is this: Obama is working.

That must be why he took a bow. So what if he happened to be standing across from the King of Saudi Arabia?

Personally, at this point in the game, I could really, really care less what a Republican thinks.

And yet here you are.

Tim said...

Hey Jim. Wasn't that your buddy Bush who was giving King Faisal a reach around? Holding hands, kissing on the cheek...Was it that long ago?

I know you all feel more secure the less the president does. It worked for Bush so well.

Rich Casebolt said...

Tim, I do feel more secure when the President leaves more of the social and economic decision-making in the hands of We the People ...

... instead of lying to us about how government "experts" can solve all the problems in those arenas.

And, Tim, I think that I might just be beginning to understand Mr. Obama's insistence on repeating what hasn't worked before.

Mr. Obama, being three years or so younger than myself, was still in high school when the wheels started falling off the command-economy/social-welfare bus in the 1970's ... and was just finishing high school when we endured the crisis in Iran at the end of that decade.

Wonder if he was paying attention to the world around him, back then? I was.