Democrats are panicking, and rightly so. Going into the November congressional elections, voter opposition to Obama is worse than it was for George W. Bush and for Bill Clinton at their respective six-year marks, and Democrats can’t unyoke themselves from him.
It’s not just that Gallup’s latest polls show Obama’s policies are unpopular but that voters are planning to make a statement to that effect in November. Since 1998, Gallup has included a question to determine whether the voters are intending to use their vote to “send a message” that they either support or oppose the sitting president.
Gallup found that 32 percent of voters want their vote to communicate their opposition to Obama, whereas only 20 percent want it to reflect their support for him. This is the highest such “no vote” for a sitting president in the past 16 years.
There is good reason for these poll responses. They are based not on personal animus but on the fact that Democrats have wholly supported President Obama throughout and that a vote for them will mean a vote for continuing with Obama’s agenda, his lack of leadership and incompetence on both the domestic front and the foreign front, and his general untrustworthiness.
Americans can’t help but notice that Obama has consistently placed his ideology and political interests above the national interests and routinely resorted to partisan sniping and scapegoating instead of accepting responsibility (and accountability) for his decisions and considering a change of course. More disturbingly, voters must notice that Obama’s words are increasingly unreliable and that he expects them to believe his version of reality over the reality itself.
His response to a question from a steel plant manager at a town hall meeting last week in Indiana concerning rising health care costs was particularly revealing.
The man said: “We are seeing almost a double-digit increase (in) health care costs every year. … Do you think that trend’s going to go down, and what can we do to control that trend?”
Obama replied, “The question is whether you guys are shopping effectively enough, because it turns out that this year — and in fact over the course of the last four years — premiums have gone up at the slowest rate in 50 years.” Then Obama assured the gentleman that he would put him in contact with health care people. “I’ll bet we can get you a better deal,” he said.
Obama’s response was troubling in several ways. It was another example of his unwillingness to concede that his policies have caused problems. Here, he even denied there is a problem at all. He rejected out of hand the man’s premise that his health care costs are rising, though the man himself has personally experienced them and most of the nation realizes this is not just anecdotal but true mostly throughout the nation. He even implied that it was this man’s fault for not looking hard enough for a good deal.
In addition — and this may even be worse — Obama acted as if he were some plant manager and not the president of the United States, whose duties apparently now include micromanaging specific health care choices for hundreds of millions of Americans. He actually told the guy he’d help him get a better deal. And this is not the only time Obama has played this role — acting as though it’s his duty to personally administer such matters. It’s no wonder so many people believed, early in his term, that Obama would pay their mortgages. How can a president be so radically confused about his job description — or pretend to be?
This bizarre pattern of behavior can’t be lost on the voters. Not long ago, Obama insisted that it had not been his decision to precipitously withdraw our troops from Iraq, a decision that left the vacuum that has allowed the Islamic State to run wild and gobble up swaths of real estate. He blamed it on the Iraqi regime when the truth is that he sabotaged any status of forces agreement that would have involved retaining enough of our troops to make a difference. This is objectively undeniable (ask former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta), yet Obama looks us straight in the face and denies it.
Obama and his administration assure us that Ebola isn’t a threat to America or Americans, yet — here we are. He tells us that his policies are growing the economy “from the middle out,” yet we see, under his policies, that median household income is stagnating.
The list is endless. Obama habitually tells the American people that conditions are as he promised they would be rather than as they really are. He expects us to believe things are rosy when they’re anything but, and, in any event, he eschews responsibility for any problems, as if he’s a bystander.
Have we ever had a president so out of touch and so fundamentally dishonest about the impact of his policies? I don’t think so, and I’m betting the voters will show they agree with me in November.