Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Tuesday, February 24, 2009



President Obama's approval numbers are still high.

When GWB was in office and his approval numbers were in the toilet, I remember reading conservative blogs and learning that it doesn't matter what the pollsters say, that George W. Bush was beloved by the American people, no matter what his approval rating was. LOL!

Now when I visit some of these blogs I read comments about how Mr. Obama's numbers are "tanking" and how the American people don't like him, and he's really not the president because his father was born in Kenya, and he's a radical communist, and blah, blah, blah...

From today's NYTimes:

Published: February 23, 2009

President Obama is benefiting from remarkably high levels of optimism and confidence among Americans about his leadership, providing him with substantial political clout as he confronts the nation’s economic challenges and opposition from nearly all Republicans in Congress, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

A majority of people surveyed in both parties said Mr. Obama was striving to work in a bipartisan way, but most faulted Republicans for their response to the president, saying the party had objected to the $787 billion economic stimulus plan for political reasons. Most said Mr. Obama should pursue the priorities he campaigned on, the poll found, rather than seek middle ground with Republicans.
Obama's presidency is off to a strong start, marked by a large lead over the Republicans on handling the economy and 68 percent job approval.
Nonetheless Obama clearly holds the upper hand, both in overall approval and on the dominant issue of the day. He leads the Republicans in Congress by 61-26 percent in trust to handle the economy, the biggest such lead for a president in ABC News/Washington Post polls since late 1991. (Bill Clinton came close at the start of his first term.)

More broadly, 68 percent of Americans approve of Obama's job performance to date, not atypical for an incoming president (it precisely matches Ronald Reagan's first-month rating, and trails George H.W. Bush's) but a striking counterpoint to George W. Bush's departing 33 percent approval last month. Bush hadn't seen a 68 in five and a half years.
Another interesting piece on conservatives being on the wrong side of history is noted over at Congress Matters by David Waldman:

"I have with me a hard copy of a collection of Republican quotes predicting doom and disaster in the wake of the 1993 Clinton economic stimulus plan, and much of the rhetoric is eerily similar to today's. Of course, that should come as no surprise, since the point of the compilation was in fact to point out that the 1993 rhetoric -- particularly on health care, which was still a live proposition at that time -- was itself eerily similar to Republican doom and disaster rhetoric during the debate on the original Social Security and Medicare legislation."

Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX), CNN, 8/2/93:
Clearly this is a job killer in the short run. The revenues forecast for this budget will not materialize; the costs of this budget will be greater than what is forecast. The deficit will be worse, and it is not a good omen for the American economy.

Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA), GOP Press Conference, House TV Gallery, 8/5/93:
I believe this will lead to a recession next year. This is the Democrat machine's recession, and each one of them will be held personally accountable.

Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH), 5/27/93:
The votes we will take today will not be soon forgotten by the American voter. (They) will lead to more taxes, higher inflation, and slower economic growth.

Rep. Jim Bunning (R-KY), 8/5/93:
It will not cut the deficit. It will not create jobs. And it will not cut spending.
Polls: Americans Want Republicans To Drop Ideology And Work On Obama’s Priorities
In the past few days, a number of national polls have been conducted that measure President Obama’s performance after one month in office. Beyond Obama’s continuing high job approval rating, the polls have found that the public believes Obama has made a good faith effort to work in a bipartisan manner to address America’s problems:
WaPo/ABC News: 73 percent say Obama is “trying to compromise with the Republican leaders in Congress” while just 34 percent believe Republican leaders are trying to compromise with Obama.
NYT/CBS News: 74 percent think Obama is “trying to work with Republicans in Congress” while just 31 percent think Republicans in Congress are trying to work with Obama.
Fox News/Opinion Dynamics: 68 percent believe that Obama “has sincerely tried to reach out to Republicans and be bipartisan” while only 33 percent believe Republicans have “sincerely tried to be helpful to Barack Obama and be bipartisan.”
As Greg Sargent points out, the New York Times/CBS News poll had a particularly interesting finding regarding bipartisanship. According to the poll, “a sizable majority wants Obama to pursue his policies with or without Republican support” while “a huge majority says that Republicans should emphasize working with Obama in a bipartisan way over pursuing their policy ideas.” Matt Yglesias put the numbers into a chart:


The Republicans were obstructionists then and were absoultely WRONG--why should we listen to their posturings now?


"plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose"


Ruth said...

Eery is a good description of the statements by the Party of Nope. Jindal is particularly scary, as he insists that the previous eight years were an economic success story. That is their idea of success, I see, and the devastation of the country is the inevitable outcome of their policies. Thanking them all for the warning, and hopefully the people will take it seriously. As you said, Shaw; '... conservatives create their own reality...' Indeed, and are to be feared and fled.

Anonymous said...

I was just on a conservative blog and they are banking on Jindal/Palin in 2012. Good luck with that.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anonymous said...
I was just on a conservative blog and they are banking on Jindal/Palin in 2012. Good luck with that.


A person of color and a woman!

A guy who believes in exorcism and thinks creasionism should be taught alongside science, and a woman who got a passport at the age of 44 and knows as much about the world as she knows about Supreme Court decisions she disagreed with! (IOW, she couldn't name ONE. And the SCOTUS had just made a decision on one in July that deeply involved her own state.) Ha!

That'll connect with the yahoos and religionists who think the country is moving in their direction--away from knowledge and intellect.

Shaw Kenawe said...

And what I mean by saying "a person of color and a woman" is that the Repubs think that putting those two out there means the Amerian people will vote for them because, hey! the American people voted for Obama and 80 million voted in the primaries for Hillary, so Jindal and Palin will win if the GOP runs them in 2012!

THAT'S what's hilarious.

Does anyone seriously think the GOP would have promoted Jindal or Steele if Obama hadn't won the presidency?

Those two men have been in the GOP for quite a while. Where were they 4 years ago?

Anonymous said...

I hope they do run those two; it will be hysterical.

Arthurstone said...

The snap of Rush napping is excellent!

Gordon said...

mmm. Gallup sez Obama's down ten points since the inauguration. At that rate his approval rating will be in the teens by midsummer.

Time said...

The President hosts a huge seminar on everything from social security to energy, and McCain stands up and chastises the President for the expense of his helicopter.

I guess we don't have any more serious problems, according to John McCain.

It can only help the President win reelection, when the clowns of the Republican party get themselves on national TV, and make asses of themselves.

Lets see how hard core their supporters are when they realize their leaders just refused billions of dollars from the federal government, to help them. Not to mention it is their tax money they won't be getting back.

The Republicans are betting President Obama can't fix the financial problem and they will take the White House back.

They don't seem to think that their stupidity will bother people. After the country voted for GB twice, maybe they are right.

Anonymous said...

Silly Gordon.

TRUTH101 said...

Thank God and the wisdom of the American People that McCain was soundly beaten. Pakistan is falling apart. We're in an occupation of Afghanistan that will only end when we just pick up and leave. There is no "victory" their. Only misery on us and more misery for an already miserable people. 11 trillion dollar deficit that President Obama has set a goal to cut in half by 2013. And cranky loser John McCain is upset about a helicopter Presdient Obama doesn't plan on buying.

Shaw Kenawe said...

mmm. Gallup sez Obama's down ten points since the inauguration. At that rate his approval rating will be in the teens by midsummer.

But...but...the conservatives said approval numbers didn't matter when Bush's numbers were in the toilet.


PS. Gordon, I know you, like Limbaugh, are hoping that Obama is a failure.

But that attitude is soooooooo 2008.

You are being left behind more of the American people who wish him success.

Why do you hope for failure?

Gordon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gordon said...

Shaw, I know you, like Matthews, are caught in the thrall of blind worship.

But that attitude is soooooooo January.

And I don't confuse his success with the success of the nation as a whole. We've had this discussion before, remember?

Why do you hope for our children and grandchildren to be burdened with ever-increasing taxes to redeem the political payoffs he and his friends engineered into a "stimulus" bill?

Arthurstone said...

Sorry Gordon.

Long before the stimulus package was passed 'our children & grandchildren' were indeed burdened with a massive financial load.

GWB's excellent Middle East adventure. Originally pegged at $50B & paid for by Iraqi oil revenues, the actual costs will amount to 2 or 3 Trillion USD once all the bills come due.

But who's counting?

Gordon said...

Sorry, Arthurstone.

For the sake of argument, conceding your point about the cost of the Iraq war:

How does that justify Obama's actions which will make the burden much, much worse, and bring it on much sooner?

For those who drink the water of the Charles River, how does foolish spending by previous presidents make it okay for the current one?

Gordon said...

Shaw wrote:
...a woman who got a passport at the age of 44....

Gosh. The president to whom you love to compare our current leader never had a passport in his life. However did he manage?

Shaw Kenawe said...


If you're comparing President Lincoln, who was born in the early 19th century when traveling anywhere in the world was arduous, to the 21st century jet age, then you're being just plain silly.

Ms. Palin can fly from one end of this planet to the other in 24 hours--about the amount of time it took people in Lincoln's early days to get to a neighboring state.

If Lincoln had lived in the jet age do you seriously believe he never would have visited another country? Oh yes, he did have that war that claimed 600,000 lives to deal with during his first term, and then a Rebel murdered him just after he was inaugurated for his second. That would have hindered him somewhat.

In any event, there is no excuse, except for provincialism or intellectual incursiosity, for Palin not to have done some traveling to other countries to see how other people lived and to educate herself--especially if she hoped to be the leader of the free world. LOL!

Arthurstone said...

The difference Gordon is the stimulus package is intended to kick start the economy. There is a long history of government deficit spending which has successfully brought the economy out of recession/depression.

Loosen credit. Help homeowners secure mortgages. Increase consumer spending thereby increasing tax revenues at the local, state and federal level. Let's give it some time and see what happens. Personally I think the amount was too small but time will tell.

On the other hand the dollars spent on the Iraq/Afghanistan invasions/occupations are dollars down the drain.

No more. No less.

Well to be fair they did help certain aspects of our military/industrial/energy complex. Keeps a lot of generals flying around in Gulfstreams hopping from base to base in our ever expanding empire.