Why America turned on Obama

Despite some major achievements, the President is plummeting in the polls. And the attacks are coming from all sides.

Brooks Kraft/CORBIS/ Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/ Alex Brandon/AP

This month, President Barack Obama signed into law a financial reform bill aimed at preventing another financial crisis. It cost him financial backers on Wall Street, but gave consumers new protections and government more regulatory oversight powers. The financial reform bill came on the heels of the hard-fought health-care reform law, which for the first time provides insurance coverage for all Americans. That in turn followed the successful rescue of the U.S. automotive sector and a massive stimulus bill full of Democratic policy victories, like a huge expansion of federal support for environmentally friendly energy technologies. In his first year and a half in office, Obama put the first Latina on the Supreme Court and is on track to have three women on the top court for the first time in U.S. history. He reached an arms control deal with the Russians and picked up a Nobel Peace Prize. It’s been decades since any president has accomplished so much so quickly—and all this without headlines about West Wing interns.

And yet, the White House is on the defensive. Even as the financial legislation worked its way through Congress to the President’s desk for signature, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was being taken to task for admitting on a Sunday morning talk show that Democrats could lose the House of Representatives in mid-term elections this November. House Democrats were livid. Headlines used words like “panic” and “white flag.” But sadly for Obama, Gibbs was merely stating the obvious.

It is unremarkable for a president’s party to lose some seats in mid-term elections—a time when voters typically take their discontent out on incumbents. But this one could be particularly ugly for Democrats. Despite his legislative successes, Americans have been turning on Obama. His drop in approval in his first 12 months, from the mid-60s to the low 50s—or less in some polls—was one of the sharpest for a newly elected president over his first year. Now, 18 months after his inauguration, fewer than half of Americans approve of his job performance, and he is almost as acidly unpopular among Republican voters as former president George W. Bush was with Democrats in his second term.

Most importantly, Obama has lost the crucial independent voters whose support helped propel him into the White House—slightly more than half disapprove of his job performance.

And between the crippled economy and the drawn-out struggle to stop environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, confidence in Obama has been deeply shaken. According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll in July, nearly six in 10 voters say they lack faith in the President to make the right decisions for the country, while a majority disapproves of how he is dealing with the economy. Quite a reversal since the start of his presidency, when about six in 10 expressed confidence in his decision-making. Obama now finds himself at about the same place president Bill Clinton was in the summer of 1994, a few months before Republicans captured both the House and Senate.

Obama is under siege from both the ideological right and the left. Conservative critics accuse him of going too far, too fast to grow government and impose new regulations. A July poll for Fox News by Democracy Corps, the firm of Democratic consultants James Carville and Stan Greenberg, estimates that 55 per cent of likely voters believe the term “socialist” describes Obama “well” or “very well.” Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, in an ad released on YouTube, tapped into anxieties over government takeovers of the economy by referring to “these policies coming out of Washington” as “this fundamental transformation of our country.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a tribune of big business, which had stood with Obama during the fight over the stimulus bill, has since turned on him.

The chairman of the board of directors, Tom Bell, accused the administration of a “general attack on our free enterprise system.” Chamber president and CEO Tom Donohue said that given health-care reforms and potential climate legislation, “the regulatory activity now under way is so overwhelming and beyond anything we have ever seen that we risk moving this country away from a government of the people to a government of the regulators.”

The big-spending, anti-business message has taken hold. A poll for the Third Way, a moderate Democratic think tank, by the Benenson Strategy Group, a firm that also polls for Obama, asked potential voters whether they would prefer a candidate in the mid-term elections who “will stick with President Barack Obama” on economic policies, or “one who will start from scratch with new ideas to shrink government, cut taxes, and grow the economy.” Sixty-four per cent preferred starting from scratch, compared with just 30 per cent who would stick with the Obama policies. The Greek fiscal crisis added a grim backdrop to the debate over the mounting federal deficit. And Obama’s US$787-billion stimulus plan—which drew not a single Republican vote in the House—is seen as less an achievement than a mistake.

For its part, the White House says it has created or saved between 2.5 million and 3.6 million jobs, including those of many teachers and police officers. Republicans called it reckless spending, while many Democrats believed it was too timid to give the economy the boost it needed. The bottom line: almost no one liked it. In a CBS News poll in July, 56 per cent of respondents said the stimulus hasn’t had an impact on the economy, and 18 per cent said it has made things worse. Only 23 per cent said it has made the economy better.

His central problem is that, constrained by Republican opposition and threats of filibustering in the Senate, Obama has pushed an activist agenda through compromises and trade-offs that have pleased neither liberals nor conservatives. Liberals believe Obama won a clear mandate in the 2008 election: to break with the policies of the Bush era. But Republicans argue that they are over-interpreting the election results—that the mandate was not for a break with Republicans, but to work with them. After all, Obama campaigned as a post-partisan leader who could transcend divisions between black and white and, as he put it repeatedly, between Red America and Blue America. That with his high-wattage smile and mixed-race background, he could bring the country together in ways that the polarizing Hillary Rodham Clinton, who carried her husband’s baggage, and John McCain, who had a lightning-rod running mate named Sarah Palin, simply could not.

Kevin Madden, a Republican strategist who worked on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, traces the moment that Republicans turned on Obama to a day three weeks into his presidency. On Feb. 6, Obama took his first trip aboard Air Force One, flying to Williamsburg, Va., a colonial town where 200 Democratic House members were holed up at a policy retreat. Obama ditched his prepared remarks and expressed frustration with Republican members of Congress, who had been opposing his stimulus spending and calling for more tax cuts. “Don’t come to the table with the same tired arguments and worn ideas that helped create this crisis,” he said to applause and whistles. As for complaints about deficit spending: “I found this deficit when I showed up, number one. I found this national debt doubled, wrapped in a big bow waiting for me as I stepped into the Oval Office.” He added: “If you’re heading for a cliff, you’ve got to change direction. That’s what the American people called for in November and that’s what we intend to deliver.”

Where Democrats heard a statement of their hard-won mandate for change, Republicans took it as a declaration of war. “He just lit into Republicans, and did so in a way where he created straw men, was hyper-partisan, and offered nothing but invective,” Madden says.

“You can’t underestimate how negatively his speech in Virginia was received and what that did to convince everybody on Capitol Hill that he was not serious about bipartisanship.”

Obama accepted some Republican suggestions in a bid to win Republican votes for the package, but not a single Republican went along. “They only took out certain troublesome provisions once they were ridiculed in the public square—like $1 million to reseed the National Mall. The more substantive proposals on tax relief were not included,” says Madden.

Democrats reject such Republican portrayals as a false history, noting that in an effort to win Republican votes, nearly 40 per cent of the stimulus package consisted of tax cuts rather than new spending. But the effort failed, and since the stimulus battle, Republicans have fought Obama’s agenda every step of the way. They are betting that voters, especially Independent voters, will be turned off Obama by the combination of big spending and failure to unite the country. “We’ve done focus groups and have a lot of empirical and anecdotal data suggesting that what really soured the American public is the cost of his policies—that at a time of economic slowdown we can’t afford it—and that the process was poisoned by partisanship,” Madden says. “They blame Obama for that because he promised to change Washington, and focus on solutions and not politics, and they don’t believe he’s done that.”

But where Republicans see overreach, many liberal Democrats see compromise and outright betrayal of campaign pledges and the promise of “change.” In an article that hit the American political blogosphere like a bolt of lightning this month, Eric Alterman, an English professor at the City University of New York, summed up the liberal grievances with Obama and called his presidency “a big disappointment.” Writing in the liberal magazine The Nation, Alterman said, “It’s possible that he fooled gullible progressives during the election into believing he was a left-liberal partisan when in fact he is much closer to a conservative corporate shill.” He listed Obama’s many compromises: to pass health-care legislation through the Senate, he betrayed his pro-choice campaign promises and accepted provisions that limited abortion rights. He also abandoned his insistence that health-care legislation include a government-run “public option.” Labour unionists were his most loyal foot soldiers, but the promise of legislation to make organizing easier is “deader than Jimmy Hoffa.” He noted there is still no cap on carbon emissions. While Alterman conceded that many forces have constrained Obama’s ability to carry out a more sweepingly liberal agenda—from the Republican filibuster threat in the Senate to corporate money in politics—he repeated comedian Jimmy Fallon’s joke that the President’s goal appeared to be to “finally deliver on the campaign promises made by John McCain.”

Meanwhile, left-leaning economists, such as the Nobel laureate Princeton professor and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, have been making the case that Obama should have pushed for a larger stimulus, without which the country could head into a double-dip recession. They have been ignored. And more harsh words have been lobbed by the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Anthony Romero, who told a conference of liberal activists in June that he was “disgusted” with Obama’s slow progress on civil liberties issues, and a lack of accountability for past violations. “Guantánamo is still not closed,” he later told the online newspaper Politico. “Military commissions are still a mess. The administration still uses state secrets to shield themselves from litigation. There’s no prosecution for criminal acts of the Bush administration. Surveillance powers put in place under the Patriot Act have been renewed. If there has been change in the civil liberties context, I frankly don’t see it.”

Obama got a C- on his first year in office from another liberal group, the Institute for Policy Studies, a think tank in Washington, which issued a report card in January. Dedrick Muhammad, one of the report’s authors, told Maclean’s the President deserves higher marks now on account of health care, but that many progressives remain dissatisfied. “The challenges he is facing are so grand and require such deep structural changes,” Muhammad says. “The administration has not stepped up and made the changes necessary to deal with a middle class in decline and the effects of decades of deregulation.”

Muhammad is also critical of what he calls the administration’s unwillingness to take on racial inequality—“not even in a public sense, but even behind closed doors.” And Muhammad says the White House will be faced with a more vocal left flank: “I believe it is incumbent on the left not to just be quiet and rally around Obama, but be out front of Obama because that is what conservative forces are doing—they are trying to move the country to the right. And the elected official has to play to the centre.” To that end, various civil rights groups, including the NAACP and other organizations, are planning a “jobs march” on Washington on Oct. 2. “It’s to remind people that that original [1963] march on Washington wasn’t just about a dream of white girls and black boys holding hands,” Muhammad says. “It was about jobs.”

And jobs may be, in the end, what it’s all about for Obama, too. It turns out that his slide in the polls since his inauguration is not entirely unique. He has mirrored, almost, that of another modern president—Ronald Reagan. And that historical comparison offers hope, and a warning, for the current President. “The trajectory of their approval ratings is amazingly parallel,” says Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin and co-founder of Pollster.com. “Both come in the midst of economic crisis, both replace a deeply unpopular predecessor, both have big agendas to remake American public policy, and both continue to suffer economic difficulties throughout their first year of office.”

Indeed, by November 1982, Reagan’s approval rating had fallen to below 40 per cent—even lower than Obama’s is now. On the eve of the mid-term elections, the economy was in decline and the U.S. unemployment rate, above 10 per cent, was the highest since the Great Depression. Republicans lost 26 House seats that November.

But in the second half of his term, the economy began to grow, and Reagan was able to ride the rising tide to re-election. Supporters of tax cuts argue that his 1981 aggressive across-the-board tax cuts were to thank for the recovery, while Keynesians argue that it was the Federal Reserve loosening the money supply to bring interest rates down from levels as high as 21.5 per cent. In any case, the economy rebounded, and Reagan ran beautiful campaign commercials that proclaimed, “it’s morning again in America.” Americans witnessed successive quarters of robust economic growth. “The turnaround of the economy was certainly instrumental in his recovery,” says Franklin. “In the current circumstance, it’s a reminder that wherever Obama is today, things can turn around just as much as they did for Reagan.”

But there the similarity ends. Under Obama, the U.S. economy already bottomed in mid-2009. The fourth quarter of last year saw growth of 5.6 per cent—almost all of it restocking low inventories, and the first quarter of this year also grew at 2.7 per cent.

Despite the technical end of the recession, though, unemployment remains near 10 per cent, and the national mood is one of economic anxiety, not optimism. There are fears that a “double-dip” recession is just around the corner. “I think the Reagan lesson is that the trend in the economy in 1983-84 was so positive,” Franklin says, “Even though the absolute levels of unemployment were still high, they were coming down and GDP and real income were all rising sharply in that period—that positive momentum is why he could take credit and get political credit for it.”

Unless that happens, Obama faces a rough ride ahead. His next agenda items are unlikely to unite Americans behind them: energy legislation that may include some restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions; his plans to allow the Bush tax cuts for upper-income earners to expire; and immigration reform. Perhaps there was a spin strategy behind Gibbs raising the possibility of losing the House in November—given that analysts put the potential losses anywhere from 20 to 60 seats (Republicans need to gain 40 to take control, though GOP lawmakers are also polling poorly in this anti-incumbent climate). “It’s to the Democrats’ advantage to play up the possible losses,” notes Franklin. “Suppose they only lose 28 seats—that will be more than Reagan, but will look like a triumph.” And Obama could use one of those.




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Why America turned on Obama

  1. Obama is like a more intelligent, moderate Stephen Harper. America simply might not be ready to accept governance from the centre the way Canada isn't ready to accept conservative values. Harper has shown himself to be more cunning and adaptable at holding the reins of power and mischaracterizing the opposition, however.

    • Oh Mike T, do you mean a good talker but no substance. I did not like George Bush and I was hoping for Obama to deliver. People can not live on talk alone.

      • I mean someone can't implement the ideas he would really like to because of political climate (Harper right wing, Obama moderate).

        • Right wing, left wing, no wing it does not matter. A leader has to have a workable vision, a direction, and knows how to make those vision happen (otherwise dreamers just won't do), and that vision should not cost taxpayers their arms and legs. A leader who has no strategies to implement his visions is nothing but a dreamer. Right now, Obama seems to be rudderless, saying something and doing something else. As a spokesman – he will do extremely well, but as a leader… I hope he will deliver very soon, for we in the north of them will suffer too.

          • Poppycock.

          • Clever retort, Mike.
            Harper is as 'intelligent' as Obama and more skilled economic. He's an extreme social conservative and will never have my vote but he has done a good job with the economy.
            Obama's not rudderless, Ariadne, he's hamstrung by the Reps and not doing the 'sellng' he needs to do to lead.
            He also inherited a far worse financial mess than Harper and people expect him to fix what is a highly technical problem in the Gulf…… and the no-brainers think he should have magically 'fixed' it and wasted time cuddling people hurt by it …. rather than to keep the heat on those with the skills to fix it, which he HAS done.
            His biggest failure in office, totally unexpected by those who followed him prior to the election, is communication.

          • You can't count on the no brainers for most things and then get mad when the no brainers are against you on one issue, sorry.

        • Someone who thinks Obama with a red diaper upbringing, mentors and appointed czars including domestic terrorists and communists, a Senate voting record down the line far left and the firm belief that the government should run everything is "moderate" is seriously deluded. The Communist Chinese and Putin criticize his economic policies as too far left. Chavez the leftist dictator of Venezuela joshed that Obama was to the left of him taking over the auto industry. The leader of the American Communist Party cheered that they now have a "friend" in the White House.

    • Obama is anything but moderate. Just because you can't pass your extremely far left agenda because the american public and even your own party can't stomach it doesn't make you a moderate.

      He had a super majority in congress for a year (meaning he did not need a single R vote to pass anything), and he couldn't even get his own dems to vote for his agenda it was so far left. There is no universal health care or public option not because he didn't want it, but because the public HATED the idea. The country is still, believe it or not, a center right country, and only about 20% of the country fit into the progressive/liberal category, yet that 20% cry and scream every time he can't do exactly what they want.

      The man would pass every far left law he could if given the chance. He's just realized that the country won't stand for it and he can't live in the dream world that so many progressive liberals spend their time in.

      • totally wrong. Nothing and I mean NOTHING in Obama's record as President or Senator would indicate that he's anything but a moderate politician. He's most certainly NOT from the far left, whatever that is in America.

        • His record as a Senator was to not vote.As for his Left wing tendencies ,maybe we should ask his buddy William Ayers

          • But don't you want to see the birth certificate first?

          • Does that mean when we want to know Bush's feelings about conservative Islam, we should ask his buddies of the Saudi royal family?

          • That comment makes you sound as intelligent and insightful as a Billy Graham sermon. Enter sarcasm….

        • Universal Health Care, Amnesty for 20 million illegals, massive Keynesian style spending to "fix" economy, late term and partial birth abortion (as a senator), Cap & Trade, amazing concessions to Unions, Liberal activist supreme court judges, education about homosexuality to public school students as young as Kindergarten, a deadline for withdrawal from the Mid-East (ensuring defeat), government takeovers of massive industries, tons of anti private sector legislation (small and large business), and general disregard for the Constitution.

          I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but even if you disagree with me on a couple of those, every one of those is left or far left ideology, sorry. No where near center in America and never has been. I feel sorry for you if those are centrist policies in Canada.

          • "Universal Health Care, Amnesty for 20 million illegals, massive Keynesian style spending to "fix" economy, late term and partial birth abortion (as a senator), Cap & Trade, amazing concessions to Unions, Liberal activist supreme court judges, education about homosexuality to public school students as young as Kindergarten, a deadline for withdrawal from the Mid-East (ensuring defeat),"

            If you think that the above represents a "far left" agenda, you must be Attila the Hun.

            "government takeovers of massive industries, tons of anti private sector legislation (small and large business), and general disregard for the Constitution."

            Rubbish.

    • "Obama is like a more intelligent, moderate Stephen Harper."

      PolJunkie <—- spitting coffee all over comp screen

    • Do not insult our Prime Minister

  2. If one's purpose as president is please everbody and be popular, you end up achieving nothing and losing much much more.

  3. Obama is portrayed as a man unwilling to act. He's suffering from Paul Martin Mr. Dithers syndrome, and it's going to cost him in the next elections. He made some initial gains, but has failed to follow through with some big promises that would change the course of American history, like pulling troops out of Iraq, shutting Gitmo down, and restoring the supremacy of the Constitution in law.

    • Dear lord. Unwilling to act? Health care reform? Surge in Afghanistan? Financial reform bill? Bailout of Detroit automakers? I agree he's still got a lot of damage to fix from eight years of Bush, but come on.

      • He's portrayed that way, I didn't say he did nothing. However, he's being rather cautious in a lot of his reforms. When Bush changed the country, it was overnight. When Obama tries to change it, there's time for the GOP to halve his reforms, or remove the important bits. And the administration is giving Obama bad advice in so far as removing Americans from Iraq, and refusing to allow Bush and co to be prosecuted for their crimes.

        • How did Bush change the U.S. overnight.

          • One night at a time.
            Seriously though, I was being figurative. It was more like being changed within 3 years, but certain events and bills made sweeping changes literally overnight. To list a few: No Child Left Behind, 9/11, DMCA, Patriot Act II, condoning torture, Gitmo imprisonment of "enemy combatants" (not POWs), and I could go on, unfortunately.

          • 9/11 certainly changed America not George Bush.Gitmo ,Patriot act was the result .

          • You're contradicting yourself. In once instance you assert that Bush changed the country overnight, yet in your rebuttal you concede that this change actually took place within three years. You also fail to acknowledge that the central issues currently being addressed by the President of the United States have been the result of Bush's policies during the Republican term in office. The economic crisis and post 911 fallout took place on Bush's watch.
            If the intention here is to create some sort of a spin then, please try to be consistent.

          • Come on now! Don't you know what "figurative" means?

            I don't fail to acknowledge that either, I just didn't mention it in that one comment.

          • Bush had four jetliners to help him out, to be fair.

  4. Still a relief after the last guy, and a darn sight better than the clueless gal the Republicans might be lining up.

  5. As a 25+ year former Republican, I voted for Obama and would do so again today. I am disgusted with the Party of NO who put political posturing before the welfare of the country, and who would rather tear down our (yes,OUR) president than cooperate.

    • "I am disgusted with the Party of NO who put political posturing before the welfare of the country."

      If by welfare you mean turning the U.S. into a European welfare state, then yes, you're right. If you were a former republican, what on earth did you stand for? This president is a mix of socialist and corporatist, two gigantic problems that go against everything the country is based on and grew it to be the greatest economy and environment to live and work on the planet.

      So you've shifted from Republican to far left progressive? That's a pretty amazing leap.

      • No, the leap is your assumption that since I'm no longer a registered Republican that I've gone far left. I'm actually pretty centrist in my views (though a bit right-leaning), and have kept these views throughout most of my adult life. But your jump to a conclusion is typical of most of the extreme right – that if I dare to disagree with you at all then I must be the enemy (sounds more like Muslim extremists decrying the infidels). This country has always been based on compromise among people with differing views (instead of just shooting each other) – THAT'S a big part of what makes it so great. And when I see elected officials (of EITHER party) putting politics over progress, that's when I refuse to support them.

        • The assumption was based on the idea that you would vote for Obama again despite all that he has shown himself to be, and it's not that far a stretch. Either you've moved well to the left, or you just don't pay that close attention.

          Obama has done NOTHING BUT put his ideology and politics ahead of progress. His entire first year was based on Health Care and Cap and Trade, neither of which help the economy or jobs at all, and Cap and Trade would actually hurt it. Obama has been divisive ever since he stepped into office. By his 3rd week he was already railing on republicans rather than try to work with them. If you think he's at all tried to put progress over politics you just have your eyes closed. Good luck.

        • "The Party of No" is straight from the Democratic manufacturing plant of talking points and any self respecting Republican would know that so give me leave to doubt your self professed "right of center" credentials.

          The Dems could equally be called the Party of Yes to Everything that Grows Government. At center right, you should be concerned about government over-intervention running roughshod over individual rights that requires a resounding No. The socialist party drunkenly redistributing money from the productive and even putting future generations in hock for their pet projects requires an adult to sober everyone up. You sound more like the whiny uncomprehending teen than the conservative adult who knows what things cost. And a second vote for Obama and his government tentacles puts you far left of center.

    • And you're going to have to come up with a better argument than "I am disgusted with the Party of NO". Obama had a super majority for a full year, meaning he did not NEED a single Republican vote to pass anything, and his agenda was so far left even his own democrats wouldn't vote for it.

      • I enjoy seeing all the thumbs down with no rebuttal. It's the equivalent to: You defeated me with logic but I don't like you so I'm going to give you a thumbs down!

        Makes me smile.

    • K N Pepper: Hear, hear! This is truly heartening to read.

    • "and who would rather tear down our (yes,OUR) president than cooperate."

      Iggy, is that you?

  6. Other than that he's a liar and a fascist, I can't imagine.

    • Again, another American who doesn't even truely know what a fascist is. Read for gods sakes, and quite letting those GOP morons stick words in your mouth that you don't truely understand.

      • Ok, folks. What is a fascist? Since neither of you defined one, you probably have different notions of what a fascist is.

        If by fascist you mean one who wants the government to run everything, then, yes, Obama is one. He wants to run the health care system (and made "progress" in it), the energy sector (cap & Trade?); he's got a good part of the auto industry, too. And the "financial reform" is a step on the way to running the banks, except that the bankers are outsmarting him this time, too.

        The thing is, the government will run everything else about as well as it has helped out with the oil spill and with the aftermath of Katrina. (No, we don't need Obama to mess things up: he just takes it to new lows.)

        It's a matter of control, period. Things don't "have to" run right in his world as long is he is running it.

  7. Nonetheless, just what exactly are they going to do if they SHOULD regain Congress? cut taxes, subpoena, investigate and obviscate rather than actually create income for the country to use to create jobs. Ya gotta love these people – they make the ‘vast right wing conspirasy’ a reality why they blame someone else ..

  8. "…asked potential voters whether they would prefer a candidate in the mid-term elections who “will stick with President Barack Obama” on economic policies, or “one who will start from scratch with new ideas to shrink government, cut taxes, and grow the economy.” Sixty-four per cent preferred starting from scratch, compared with just 30 per cent who would stick with the Obama policies."

    This isn't exactly neutral wording of the question. If that's how they asked it, I'm surprised they managed to find 30 percent to choose the first option.

    • I thought the same thing. Probably should have left out the grow the economy part in the second option. It definitely influences the repsonse.

    • Would you like the same old skunky beer you currently have in your hand or would be prefer the crisp, refreshing taste of Coor's Light?!

    • That particular quote you chose is exactly what I had copied with the aim to put them into my comments. Yes, that was a dumb question. Hey…attention all those who are hungry: 'would you like good nutrious food every day or a plate full of cowpies with a side of gravel?'

  9. President Obama talked a great story prior to his election and I believe that he really is a man of substance, unfortunately, he inherited an economy that was in turmoil, a war on two fronts that Americans will never win and a rapidly growing debt and deficit issue that will be the unmaking of the world powerhouse to the south of the 49th parallel.

    I recall stories about Ronald Reagan coming to the realization that he was merely a figurehead and that the strings of power were outside his grasp. I suspect that Obama has come to the same realization. As they said about Reagan living at the intersection where dreams and reality meet, I believe the same thing can be said about the current American President.

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/

    • Good points.

      Incidentally, from now on I'm telling everyone that Obama is the new Reagan. That should manage to upset just about everybody :)

  10. That might be the best take I've seen from an Obama supporter. You might be a far better adviser than the crew he has around him right now. While I'm sure I'd disagree with some of your politics, if people like you were advising him our country would be in much better shape right now.

    • I am not an Obama supporter. I probably would have voted for Clinton in the primaries (in the hope that she would govern like her husband), and would have not voted in the general election.

  11. I find myself disagreeing with both the premise and the conclusion in this article: in my view Obama has not done well, and neither have the public turned on him.

    If anything, that the situation and his performance are so poor while he still maintains close to 50% support suggests that the public is still largely willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    If the economy upticks even moderately next year, he will be on firm footing politically. Expectations for the November elections have been set so low that almost any result short of a complete loss of both Houses will be viewed as a Democrat victory. Although I'm convinced that Obama's policies and wasteful spending have caused severe long-term structural damage to the US economy, I am just as convinced that the economy will show some kind of tepid recovery in the next few years before the consequences of the debt, the damage to healthcare, and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts take hold.

    He has abandoned or not acted on his most leftward promises (public option, elimination of the secret ballot for unionization of workers, FOCA) and has continued "shredding the Constitution" – as he accused Bush – by maintaining the Patriot Act and Gitmo. His Peace Prize was awarded for being elected President (?), and his tenure has been marked by the largest increase in the deficit since WW2, intense polarization among the electorate, an increase in racial tensions, and nearly complete breakdown of bipartisanship in the House and Senate. Yet the American people still generally like him. I'll be very surprised if he isn't reelected.

    • Think of him as like Chretien – after the guy before, doing very little of anything is a vast improvement and relief.

      • Chretien's government prettty much ended up fixing the spending problems our federal government had, and you call that nothing?

        • He had help from the GST and Free Trade.

          But I do agree that Mike T. is being a little too hard on Chretien. Who thought we conservatives would miss him?

        • I certainly take your point, but I'm thinking more of the style of grand big changes from Mulroney vs. quietly running things like Chretien.

    • Obama's failure is everyone's failure: failure to move forward.
      All I get from this article is that the hyper partisanship is tearing the country apart, and Obama wasn't able to overcome it for a variety of reasons (he has his share of the blame to bare for that). The country won't be able to recover intellectually from the top, it needs to come from elswhere. Where you ask? I have no idea….

  12. I suspect Obama's approval ratings will be revived if and when the Republicans choose Sarah Palin as their candidate. Much the same way Stephen Harper has relied heavily on the Opposition's choice of leaders (twice) to revive his own prospects.

    • The greatest gift the Republicans could give to Obama would be to field Sarah Palin in 2012

      • If the media had vetted Obama, the candidate actually running for President with the same electron microscope they used on the VP candidate Palin, then he would never have beaten Clinton. If his multiple gaffes had gotten the repetition given to those of George Bush, if his dysfunctional and red diaper upbringing, communist and black bigot mentors had been exposed, ditto.

        The inequality in investigative journalism continues. The vast majority of media act like one big "The View" of squealing middle aged groupies for the cool "black" (actually biracial) Prez because over 80% of the legacy media is to the left of the American center, just like the candidate they blatantly promoted ( "A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media" by Bernard Goldberg).

        By rights, he should be called Press-ident Obama. He's a media creation and that's what the uninformed are still in love with.

  13. "Why America turned on Obama?" — what a dumb question from one of the fawning masses of the media that pretty much fellated the guy while he was running.

    They turned on him because he's a lousy President, the consummate empty suit, a commie radical and a man with an ego so big it blinds him to reality.

    But don't worry Luiza, you can get back on your knees in front of him in 2012.

    And as for you "Raging Ranter" — don't bet on his approval ratings reviving. As for your statement about his ratings going down if Palin is nominated, I trust you've seen the most recent presidential election poll that indicates Obama would lose to any Republican, including Sarah Palin.

    • Another blow hard weakens his argument because he doesn't know what a commie is. In any case, you can't vote for him so who cares what you think.

  14. "…healthcare that sucked all of the oxygen out of the room and drained his political capital." I think he was still running on that election "fever" and so he could get as much into the healthcare bill in as possible. I could be wrong but he did, as you stated, put much political capital into one issue, an issue that shouldn't have been dealt with (in my opinion) until the economy looked quite a bit better.

    • You are right that new presidents experience a "honeymoon effect", in which they tend to get above average approval ratings. In ordinary circumstances this is a good time to ram through legislation that might be difficult to push through later. The Reagan and Bush tax cuts are one example, while Clinton's attempt to pass Hillarycare is a failed instance of this strategy.

      The real problem is going after these kinds of objectives in a time of crisis. I mean imagine if after Bush's 9/11 surge in the polls he had focused all of his attention on a federal ban on gay marriage, or the privatization of social security? Presidents should focus first and foremost on the crisis. Of course, sometimes a president's broader agenda is related to the crisis. FDR's New Deal was a partisan agenda but it was also relevant to the Great Depression. The Reagan tax cut and military buildup, similarly, gave the economy some breathing room as Volcker waged a war on inflation amidst a recession.

      • I always figured Pelosi was somewhat callous in her approach to public policy decisions. She sort of throws her ideas out there and see what happens. Harry Reid on the other hand, well, he makes Joe Biden's gaffes look tiny in comparison.

        • Pelosi – until recently – believed that she was safer than either Obama or Reid. She knows her district will re-elect her no matter what. It also appeared likely that the Democrats would survive midterm elections until recently. Finally, the house does not have the filibuster, so appeasing Blue Dog democrats was not important.

          By contrast, Reid looked like he was going to lose his senate seat, and, in order to prevent a filibuster, had to negotiate with moderate Democrats to get healthcare through. His institutional and personal political situation forced him to work harder at negotiation and salesmanship (a task he is not good at).

  15. blame economics, big business and cut down big government…whatever these reason cover the fickle human nature behind the election of the first black presidents (in the words of the media and gov't ,not mine)

  16. Well, Canadain foreign policy had better start sucking up to the Chinese now – when the the Republicans take it back, they will be insolvent within a decade.
    A fiscal platform of 'trim the icing but have my cake and lower taxes too" makes this an inevitability.
    Manufacturing perception, while not without the capacity to influence events and markets, still always manages to get roughed up by reality.
    I remain , I must say, thankful I am not American.

    • You do realize that spending is done by congress.

      Have you seen the defict time charts when dems were in power compared to repubs? Yes Bush should have vetoed the dems spending like sailors more. But make no mistake about it. The dems were the ones with the open taps.

      Of course the chance of this being pointed out by the left leaning WaPo NYTimes or Newsweek ranges from 0% to oh say 0%.

      • Yep, reality of actual fault doesn't matter. Who cares that Obama supported all the spending and Dems decision not to reign in Fannie and Freddie. It's all Bush's fault because he didn't stop them, that's it! The blame Bush game started in 2006, not 2008, and with the help of the media the Dems played it very well.

  17. Black Jimmy Carter…only worse.

  18. The Presidents first and only priority must be jobs …however easier said than done. The White house only creates government jobs which doesn't produce anything….just a cost center. The economy is still bleeding and putting an end to that disastrous war would be a great event and repatriating those borrowed dollars to put into the U.S economy. People work…they spend….and business produce and hire workers.

    Once the U.S people are working again they will much more receptive to the change he's been talking about…..if it's change they can relate to and they see real short term benefits.

    Those who believe that Palin will be anywhere near the leadership for the Rebublicans are mistaken. They're allowing her to stir the pot and rally voters but leadership….not in her lifetime.

  19. I wonder if there is ever a time in the political season when we could actually talk about policy and substance instead of the tiresome "horse race" of who is up and down in the polls. It is not very enlightening and leads to all sorts of ridiculous conjecture on the part of pundits. But I suppose while media rooms continue to get hacked to the bone, this kind of lazy reporting is what largely will pass for journalism.

    The comments following this were more interesting than the article itself. The ones that seem most interesting to me are those that equate Obama to some kind of commie/fascist type trying to destroy freedom. In some respects, this is true, but for none of the reasons cited. The scariest things Obama is doing is expanding the war on terror, putting American citizens on secret assassination lists, locking in the Bush administration's practices of spying on Americans, and further merging the government with corporate interests.

    Health care was not a commie/fascist plot. If he'd had the balls, he would have proposed universal health care, just like most centrist, stable countries in Western Europe (indeed, even Canada!) already enjoy.

    • Just waiting for him to renew the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest to vacuum seal Obama's legacy as Bush's third term.

      The right has stayed admirably on message — perhaps to the detriment of some of their own incumbents. Meanwhile, the progressives (a troublesomely broad label) are realizing that Obama was never their man to begin with. Ask not who is in the White House, but rather who are the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Exxon, and Lockheed. The rest is just details.

      • jdude, that post is a total non sequitur. The best health care systems in Europe are also found in those countries that are relatively stable economically; France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, etc. Of course, the current economic crisis is global, and so all countries face instability. But let's not downplay the achievements of universal health care over the last 30-50 years.

        • Sorry, you like Canada itself are way behind the socialist nirvanas you so admire. All those "stable" countries with good health care have a combination of private and public. Canada is alone in the world with North Korea and Cuba in sticking to purely public on paper (though private money is actually used for many drugs, glasses, Quebec clinics and American hospitals tending to Canadians who can't be helped in timely fashion in our own rationing system). Private payers cover an estimated 30% of health care needs in Canada already and growing as governments keep de-listing health services but shhhh! wouldn't want to disturb the oblivious!

    • Universal vs. private is not really a substantively useful distinction when it comes to healthcare. Firstly, there are different kinds of universal systems. For instance, Canada has a single payer system (the government is our insurer), whereas Britain has socialized medicine (the government runs all of the hospitals directly). Secondly, different systems make different tradeoffs between values things like choice, quality, universality, innovation, and cost.

      The US model does a good job in terms of choice (in theory, but not in practice), quality and innovation. That third point is important not only for Americans but also the rest of the world. The high premiums that Americans pay helps fund research which Canadians and Europeans also benefit from. So in a sense, your smugness is rather misguided. You should beg the Americans to keep their system.

      The central problem with the US model is employer-based coverage. The government subsidizes employer purchases of healthcare for employees. This is how most Americans get healthcare coverage. This is a rather strange system – who would expect their employer to buy their car? Their house? As a result, individual consumers are irrelevant to the healthcare market – they aren't the ones that pick out plans. I cannot change plans Secondly, employers largely care about premiums, because that is what they actually have to pay. They do NOT have to pay copays or deductibles. So if I am an insurance company, it makes sense to put together a model that charges low premiums, but high copays and deductibles, because employers will like that kind of a plan.

      The US system is an example of a bad private healthcare system, but it might be possible to construct a system that works. Individuals, perhaps united by buying pools for greater economies of scale, can do a better job of guarding their own interests than employers. Moreover, I think reforms in this direction (eg. health care vouchers) are more likely to pass muster with the American electorate than universal healthcare. Finally, it will be better for us Canadians if the Americans take such a route, because we can still benefit from research spillovers produced by an innovative free market healthcare system.

      • hosertohoosier, I mean universal health care in the sense that a society agrees that health care is a right that everyone can claim when they need to. How it is provided obviously differs enormously between countries. As for innovation in medicine, most of this, even in the United States, occurs at universities (albeit with a lot of private funding, I'll admit) and so I'm unsure why in Canada we should wish for the current inefficiencies of the US system to be preserved because of some supposed side-benefit of its creative capacity. Indeed, if the US could reduce its health care spending from 15% of GDP to under 10%, as many western European nations enjoy, perhaps it would free up money for more, not less, medical innovation.

        It's very odd when the free market model is held up as a pre-requisite for innovation, as if innovation doesn't exist outside free market capitalism — a view that is totally at odds with all evidence from history.

      • the problem, hoser, is that we here in the US have not had any form of a free market in decades, especially in referance to our health care. Artificial monopolies in insurance, lengthy drug pattents, and a myriad of other things that I am honestly tired of talking about (the health care debate was a nightmare), have kept us in a zombie market run by beaurocrats and fat-cat CEOs.

    • I agree with you about the tiresome "horse race" comparison. In many respects, this article is a slow news day filler item. The editors have even framed the article with their own spin by including a few melodramatic images for effect. For a minute I thought I was reading the Toronto Sun.

      I do however think that your assertions about "secret assassination lists" without citing any evidence is a bit rich.

      None the less, this sort of statement appears to be consistent with the apparent subtext of a number of the other comments. Clearly, there is a strong anti Obama sentiment among most of the responders here. This is very enlightening to say the least because the trend seems to be more about writing as many inflammatory comments as possible about an administration and more specifically a leader who is exactly one year and six months into a term in office. Not surprisingly most of these sort of analyses were made with the same fervour one year and six months ago in response to the President's election.

      Needless to say the blame game continues without any real alternatives or fact based incite.
      I suppose that McCain and the ever so eloquent Palin would have been a more progressive option for most of you.

      Lastly, if being "popular" is to be the sole goal of governance then I'm afraid that we've reached an impasse in policy development.

  20. Hillary is standing right behind Obama doing her best Bob Rae impression – may I hold your jacket sir?

  21. In politics, you can't fight the right-wingers with kid's glove. The right-wing adopts a take-no-prisoner approach while the centrist and left of center tries to take a civil approach. Use the same tact as the right-wingers and Obama will have a better chance of helping the Democrats hang on to the House and Senate seats.

    • "left of center tries to take a civil approach"

      Lol.

      Obama, Reid and Pelosi and their slobbering media have done nothing but name call and bash any opposition since they got into office. What country have you been watching? Is the coverage of things that slanted up here in Canada? They're practically the opposite of civil…

      • The same lefties who call themselves centrist also call themselves civil. So far they have called the salt of the earth truly middle Tea Party Americans who have held huge orderly rallies that left city streets CLEANER than when they started racists and a gay sex term. As someone said: "That's no teabagger, that's my mother!"

        Middle Americans are finding out what their leftist elites truly think of them.

    • The Democrats are the original hard ball political party!
      They lie,cheat ,they own the media.They are the first to scream " it's not fair "at any chance they have to assume an advantage. To race bait the public on such a scale ought to be a crime.
      They own the justice department who refuses to prosecute any black on white crimes such as the New Black Panther (pussy) party for voter intimidation . They refuse to do something about ACORN except give them more money to increase voter fraud.
      The Democrats are the party that refuses to allow the mandatory use of IDs to reduce voter fraud saying it would disenfranchise the poor ( Only the illegal aliens that vote, and convicted felons) The poor can get state IDs for free if they don't have them already. They already are required to have ID to get food stamps and cash their welfare payment checks, they aren't paid in cash you idiot.
      Kid gloves? Hell, the best way to handle left wingers is with a baseball bat.

    • lol
      The opposite is true.

  22. They didn't turn on Obama because of what he may or may not have done. They would have turned on any other politician presiding over such a disastrous economic situation.

    The rule of thumb is when all is wrong with world, you blame the government. When people start blaming their President for the lack of employment, you know it's all over.

    Should Obama get re-elected to a second term, I'll be extremely surprised.

  23. I dont think going on a natter show like the view is going to help any. I never thought he was all that, but what do I know.A lot ist seems if others are finally catching up to my thinking.

  24. I really thought that after Bush, Obama will be a vast improvement but there is not much walk that follows the talk. He treated the presidential seat just like a show op…

  25. As an American I can honestly say that I have never seen the morale in this nation so incredibly low. Barack Obama has done everything he could given the nation's rightward tilt. I am sure many Canadian's know that the United States has always been a nation prone to a conservative media and a population that is easily swayed by them. The truth of the matter is Barack Obama has accomplished a tremendous amount of changes, but the media has done nothing but follow the far right and tea party activists in America. It is so incredibly disheartening to watch someone who is working incredibly hard for his people yet be destroyed day after day by fear mongering. I am seriously contemplating a move to Canada. I have visited your nation several times throughout my life and while I realize the Canadian government isn't perfect by any stretch, there is a sense of peace and stability that just doesn't appear on the southern side of the Great Lakes. I am university educated and could find work in Canada I just hope fellow Canadians will welcome a disheartened American with open arms. "The True North Strong and Free!!"

    • What media are you watching? There is one, count them, 1…, news network in the U.S. that is conservative, and 1 major paper (WSJ). All of the rest are left leaning, and you think they bash Obama? They're totally in love with him, and have only now just started to criticize because he cuts media out of more things than any president and hasn't handled the oil spill well. Oh, and that the HC reform wasn't far enough left for them…They still slobber over him.

      The nation has a rightward tilt, not because of any media, it's because IT'S A CENTER RIGHT NATION! It's been a very individualist and conservative nation since it's inception that has created the greatest economy and way of life in history, and that is what is being destroyed by progressives, with plenty of help from the very left leaning media.

      Feel free to move to Canada, and take some more liberals with you.

    • You lost us at "conservative media".

    • I hope you in Canada will welcome Obama with open arms. Because he would fit right in with you socialists up there.Being from Chicago the cold would not bother him, and you already have a large population of Muslims and draft dodgers up there. Maybe he can change Canada. If not maybe Canada will be so kind as to send Barry back to Kenya so he can be with his people.

      • My my, socialists, Muslims, AND draft-dodgers all in the same post. I'm impressed as all hell, but haven't you forgotten queers?

        • no, because he is not a bigot like you.

    • Canada really doesn't need another lefty who's so delusional he thinks American media is conservative. Entire books have been written about the collusion of the dinosaur mainstream media to get pig in the poke Obama elected. (See "A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media" by Bernard Goldberg).

      Palin, the VP who never was, was subjected to more vetting even after the election when her book came out than the actual occupant of the White House or VP Biden. There's a reason Obama's entire paper trail is buried beneath a million dollars worth of lawyers unlike every other President to date. And he had the nerve to promise transparency.

      Stay where you are and cry that Obama's break neck pace toward making America just another socialist backwater (and the world thereby poorer) is too slow for you.

    • American morale has been a lot lower, Jim.

      I'm old enough to remember the Viet Nam war, the riots in major American cities after the assassination of MLK, double-digit mortgage interest rates, and the gas lines after the first oil embargo.

      Times are good by comparison.

  26. Currently Obama is running neck-and-neck with contenders like Clinton, Bush-1, and Carter for title of worst President of the last hundred years. That he has sunk so low in the polls, despite the constant and continuing swoons in the mainstream media over his every word, is a tribute to the innate good sense of the American electorate. The fawning press managed to cover up his shortcomings before the election, but they can't cover up all his weaknesses and failures as President, although not for lack of trying. He's proven himself to be a racist tyrant, who both associates with other racists and tyrants, and appoints them to high positions.
    America hasn't "turned" on Obama. Obama "turned" on America; he did so well before he was elected President, but a worshipful press kept that hidden from the public for long enough for him to be elected. But after seeing him in action, the public is wising up.

    • I guess you could say that Obama is the Taft of this generation.
      Failure to end serious recession…………. check
      Pro-immigration……………………………………..check
      Instituted financial reform………………………check
      Delegation to congress…………………………check
      Mushy belief in peace by arbitration………check
      Morbid obesity………………………………………..not just yet (but Obama likes greasy food photo ops)

      • Failure to end serious recession — First the recession then was nowhere near as serious as the present one. Second, Taft took the correct position that it was not within the powers granted to the federal government to intervene. That recession soon resolved itself. Later Presidents, like Hoover in 1930, and Roosevelt all through the '30's, DID intervene, and transformed a recession into the Great Depression, lasting for a full decade. Obama is imitating Hoover and Roosevelt.
        Pro Immigration — In Taft's time, immigrants came to the U.S. to get work. Now they come to get "entitlements". Then they learned English. Now they demand special classes in the ancestral language for their children. I realize that then many immigrants kept up ties with their ancestral language and heritage; but they did so by joining — at their own expense — ethnic clubs. Now the classes are in the public schools, at public expense.
        Financial reform — see above concerning ending a recession. [cont'd]

        • Per capita GDP in the US reached a peak in 1907 at $6,346. In 1908 that fell to $5,551. Now, Taft can't be blamed for the Panic, but he can be blamed for the recovery. The US did not fully recover to pre-Panic levels till 1918, so much for the incredible power of non-intervention. Whereas economies typically experience sharp upturns of growth immediately after downturns (because there are unemployed workers and capital that can be quickly put back to work),

          Taft's policies resulted in a tepid recovery similar to the present one. Real per capita GDP growth under Taft roared at the mighty rate of 0.9%/year.
          19095,835.80
          19105,776.26
          19115,870.91
          19126,051.07

          Lets compare this to FDR, who took office in 1933 (your claim that Hoover intervened is debatable at best, given that Hoover attempted to balance the budget, and Hoover certainly intervened less than FDR). It is a misconception that "the Great Depression lasted a decade". In fact, FDR ushered in a quick recovery, as you can see from the data, real per capita GDP grew at a rate of 5.3%/year:

          1933: 5,699.74
          1934: 6,280.59
          1935: 6,791.67
          1936: 7,629.06
          1937: 7,971.40
          1938: 7,637.21
          1939 8,187.56

          A lot of people make a big deal about the downturn in 1938. What did FDR try to do in 1938? Any guesses? He tried to balance the budget, while the economy was not at full employment levels. The Taft-FDR comparison is absolutely no contest in terms of who ushered in a faster or more robust recovery. Unfortunately, Obama's policies are closer to Taft than they are to FDR.

          As to immigration, good luck funding social security without it.

          Source: http://www.measuringworth.com/index.html

          • Both Hoover and Roosevelt were Keynesian interventionists in practice, although Roosevelt campaigned against Hoover's deficit spending; FDR as a candidate urged a balanced budget. They both followed wrong-headed policies which only prolonged the Depression.
            A few more figures for you: unemployment, after 3 years of Hoover's tinkering, and 5 of Roosevelt's, reached its minimum in 1937 — at 14.3%. In 1938 it was back up to 19%. Production levels didn't reach 1929 levels until 1937, also to fall back the following year. Only in 1941, with war production in full swing, did production levels surpass the 1929 level.
            As for social security, many illegal immigrants don't pay into it. Witness all the nominees of Clinton and Obama who withdrew when it became public that they weren't paying the social security taxes on their Central American servants.

      • [cont'd]
        Delegation to Congress — A strange description of the relations between Obama and the Congress. Composed overwhelmingly of Democrats, it has enacted — often by dubious constitutional means — just about whatever Obama has asked of it. I suppose that Americans should be thankful he's still going through the formality of getting Congress to pass legislation before he signs it into law.
        Morbid obesity — Yes, Taft weighed in at nearly 140 kg, but he outlived both his predecessor and his successor. The three were nearly exact contemporaries, but Taft lived to 72, Wilson to 67, and T.Roosevelt only to 60. Obama doesn't look like a healthy man; I doubt he'll make it to Taft's age.

    • You are an idiot, plain and simple. You are the type that feels facts and doesn't actually think them through. Good luck on your fantasy life in your fantasy world.

    • I think you need to sober up a bit and take a better look at history.
      Your pejoratives are embarrassingly out of context.
      Perhaps you've managed to somehow "prorogue" reason.

  27. Yes he did get lots of things done, things Americans were begging him NOT to do. He is unpopular because, like most politicians he believes more government is the solution to every problem. The historical rule is that, the more government is mandated to make our personal decisions for us the less freedom we have to choose our own destiny. Most Americans deeply value their freedoms and so oppose giving more of their power to the governments army of bureaucrats.
    Free men must never tolerate tyrants in their midst. That is why even the right turned against GWB by the end of his presidency. A great awakening is happening around the world. People are waking up to the fact that our governments often do not govern in our best interests. 100 years of failing big government socialist policies are coming to an end. Even the very socialist EU is blaming the current situation on socialist policies and big government.

  28. If you allow your supporters to trump you up as a savior of all that ills your country; you're bound to come up short.
    As hard as it is to stomach sometimes, attacking the out going government's policy's can put you in a corner when you take power and people expect change.

  29. ""tons of anti private sector legislation (small and large business)"

    Dude, "giving the private sector lots of money" may be bad policy, but it's hardly "anti private sector". "

    Stimulus money went LARGELY to public sector. Yes contracts went out to private businesses, but the difference it made was negligible. I'm talking about all of the parts of his agenda that are causing businesses to sit on money and freeze hiring because they know they may get killed next year by the Health Care bill, Cap and Trade, repeal of Bush tax cuts, and parts of the Financial Reform bill among others. Private industry is sitting on 1.5 – 2 Trillion dollars instead of investing, growing or hiring right now, due mostly to fear of the future. Even the big corps he's been in bed with are now calling him anti-private sector with the rest of the country. Nearly all of private business now looks at him that way.

    ""and general disregard for the Constitution."

    It's funny because you seem to think that this is associated exclusively with the *left*. Well, not "ha-ha" funny. "

    I'll definitely give you that. But he is very much for a "living constitution" and has complained that it doesn't do enough in regards to "wealth redistribution" and he wants to change that. Both are generally leftist ideas.

    In general, whether they are simply "left" or "far left" ideals, liberals seem to think everyone else thinks like them when it's far from the truth. Not a one of those things I listed are centrist in the U.S. (I guess you could make an argument for amnesty, but only with major border control along with it), though you can find people on the right that agree with some of them, usually for different reasons.

  30. The economy sucks. I find it hard to believe that it amounts to much more than that. Well, that and the fact that his party folds like a wet noodle on any issue of principle…

  31. Here's an interesting chart of the contributors to the US deficit: http://www.cbpp.org/images/cms//12-16-09bud-rev6-… (from this article: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=… and based on Congressional Budget Office figures).

    And Ken Madden's contribution here is the lyin'est spin I've ever seen: “He just lit into Republicans, and did so in a way where he created straw men, was hyper-partisan, and offered nothing but invective…"

    I watched that speech. Republicans were completely unprepared – they showed up with their "socialism" and "Death Panel" talking points and were caught completely off-guard when Obama knew their actual policy proposals in great detail. They had been peddling transparent bullsh*t for far too long and didn't know what to do when they were called on it.

    But overall, Obama struck a conciliatory tone and challenged the Republicans to work constructively with him on real solutions.

    It's no surprise that Madden would deliberately mischaracterize that event, but it's frustrating when people just flat out lie.

  32. "But don't worry Luiza, you can get back on your knees in front of him in 2012."

    Totally uncalled for. Grow up.

    • Sometimes blind slobberers need to be called out. They're supposed to be journalists, not cheerleaders.

      • Isn't it strange how the "blind slobberers" manage to be civil while those "calling them out" resort to offensive, juvenile fratboy language.

        I don't have a problem with people calling out journalists, it's good for them. But telling a female writer she can "get back on your knees in front of him in 2012" is completely unacceptable.

        • Unfortunately, in the U.S. media, most of the blind slobberers are anything but civil.

          • So that makes it ok to insult a Canadian journalist or are you intent on dragging Canada down to US standards?

          • I didn't insult her, someone else did. I was just acknowledging that many people are frustrated that the media in the U.S., and yes Canada, blindly support Obama while ignoring any of the negatives of his actions, his past, or his crooked ways of accomplishing anything. It tends to get people to react negatively to the cheerleader journalists.

            His statement was inappropriate, sure, but your response: "Isn't it strange how the "blind slobberers" manage to be civil while those "calling them out" resort to offensive, juvenile fratboy language. " is a joke. They're anything but civil when they disagree with you. And sorry, Canadian journalists aren't much different.

          • "Sometimes blind slobberers need to be called out."
            I think this statement goes a little beyond simple acknoledgement. While you modified the statement with "sometimes," you still expressed approvement of people's occassional insult, which in this case is quite "offensive [and] juvenile." Indeed, it is often necessary for the media to be aware of people's frustration, and using crude imageries is one way of sending this message. However, there are more than one way of expressing one's feelings, and such insult should not be one of them. Moreover, just because, as you stated, Canadian and American media is "anything but civil" doesn't mean you should approve of people's expression of frustration through equally uncivil language. This gesture merely encourages people to stoop to Canadian and American media's level. I believe TJCook is right to point out Irritable Canadian's inappropriateness while you are wrong to approve of Irritable Canadian's rude expression of frustration.

          • "I didn't insult her, someone else did."

            You called her a "blind slobberer". Where I'm from, that's pretty insulting.

            "I was just acknowledging…"

            Really? Because I don't see where you "acknowledged" anything. You just added your insult, then vaguely blamed American journalists. Talk about a joke.

  33. KDJ who gives a crap about views on a forum web site. get a job

  34. It’s really sad because most of the time any speech Obama gives goes over the head of the average, overweight, untravelled American. The worst part is Americans always say, “governments never act in the interest of the people, it should be up to private companies” but do private corporations EVER act in anyone’s best interest? Do oil companies? Does the military-industrial complex care about your health care costs? Do health insurance companies care if you die if you’re not a millionaire? It boggled the minds of the globe when we watched Tea-Partiers take to the streets angry at the fact that poor people might have a chance at getting health care. It’s pure barbarism to let people die simply because they cannot afford healthcare. For those who say “governments shouldn’t decide finance” should look to the W.Bush years when the financial sectors peeled America like an orange and the middle class paid for it and will continue to pay for it and the right wingers won’t admit that the US needs to cut many programs, raise taxes for the wealthiest and look into new energy technologies to save itself. OR you can blame immigrants, give tax breaks for the wealthiest and spend money you don’t have on a military that’s spread all over the planet instead of fixing yourselves. If you guys elect Palin I think China should dump all of its US Reserves because they’ll soon be toilet paper anyway. Being a Canadian in the last ten or so years is like living next to a neighbour who’s eating, drinking, smoking and spending themself to death and hates anyone who tries to help. Oh well, our nation is doing well. LOL.

    • Honest people can disagree in politics. I think your notion that people disagree with your preferred position because they are stupid, untraveled or overweight (how is that relevant?) is a great example of the hyper-partisan view that inhibits sensible policy in the US. Very few Americans – including most Tea Partiers – hold the view that governments should regulate nothing, so much of your post is engaged in a straw man argument (just as some on the other side might call you a communist, or a traitor).

      Nor are people wrong to hold skeptical or optimistic views of government. People value different things, and so your preferred set of outcomes might differ from mine. And while I agree that the past few years have probably made people skeptical about unbridled free markets, one can also think of counter-examples (surely the war in Iraq is a good example of the limits of what government can do), or past periods when government seemed the culprit (for instance the stagflation of the 70's). True, corporations do not (intentionally) serve the public good, but neither do bureaucrats or politicians. Rather they serve their own professional and electoral interests.

      • My initial comment was mainly out of dry frustration. Alot of us just want to see the United States work together again in a way that inspires other nations to do what's right, to do what's innovative and to show the more dilligent side of the human spirit. Instead what we see is a very divided USA that won't come together for their collective good. They would rather let each other fail out of disagreement rather than support each other in a way that makes every American stronger, better and forward looking. Obama isn't "the answer" and neither is partisan bickering, parties of no or political jellyfishing and putting it all on Obama to "save the country" is asking too much of one person and is totally ridiculous. I do wish for a return of the good old days in the US of A, I'm just afraid of being disappointed.

  35. In that I agree, I hope though that he will find his sea legs soon. If not, we might find another Bush in office. Are republicans running out of brains to even consider another member of said family?

    • While I agree that it would be silly to nominate yet another Bush, I don't think HW was a bad president, and Jeb was by most accounts an excellent governor of Florida. If I were to bet on another Bush in the White House, it would be George P. not Jeb – and that wouldn't be for a while now.

  36. HtoH identified the main problems. The short version is that the administration and congress decided to use their control to do what they wanted rather than what the country needed.

    Obama is not a moderate/centrist.

    From his behaviour, I gather that the main problem is that he is a "walt" – he wanted to be president the same way some people say they'd like to climb Mt Everest: they'd like to be able to say they did it and receive the recognition, but they don't really want to actually do the hard work entailed by the job/undertaking.

    A secondary problem is his ridiculous self-absorption.

    Every great executive politician must have two skills: election campaigner, and governing executive. Obama is good at the first, and weak at the second.

  37. It’s really sad because most of the time any speech Obama gives goes over the head of the average, overweight, untravelled American. The worst part is Americans always say, “governments never act in the interest of the people, it should be up to private companies” but do private corporations EVER act in anyone’s best interest? Do oil companies? Does the military-industrial complex care about your health care costs? Do health insurance companies care if you die if you’re not a millionaire? It boggled the minds of the globe when we watched Tea-Partiers take to the streets angry at the fact that poor people might have a chance at getting health care. It’s pure barbarism to let people die simply because they cannot afford healthcare. For those who say “governments shouldn’t decide finance” should look to the W.Bush years when the financial sectors peeled America like an orange and the middle class paid for it and will continue to pay for it and the right wingers won’t admit that the US needs to cut many programs, raise taxes for the wealthiest and look into new energy technologies to save itself. OR you can blame immigrants, keep the tax breaks for the wealthiest and spend money you don’t have on a military that’s spread all over the planet instead of fixing yourselves while blaming the disenfranchised for all the problems. If you guys elect Palin I think China should dump all of its US Reserves because they’ll soon be toilet paper anyway. Being a Canadian in the last ten or so years is like living next to a neighbour who’s eating, drinking, smoking and spending themself to death and hates anyone who tries to help. Oh well, our nation is doing well. LOL.

  38. The polarization of American politics has hit new hights. Whether you are left or right the entrenchment is so great that noone is willing to move off their positions even if they are wrong. People would rather see others suffer than to come to a concensus on anything. As is taught in Org behavior conflict resolution comes down to the elements of assertiveness versus cooperativeness. In the USA it is far to much assertiveness and little of the other. therefore, gridlock.

  39. I think that the explanation is a li'l more simple than complex. People voted in Obama as the Messiah president. Lo and behold, Obama turns out not to be Messiah, and people punish his party in the polls because they thought they were voting for Jesus and didn't get him . . .

  40. Wow, that's quite the…ahem…interesting characterization of Obama's "accomplishments".

    To take just one: The reality is the "bailout" of the auto sector was an upending of a century of bankrupcy/creditor laws whereby the unions were handed over significant ownership of the company. The companies never would have dissappeared, because people still buy millions of cars. It would have been reaorganized under creditor protection and become leaner and meaner, and much much better.

    But that would mean cutting into the unionized employee benefits. So Obama gave them the keys to the company.

    Tripling the deficit in one year. Tripling. Forcing Obamacare down the throats of a right of center country.

    The apology tour to the world.

    Golfing and taking umpteen vacations during the Gulf Oil Crises.

    Going against Arizona's right to defend its border (a right now favored by a staggering 60 some percent of the voters).

  41. The list goes on and on.

    The reality is there has never been a greater disparity by any politician in our lifetimes between what he sold himself as and what he delivered. He didn't rise of above petty politics as promised. He personified it ("we won" so stuff it Repubs…remember that one of many). He didn't end the racial tension in the US he did the opposite and played the race card at every turn.

    And the other commenters here are bang on about the media's role. They wear his failure, because they chose to annoint him rather than scrutinize him (try and imagine reporters leafing through Obama's dumptser for receipts as was done to Palin).

    He had flaws and warning signes galore. But they were brushed aside. He was "the one" after all.

    He is a failure, as is the left leaning agenda driven press.

  42. Americans truly are the Miller Lite generation. They want a president that tastes great and is less filling. By that I mean the man took office just 18 months ago in the midst of the worst financial crisis seen since the 1930's, a war on two fronts, a massive national debt among many other things and yet it appears that they expected him to come in and flick a switch and make things perfect. Americans were craving all this change but yet none of them appear to have the fortitude to roll up their sleeves and make this change actually happen. Obama's biggest mistake was not acting immediately on his mandate when he had some of the highest presidential ratings in nearly a decade and also trying to reach across the aisle to find some middle ground with a party which took no time in declaring that they would impede almost any and every attempt of the Obama white house passing any legislation. I think Obama's most telling sign since his presidency begun is the fact that he has shown to be a political lightweight. He should have marched in to office and within weeks while he still had record support tried to push through 4 or 5 major legislative changes that he had promised on his campaign tour. I mean, in reality that is why people voted for him, because they wanted those changes, sadly though he has become hamstrung by the right wing media, a partisan congress and senate and his own self indulgences of trying to be this Lincol-esque type leader. Americans have to realize that things do not change overnight, financial crisis' such as the one endeared in 2008 leave long lasting imprints across the map and are not easily overcome. Modern day America (and the west in general) has become victimized by the "right now right away" culture which we have bread in to society and expect miracles to come out of nothing. Well folks, as in the rest of the grown up world, things take time and government cannot solely change the fate for us all, it takes sacrifice and patience, remember the Great Depression lasted almost a decade, and people seemed to have a lot more faith and patience in FDR, but then again back then there was no high speed internet and immediate gratification like there is now, ultimately, America has shot itself in the foot.

  43. Amazing thing about many people opposed to a national healthcare scheme is that they are the same people who are loudest in (rightly) harping about waste and inefficiency.
    Recall a hospital administrator touring a US H.A. around his Canadian 600 bed hospital. The US adminmistrator asked where his billing department was and was shown a woman in a cubicle. The US administrator was astounded. He had two entire FLOORS of clerical staff.
    ALL studies on healthcare show that the waste of the US non-system means paying more for less in terms of outcomes.
    Canada and US share the same malady. Only looking to each OTHER's system to justify their 'dogma-driven' systems. The US looks at our problems and every attempt to rationalize (through PPP/s private options etc in Canada receives shrill 'AMERICAN STYLE MED !!" cries.
    We both rank near the bottom of the G20 in terms of most outcomes and access. (albeit we're several steps above the US) and need to look at the rest of the world.
    Obama-care is a compromise with the conservative/insurance lobbiests which will NOT improve efficiency.

    • You can have a privatized system without having the massive amount of regulations and hoops that exist in the U.S. system. Overzealous bureaucrats and lawyers left completely unchecked have aided just as much to the nightmare as the system itself. It can be addressed without simply conceding to a single payer system.

      Regarding waste, medicare and medicaid are massive undertakings that would be dwarfed by a single payer system, and they are fraught with waste and fraud and are barely solvent. They also have WORSE denial of claims rates than the major private insurance companies, and that was one of the key arguing points for single payer or public option. In the end many services now available will be ruled out due to cost for many people if the U.S. had a single payer system. Given how medicare and medicaid have gone, how on earth will the U.S. be able to run a much larger single payer system? Doctors are already starting to refuse medicare in mass because the repayment rate has gotten so low it doesn't even cover their costs anymore…Small practices will go out of business if they are forced to take it, and somehow a full blown national system will be better?

      Keep in mind there are 10 times as many people in the U.S. and probably 10 times the amount of illegal immigrants. No system that size will ever be nearly as efficient as Canada's.

      The issue is that Obamacare, any version of it that was produced, never addressed major cost factors. All it was meant to be is a redistribution scheme, and the final result did end up in a payoff to the insurance companies that he railed against for months, and they knew the whole time they would be paid off.

      When the Massachusetts Senate seat opened up and they had the emergency election, guess who threw a huge fundraiser for the democrat that would have made the 60th vote for health care: Big Pharma and Big Health Insurance. All the big names chipped in hugely for Coakley, and the entire race was centered around Health Care. They knew they were going to win out the whole time and badly wanted it to pass. They were happy to play the scapegoats.

  44. You're bang on with the Cap-and-trade vs Carbon tax.
    The BC carbon tax wherein the tax starts at a penny a litre or less (for gasoline eg.) with a programmed increase over decades is precisely what most enviromental economists propose.
    On the other hand most US Cons, including my inlaws STILL seem to deny the overwhelming evidence for Anthropogenic climate change………. thanks largely to a well funded campaign .. and Fox News ;o)

    • "On the other hand most US Cons, including my inlaws STILL seem to deny the overwhelming evidence for Anthropogenic climate change………. thanks largely to a well funded campaign .. and Fox News ;o) "

      There are plenty of conservatives that will go along with the idea that man does affect climate change, but there is plenty of question about the AMOUNT it affects it, and whether doing major damage to our economy and jobs will actually make any difference in the long run. Unfortunately, the IPCC and the UN were not completely honest in their research and information dispersal, and they cast much of the doubt themselves. It never should have been made as political as it was, and if so many people hadn't tried to capitalize on it, perhaps less people would be skeptical.

      Either way, if the U.S. makes major carbon tax concessions while China and India do not (and they have no intention to), it would be an idiotic move by the U.S., and the amount of jobs and manufacturing that would move over to China/India, increasing their Carbon output, would result in a wash, leaving the U.S. the loser with little to no environmental gain.

  45. I was looking forward to your reply. I guess I won't get one. There are a few things I was hoping to hear your response to, but I'll chalk it up to disinterest instead of concession I guess.

    • I haven't been at home much, and it'd take me about 3 hours to reply on my piece of garbage phone, but since you're so interested, I'll try to get a reply in sometime on Saturday.

      I will say now, though, that if Obama is, indeed, "far left", it's only because the Tea Party/Republicans have succeeded in moving the centre.

      • Haha, np.

        "I will say now, though, that if Obama is, indeed, "far left", it's only because the Tea Party/Republicans have succeeded in moving the centre. "

        OR, the liberal media and Democrats have been projecting a false "center" for more than 3 years and the tea party is simply reminding people where the U.S. traditionally is. To me, your view just shows how much the liberal media has influenced the narrative since 2006 and even earlier. It's a whole lot easier to convince people to move left than it is to move right, particularly people who don't follow politics closely. Always has been.

        I'll check back tomorrow night, I realize I wrote a lot =)

        • Thank you for your briskly informative posts trying to explain characteristic American centrism but they are pearls before swine in that Canadians, at least the leftist variety are abysmally lacking knowledge about any serious issues in the United States though you'd never guess that from their smugness.

          For example, regarding health care, they know nothing but "Canadian good, American bad". The inevitable rationing in a public payer system expressed in waiting lists including in the Medicare portion of American health care gets no acknowledgment. Neither does the free piggybacking onto American developed drugs, medical appliances and procedures that account for much of the US health dollar spent. Also no mention that until it becomes a morass of socialized medicine, the USA is Canadians' safety valve, with patients who cannot get proper or timely care sent to American hospitals. There is no comprehension whatsoever that changes to tort law need to be made to relieve much of the costs of American Health Care but that the Defense Bar is the largest single contributor to the Democrat Party and so they escaped unscathed in the 2000 page dog's breakfast of a Health Control Bill that Congress passed without reading it.

          As for someone trying to pass off late and partial birth abortion as centrist in the USA when it is not even the case in Canada, that just indicates that they themselves are falling off the map left. Leftists always call themselves "centrists" as it's an easier sell. The ones who actually believe themselves to be centrist and cannot even recognize far left policies must be the ones who still find little fault with Soviet and Mao communism that killed a hundred million and kept hundreds of millions locked up behind an Iron Curtain within living memory. If drawing the line at herding opposition into gulags yourself but overlooking it when done by others makes one a centrist…

          • Haha thanks. I know for the most part I'm wasting my time, but I figure I should try and maybe make people think every once in a while. It's more fun than commenting on conservative sites, though people here sure seem to think they know a lot about U.S. politics. I've found what they really know is mostly just what the left leaning media tells them, mixed with their already left leaning views.

            I'm starting to think all liberals think they are centrist, and they think all conservatives (in the American sense) are not only the minority, but mostly nutjob fringe folk, when the truth is a tea partier is just the average center right American that hasn't been vocally involved in politics until they've finally gotten fed up over the past couple years. Political activism has always been the venue of the left in the U.S., and they don't know what to do when the conservatives actually take a moment away from their jobs to make some noise, and they're freaked out.

            P.S. No liberal likes to admit that the #1 factor in reducing cost in U.S. health care is malpractice / tort / lawyers. Nearly any doctor will tell you that, but Dems have zero interest in addressing it. That alone would change the conversation greatly and we could keep what is still the best HC system on the planet and even cover some people who desperately need it but can't get coverage. It's all about costs, which the Dems were never interested in addressing.

          • With few exceptions, liberals have a lot of opinions but few facts, a sign of intellectual laziness. Some really don't know the difference. Start a debate with them about American health care and they'll be bug eyed with frustration immediately because they know nothing about it, just that it's "bad" (opinion). They can't back up what's an unfounded assertion that passes unchallenged in their usual circles. Next step for them is repetition and/or shouting, as though that turns their opinions into facts, citing opinion journalists (ditto), calling you names, trying to distract from the subject at hand in other ways and if all else fails, claiming they can't waste their precious time talking to someone so heartless and walking off in a huff, awarding themselves a non-existent moral victory. (For most subjects the get-out-of-losing-an-argument word is "racist" but it's hard to work into a health care debate). It's rare to see a liberal fall silent instead of get emotional, think a bit, say "I didn't know that. That changes things if I look it up and find it to be true"… Those are the ones I can respect, whose minds are not completely closed to what makes them uncomfortable.

  46. Obama was always the weakest, least experienced and not quite competent presidential candidate.

    He was given the kid glove treatment by the mainstream media who bought the slippery "change and hope" mantra that was lots of sound and fury but signifying nothing about a difference in direction that Americans badly needed after 8 disastrous years of the Bush administration that managed to create a huge deficit following inheritance of an incredible surplus by the Clinton administration. Bushian "war at any cost" tactics threw the U.S. into the largest debt in its history–and you can't blame hapless Obama for that!

    Until Americans learn that spending $850 billion annually on their defense budget (compare to $65B for Russia and $55Billion for China!) plus covert wars costs and the annual cost of running some 1,100 bases internationally will never make them into the Empire they wish they were, they'll have to be bailed out by their Chinese creditors.

    Obama is no FDR. While H. Clinton's foreign policy was similar to Obama's her domestic policies and grasp of key issues together with her chutzpah and tough work ethic would have made her into the ideal President for the U.S. of A these troublesome times. This was not the time to push a relative neophyte with an anaemic resume on the Presidency of the U.S.

    Meantime, back on the Crawford ranch a man who should be serving time in prison for treason and falsely identifying Weapons of Mass Destruction and launching the wrong war of the century killing thousands and creating 6 million refugees in Iraq…..is quietly writing a book about Himself!

    …..and 64% of Americans keep filing bankruptcy due to……medical bills!

    Let's hope Canadian PM Harpo and his Tea Party take notice when they revise the Census along Bushleague principles of a failed war ideology that has forced Canadians into footing a bill for $16BILLION for Fighter Jets that we don't want nor need. While a $5Billion National HealthCare Plan gets scrapped.

    Oh Canada!

  47. Obama "restoring the supremacy of the Constitution in law". You're kidding, right? The American constitution is an obstacle in the path of statists like Obama and the Democrat Party. His appointees to the Supreme Court are ones who find "penumbras" and other ways to twist the Constitution out of shape and insert government control into every aspect of a previously free citizenry's life. Obama himself is on record as regretting that the Constitution blocks reparations for slavery.

    He passes himself off as a "professor of constitutional law" (actually briefly lecturer) but shows himself ignorant or dismissing of it at every turn including during his State of the Union address to Congress when Judge Alito mouthed "not true" to Obama's leftist fantasy of what a recent judgment by the Supreme Court meant.

  48. The performance of a President cannot be judged by popularity polls or party sustenance pressures but by the ground realities of present state and the measures initiated with an overview to combat the ills that caused them. The German bankers like Lehmann Brothers and Goldman Sachs who domiciled to the U.S during 19'th century developed and defended U.S economy admirably by financing many industries including the newly developing automotive industry at the turn of century. In spite of the Great Depression early in the 20'th century when many European economies had fallen to pieces the naturalized U.S Bankers stood up and sustained the turmoil with the toughness of German forbearance and bailed out auto industry as well many others during 1920's and 30's. Supporting the great sacrifices made by American People during both world wars in their effort to fight against autocracy and radicalism they shared success with American people and invested the economic boom again in the newly developing Electronic Industry catching world wide attention and appreciation of the U.S peace effort providing employment nationally to many and extending internationally. What causes and events turned the scales at the turn into the 21'st leading to declaring insolvency and loss of sustainable wisdom even with a ripple of faltering economy worldwide easily negotiable by the giant U.S? The declaration of a Renowned Banker turned the ripple into global economic Sunami both nationally and internationally. Now with all beset troubles it is the time for American people to recollect the picture of events that lead in electing Obama to Presidency with a true spirit of faith in democracy and trust in God and allow him carry out reforms he thinks beneficial to U.S national interest with same spirit of sacrifice they fought the two Great for the sake of others and spare themselves from the fate suffered by the Bankers original nation of birth before domicile.

  49. If there's one thing Obama got wrong, it was his refusal to break precedent and start a new investigation of 9/11 and the rest of the Bush/Cheney sellout of the US. This was the number 1 request submitted by the people immediately after he took office. The Reich Wing will never let up on the fearmongering and outright lies…they want the power back so they can continue lining their pockets with the spoils of war while claiming the moral high ground…"Christian" warmongering…there's an oxymoron for you!

    Our current economic crisis is a deliberate leftover from the Bush administration, especially the TARP. I'm not even sure the masses know the difference between the TARP and the stimulus. Republicans should have been hanging their collective heads in shame during the Bush Reign of Terror and afterwards. Why was Bush smiling in that Florida classroom? Why was Cheney in the bunker before the attacks? Why did all our national security systems fail? C'mon, people…put 2 and 2 together.

  50. Hi, well lets get to the point, no matter how much effort or no effort any King, President, Prime Minister, etc. in this planet called Earth, try to improve their country, people will still be unhappy, complain, no matter what you do you will end up with complains, its in our nature to always be unhappy and want more, so i will just say Obama is a "King" with 308,524,645. million other "Kingdoms" living in America-Usa.

  51. I can speak only for myself as one American voter: Obama simply lied. Rather than pursue a centrist course a la Clinton, as he promised in the campaign, he has arrogantly turned sharply to the left — right out of Saul Alinsky's playbook. I will not vote for him or for anyone supporting him — period.

    By the way, Obama's predecessor also lied about who he was, and look where that got us.

    Maybe someday we can get a president with a little more integrity.

  52. Come on everyone …. lets be realistic. Obama and his party are the only presidential option in the US. Palin and McCain have shown their colors and I doubt they would have faired as well as Obama in his place. As for bi-partisanship, Obama has busted his butt on his biggest masterpiece, healthcare, to show that he is willing to work with both sides. There are accomplishments for taking action and not reacting under his watch unlike the previous. I say, Mr. President, get back to your plan and keep checking items off and hopefully you have picked up enough political savvy to maintain the House and Senate so you can undue eight years of giving the country away to corporations and the military. Never forget the absolute chaos caused by Bush taking the US into Iraq with trillions of $$s spent and more importantly thousands more of lives lost. Never forget that …. your friends in Canada have not.

  53. "It's been decades since any president has accomplished so much so quickly"

    These "accomplishments" were not what President Obama promised during his campaign, what the American public voted for or even, according to the polls, what they wanted.. His constituency now is among those who refuse to admit how wrong they were in electing a novice with a questionable background, and those who support him only for the colour of his skin.

    In fact he has been shown to be incompetent at economics (as should have been expected) has not learned from history, has a spotty background, and was the first to bring race into the past political campaign. The divisiveness he initiated continues today.

    If this man is re-elected there is little further hope for the welfare of the American people.

  54. “The turnaround of the economy was certainly instrumental in Reagan's recovery,” says Franklin. “In the current circumstance, it's a reminder that wherever Obama is today, things can turn around just as much as they did for Reagan.”

    No chance, this article forgets to mention that the economy turned around thanks to Reagan's policies. President Zero likes spending too much so an economic turnaround will only be a wet dream for the democrats.

  55. If there is any brains left in America… and they are lucky enough that he even runs again… Ron Paul will be in the white House in 2012. Sadly… I don't believe either to be true.

  56. “This month, President Barack Obama signed into law a financial reform bill aimed at preventing another financial crisis. It cost him financial backers on Wall Street, but gave consumers new protections and government more regulatory oversight powers.” And the article forget to mention denies Americans and the press freedom to access to information on what the regulators are up to.
    “The financial reform bill came on the heels of the hard-fought health-care reform law, which for the first time provides insurance coverage for all Americans.” It also forces it citizens to purchase insurance against their will; by the looks of it a key pillar of the law that will be struck down by the courts.
    “That in turn followed the successful rescue of the U.S. automotive sector…” A bad idea for both Canada and the US. Fully and only beneficial to the Unions; not the private parts suppliers who were screwed over or the owners of the Car lots who lost their lots even though some were still profitable. Most common factor amongst them was that they were Republican supporters and/or never supported the Dems. (financially). An arms deal that is considered a joke in most circles at least in contrast to Iran.

  57. A Latina who is at best a “soft” racist, and an academic who is clueless. Really who cares about the Nobel peace prize it's a joke. To cool for the oil slick and the Coast Guard not following protocol makes a bad situation a disaster.
    You know what Frack it the mega incompetence of this article is turning my stomach I can't bother to go on. Horrible Job Luiza Ch. Savage

  58. One additional "minor" reason why so many of Obama's strongest supporters are disappointed: the hostility the president has taken towards the nation-state of the Jewish people, Israel; against its leaders, elected officials, and even against Israel's court system, considered one of the finest in the world.

    As of late Mr. Obama has initiated a Charm Offensive towards the Jewish community of the United States and that of Israel, but substantively, it has been obvious to all who observed him, the statements that he has made and the acts that he has take, along with his secretary of state, Ms. Clinton, it has been clear: the man has not changed.

    Thus, I suspect he is not going to get the nearly 80% voting support that he received in 2008, nor will the big donations coming from the Jewish community and the amount of work and good will generated among the Jews in America will be forthcoming.

    Obama, as it presently stands, is going to be a one-term president.

  59. The entire world is experiencing some form of economic crisis so it is not something that is happening in isolation in the US. Most people know it all started under during the Bush administration and then it escalated. Tax cuts, war expenses and an economic downturn have led to the deficit and obliterated the surplus that Clinton had amassed. Also, Obama promised to do much in his term. The term is 4 years long, not 18 months. Then add the party of NO to everything and you have a stalemate. The US needs to change the way it operates as a country and how it treats its citizens. His focus on education is most importanr because there seems to be a vast number of citizens who do not seem to possess common sense. It must be difficult to run a country with such a divergent population. I believe that as a rule Americanms are grossly misinformed and uninformed and seem to have lost all sense of values as to what is real. If they believe the Tea party mantras and the Barbie from Alaska, then I fear for the future. Frankly, they do NOT deserve a president such as Obama.

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