The Downside of Being Held Accountable

During the general election last year, I distinctly remember listening to Sen. Barack Obama stare straight at a starry-eyed reporter and declare that his ability to manage a campaign, considering its considerable budget, showed that he was qualified to sit as chief executive of the United States of America.

I remember thinking to myself, at the time, this guy has no clue. Even if it had been a Republican presidential candidate who said that, who literally insisted that running for president somehow qualified him to actually be president, I’d still think him insane.

It was like those books you buy at the pharmacy when you’re desperate for a last-minute gift, like Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned From My Cat, only this time it was Everything I Need to Know About the Presidency I Learned From My Campaign.

Yet, at a meeting of supporters from “Organizing For America,” the new incarnation of his “Obama For America” group, the president defended the sharp decline in his popularity . . . by comparing it to the rollercoaster-like ups and downs of his presidential campaign. From a report by Agence France-Presse:

Obama, who has watched his poll ratings dip sharply over recent months, drew comparisons to his 2008 presidential campaign, which was several times all but written off by media experts who set prevailing political wisdom.

“We have been through this before, in Iowa,” Obama said, referring to the first state to hold a 2008 Democratic nominating contest, which saw him capture a come-from-behind win.

“All Washington said ‘Oh, it’s over,’ hand-wringing angst …”

Then Obama drew parallels to the media frenzy that greeted the nomination of firebrand Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in 2008.

“The media was obsessed with it, cable was 24 hours a day,” Obama told a friendly audience of grass-roots Democratic activists at a Washington forum broadcast live over the web.

“‘Obama’s lost his mojo,’ you remember all that?

“There is something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee weed up!”

I find it astonishing that the president is either so arrogant or so ignorant as to miss the single-greatest distinction between a drop in poll numbers during a campaign and a drop in poll numbers during a presidency — if I may rephrase and take a little creative license with a remark made by Sarah Palin during her acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention at this time last year:

I guess being the president of the United States is sort of like being a presidential candidate, except that you have actual responsibilities.

President Barack Obama simply does not understand that the change in his approval rating, currently sinking like a doomed Russian submarine, arises from his actual job performance, from what he is and is not doing, rather than from a creative television spot aired by a rival candidate, or a good or bad final segment of a recent debate. He’s in the big leagues now, Barack Obama is, and the ebb and flow of his popularity will be a reflection of how the American people feel he is performing as president, not whether or not they’d like to see him win an election. And, right now, a growing number of Americans aren’t too thrilled. After all, what has he done right?

He still hasn’t managed to assuage the environmental socialists on the far left by passing cap-and-trade, despite having a bulletproof majority in the House and Senate. His plans for health care reform, discovered and disliked by an awakening American people, have been stymied by informed outcry among everyday concerned Americans, to the point that the Democrats are looking to pass it in reconciliation out of fears that they cannot unify their own party. And the so-called “stimulus” package has even proven to be a failure. In the six months since its passage on February 17, 2009:

  • 2.8 million jobs have been lost.
  • The unemployment rate has risen from 7.6 percent to 9.4 percent, despite promises from the administration that it wouldn’t top the magic number of eight.
  • The number of Americans considered “long-term unemployed” (jobless for a span of 27 weeks or more) has nearly doubled, from 2.6 million to five million.
  • On May 13, Vice President Joe Biden released a report detailing the effect of the American Recovery and Reinvestment act during its first 100 days, claiming that the bill had “saved or created” 150,000 jobs, and that “an additional 600,000 jobs are expected to be created or saved under the Recovery Act in the next 100 days” for a total of 750,000 jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner, however, told Congress beforehand that it was “very difficult for anyone to substantiate” any such assertions from the White House – especially after Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner recently said that unemployment would likely not come down until late in 2010 and that the economy has shed 2.8 million jobs since February.
  • A total of 15 states now have unemployment rates higher than 10 percent, including Alabama (10.1 percent), California (11.6 percent), Georgia (10.1 percent), Illinois (10.3 percent), Florida (10.6 percent), Indiana (10.7 percent), Kentucky (10.9 percent), Michigan (15.2 percent), Nevada (12 percent), North Carolina (11 percent), Ohio (11.1 percent), Oregon (12.2 percent), Rhode Island (12.4 percent), South Carolina (12.1 percent), and Tennessee (10.8 percent).
  • A $255 million Recovery Act program intended to help struggling small businesses by providing them with 10,000 loans of up to $35,000 each, using stimulus money, has only dispersed 1,127 loans for a total of $36.8 million, according to a report by the New York Times.
  • Spending of the $787 billion has “slowed to a trickle,” according to a report last week in the Washington Times, “despite President Obama’s June order to his Cabinet to speed it up. The average stimulus spending per week has dropped severely, to just $4.2 billion over the past month from $9.7 billion during the prior four months.”
  • The areas that could use funds from the Recovery Act most are still clamoring for them. In fact, a report by ProPublica discovered “no relationship between where the money is going and unemployment and poverty,” and that spending of the money “is uneven and sometimes runs contrary to measures of need.”
  • “Tens of thousands of unsafe or decaying bridges carrying 100 million drivers a day must wait for repairs because states are spending stimulus money on spans that are already in good shape or on easier projects like repaving roads,” according to an Associated Press piece.
  • $869 billion in new debt has been added by the Democrats in Congress, on top of the $787 billion stimulus package, by Congress.

So far, the only shining stars of his presidency has been his historic inauguration, and Cash for Clunkers, the latter a shining star only because the media hasn’t done its job and explored the undesirable consequences of the program, chief among them the backlash among auto dealers stuck bearing the burden of unreimbursed out-of-pocket costs, the effect upon the auto industry in the future (the CEO of Edmunds.com predicts that auto prices will rise and sales will dry up as part of the “hangover”), and the sudden realization among a number of Americans that they cannot afford to take on a car payment where there previously was none.

Not to mention the effect that showing the administrative failure of such a high profile government program should have on the American people’s confidence in the government’s ability to operate our health care system. Obama already on several occasions made the boneheaded argument that government-run health care would be inefficiency- and problem-scarred U.S. Postal Service in a shipping industry which includes successful private enterprises like FedEx and U.P.S. — how well will public opinion of the government’s ability to handle health care fare as the horror stories of the bureaucracy of the simple $3 billion program come in from stiffed auto dealers, government workers overwhelmed with paperwork, and bankrupt American people overwhelmed with auto loans they cannot afford? Or, will Obama’s federal government simply bail them out as well?

Barack Obama is hemorrhaging popularity, with Zogby reporting his approval rating at just 45 percent, down from nearly 65 percent at his inauguration. When such dips happen during a campaign, there’s usually a reason for it — perhaps the candidate floated a racist slur from his lips, or was caught knocking up a campaign staffer while his wife fought cancer at home. When numbers plummet during a presidency, however, it’s because the American people simply do not like the job being done by the president.

Or, maybe I’m just all “wee weed up.”

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Comments

  1. T.I.M. says:

    We may be seeing the results of a man "acquitted" in the election by the equivalent of the O.J. Jury — a verdict based more on charisma than hard evidence. The problem is with the results of this verdict, the entire country has to live with his convictions, and we all may need to serve out his terms.

  2. THE WHOLE TRUTH says:

    Standing applause for Jeff!!!!

    Damn, I wish I could write like you.

  3. Rix says:

    Good article, Jeff – if only you could stop drooling over the approval numbers! Inexperienced and even stupid the Usurper might be, but he has seasoned advisors and skilled speechwriters. If they thought that rating will matter in 2012, do you believe for a moment that they'd let him dive that quickly?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Isn't wee wee a term of endearment in a limo?

  5. Gail B says:

    Rix, when the progressives (old name for Communists now back in use for the same thing) become worried about Obama/Soetoro's approval ratings, they DO have something to worry about. Generally, what they do is send someone out of the country (the individual Clintons, Joe Biden, or NM Gov Bill Richardson as a distraction, while the homeboys regroup and put ACORN and SEIU to work and Obama/Soetoro back on TV to re-hypnotize his camp.

    Jeff, I thought I was just stressed out because of this attempt by progressives to take the government over, but I guess I am just "wee weed up," too! (Is that the same as being "pissed?" (I hate that word!)

  6. REPOST IN CORRECT STORY says:

    Held accountable???? somebody with a Kenyan daddy and a hidden birth certificate, held accountable. ROTFLMAO….. not even held accountable to the three simple 'rules' of the game in the Constitution to get the job….. he has never, and will never know what it means to be held accountable.

  7. veerite says:

    Great post! I hope his numbers keep plummeting. We have to get him out in 2012. Even more importantly take back Congress in 2010.

  8. Dee says:

    I think there was too much "weed" and he got "wee weed upped". I agree with Gail that I am wee weed upped and not just pissed. BO has delegated so much to Nancy and others and in order to remain popular among all and has failed to contribute any thoughts on anything that he appears to be a "lame duck". He wants to be loved by all and therefore cannot have an original thought, except when TOTUS is off. Then he shows his true colors. He goes on vacation each time that something critical is being discussed and voted on. I hope we survive until 2012. What Rix says is also true. BO maybe floundering in popularity now but wait until 2012 and see how his team will boost him.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Not even Michelle is held accountable for wearing those nasty looking shorts deplaning Air Force One. What a sad sight.

  10. ACCOUNTABLE REPRESENTATION says:

    veerite,

    Clean House 2010
    435 NEW congressmen

    Send a GIANT message. These are not career positions! Plus, I'd love to see how they squirm with ZERO seniority in the entire body. Probably have to toss coins to assign chairmanships! LOVE IT.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I say leave Michelle alone. She's keeping quiet for the most part. If she's smart she'll remain that way. I don't like her fashion either but who cares. Leave her alone and her kids. Attack the president's policies, beliefs, programs, etc. for the insanity that it is. He put himself there. Let him take the punches that he so richly deserves.
    andrewp

  12. WOODY says:

    Medical question:
    How can someone who is hemorrhaging so badly, at the same time have such a priapism for himself?

    Must be all that LIagra he is on.

  13. Linda says:

    "I find it astonishing that the president is either so arrogant or so ignorant as to miss the single-greatest distinction between a drop in poll numbers during a campaign and a drop in poll numbers during a presidency . . ."

    It's ARROGANCE, my friend.

  14. Gail B says:

    Weeeeelllll, ALL CAPS MAN–
    Obama/Soetoro has been criminally charged, and a 181-page petition, complete with proof of treason as exhibits, has been filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., for a FEDERAL Grand Jury Investigation. Chief Justice Royce Lamberth seems to be FOR such a legal exposure of this mess. He all but wrote Orly Taitz a handbook on how to get through the red tape, and the petition for a Grand Jury investigation began with our guy from STOCKBRIDGE, GEORGIA!

    Groups have been going to D.C. to serve Congressmen, officials, the Pentagon, the FBI, the DNC, etc., with Citizen Grand Jury indictments from numerous states, so the "news is out all over town" that the train is coming even as Obama/Soetoro sits on the track.

    All those progressive Democrats (in particular)will be sorry when they have to actually answer to somebody over all this.

    I missed the shorts and getting off the plane. (Spare me–the arms were already "too much information!")

  15. JURY DOODY says:

    Gail,
    Now to find a jury that will get all wee-weed up over all this fraud, deceit and contempt for our Constitution.

  16. DO AMERICA JUSTICE says:

    http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/lamberth-bio.html

    bio: Chief Justice Royce Lamberth

  17. Rix says:

    Gail:

    To say honestly, I am scared of the whole Citizen Grand Jury affair. Since it sounds rather out of character for me, I'll explain. Imagine for a sweet moment that the process succeeds beyond your wildest dreams and the Usurper is deposed and thrown behind bars, accompanied by select members of his gang. The support he enjoys among certain population sectors, however, will not instantly evaporate. He will remain a hero for urban trash, Negros, unions, hippies and university crowd, regardless of what the indictment will say. In the worst case scenario, nearly half of the population will go into civil disobedience mode, and considering the general disregard for the law many of the abovementioned sectors have now, violence might not be limited to urban riots. Even the peaceful scenario, however, almost guarantees a national paralysis. When (if?) a Republican President is elected, his every move will be "greeted" with thousands of indictments similar to the one you posted. The whole network of federal courts will turn into a grand pissing contests between partisan lawyers and grassroots (or astroturf) groups – and since the Democrats hold a significant majority in ABA and have very few scruples when it comes to funding, the Republicans are likely to lose that contest.

    Please think of it before cheering. As we al (except the Congress) know, even feel-good actions often have unexpected consequences.

  18. Gail B says:

    Rix-
    I may be wrong, but I believe the Citizen Grand Juries were to "get something started" in the interest of putting EVERYBODY on notice that the eligibility issue has not died, for one, and to emphasize that there are other issues involved.

    The FEDERAL Grand Juries are U.S. Court appointed, something that prosecutors have no control over.

    If the Court's Grand Jury says CHARGE AND PROSECUTE, then they charge and prosecute. Rest assured that attorneys will jump into the litigation for the publicity, if nothing else. Obama/Soetoro will have to dig deeper into his campaign piggy bank for his legal defense.

    Let's put it this way: Obama/Soetoro has a lot of explaining to do! And, there's no way he can win because he has a British subject for a father, which made him a British subject until he was adopted by an Indonesian. If he's been nationalized as a U.S. citizen, he JUST AIN'T ALL THAT NATURAL-BORN!

    Obama/Soetoro's mother did not meet residency requirements in Hawaii to pass her citizenship to her son. Sorry, but we have an illegal alien in the White House.

  19. FT SUMTER says:

    Rix,

    I see your point, BUT, when we surrender our beloved Constitution, what is left anyway? I am with Patrick Henry on this one.

  20. Rix says:

    Gail & ALL-CAPS:

    I do not question the validity of the charges, just warn of possibly unexpected consequences of a victory, no matter how unlikely the latter is. Forewarned, you know, is forearmed.

  21. Gail B says:

    Rix-

    Thanks, friend.

    I'm not afraid to die, even if I have to do so noisily. I'm also not afraid to live unless it is under a government that Obama/Soetoro has up his sleeve.

    The whole world is looking at this situation, to see how we make out on getting him removed.

  22. Claudia says:

    Rix,
    Whatever happens because of Obama/Soetoro negating every written word in the Constitution is on his head, and the heads of those that got behind him and abetted him along the way. IF this country goes up in smoke because of what he did and continues to do, now and until the time he is taken out of the Presidency, then history will record it for what we are trying to regain and keep from losing. I believe that we will WIN in this case, because there are way too many of us that really love to have our FREEDOM that is guaranteed to us through that Constitution to stand around and burn every vestiage of it and the businesses and capitalism that has made this Country a standout since the day it was granted Freedom from the yoke of England.

    Those that don't love this country CAN DAM* WELL LEAVE (hopefully, quickly) if they don't like the standard of life in a free Country, and go make some other tettering economy into that 3rd world country that they so want to be of the ruling class, in…. and I am sure that there are many in this Proud America that will gladly put them on the boats and planes to get rid of them as fast as possible.

    Yes, there will be civil chaos for a while, and it will take a long in time to get everything righted and turned around and brought back to the reality of the actual Constitution and viable laws of the Nation, but it can and MUST be done. The best thing that I can recommend for the poeple that are putting everything on the line, as I am, is that we have enough stocked up to see us through and otherwise take care of business as needed and make sure that we stay out of the squalor as much as possible. When the reality of everything sinks in and we get our nation back on an even keel, and those that want to be here for the good and prosperity of the country, wake up and realize what we are fighting for, those that love Freedom, LIBERTY and the Pursuit of Happiness will stay here and live happily. Those that don't like and love those things, WILL BE GONE…….

    I do believe that it will take about a year of so-called rioting and uprisings that will have to be quelled, and them many of htose that thought they had a messiah in our midst will realize that he was nothing but a fake in glittering cloth, with nothing underneath the cloth but putrification. Sooner or later, those that love the fake glittering cloth will go away and find some other place to tear apart…. or they will continue to try to rear it ugly head here, but it will be put down rahter quickly, by that time. Every once in a while, the blood must water the tree….

  23. HINDENBURG says:

    This is the week Glenn Beck illuminates this administration, its roots and its destination. HOLD ON everybody, and be sure to listen!

  24. Still a Patriot says:

    I say AMEN, Claudia!

    The Enumerated Powers Act, HR 450 & S 1319 is gaining sponsors in Congress. This bill would require Congress to identify the Constitutional Authority for each law it passes. We need to urge our Senators & Representatives to support this legislation.

    Susan

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