Sunday, June 21, 2009

Diminishing political capital? 

It's Rasmussen, so it has to be taken with a reasonably sized grain of salt, but the "Strongly Approve" figure of 32% in the Daily Presidential Tracking poll is now -2 versus the "Strongly Disapprove" figure of 34%, the first time that poll has been negative in that metric.

Rasmussen states:
"Overall, 53% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance so far. Forty-six percent (46%) disapprove."
which is pretty close to the election results, so to the extent this means anything at all, perhaps we are back at square one, and the honeymoon is pretty much over.

The figures for the same strongly approve / strongly disapprove poll taken among members of the MSM, ex-Fox, still remains in the 95%+ range. OK, I made that up.

CWCID: Hot Air headlines


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jun 21, 08:05:00 PM:

From Link,

The recent small move isn't as meaningful as the bigger move in the first two months after inauguration when "strongly disapprove" doubled, as many of us woke up to "the reality of Obama." There hasn't been much change in "strongly disapprove" since then, nor in "strongly approve." They're each about 1/3 ... which only leaves 1/3 in the middle. Most of us love him or hate him. I'd expect there's a high correlation between "strongly approve" / "strongly disapprove" and Democrat / Republican party affiliation, with independents largely in the middle.

I'd like to approve of the guy, but woke up to "the reality of Obama" back in June. Since inauguration day he's only confirmed my worst fears. We will have a domestic financial train wreck, I just can't say when.

We may see this 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 split continue for some time. It'll be hard for Democrats to turn on Obama, as their belief in him is cult-like. That goes for most in MSM as well.
Republicans don't figure in this ... they're just a lot of white noise. Independents hate the Republican party right now -- I wouldn't count on them pulling the Republican lever in 2010 unless the Obama train wreck happens by then.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Jun 21, 10:00:00 PM:

"I wouldn't count on them pulling the Republican lever in 2010 unless the Obama train wreck happens by then."

I have complete confidence in our President to continue to overstep his mandate in a manner that the average voter will be compelled to rein him in regardless of who runs against the Dems.

The Democrats realize this with increasing concern. There is grumbling in the ranks over health care, global warming and the auto debaucle.

I also have confidence that the Republicans will fail to seize the moment and regain control...as they always do.

The best we can hope for is an obliteration of the filibuster-proof majority and an increase in power of blue dog Dems who will form coalitions with conservative Republicans.

The ultimate result will be to place a soothing layer of crazy goue on Obama's agenda.

That will suit me.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jun 21, 10:43:00 PM:

It may have been just one more odd comment, I suppose, but why did you say Rasmussen requires a "huge grain of salt"? Nate Silver, a dedicated Democrat certainly but also someone seeking unbiased polling, consistently rates Rasmussen in his top three polling organizations. That's been true through two national cycles.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jun 21, 11:35:00 PM:

Link's response to JPMcT:

Many of Obama's trains have already left the station -- on their way to their inevitable train wrecks.

These include stimulus and near-term budgets -- Obama's spending commitments affect outer years as well -- we're on course to two years of record deficits to be followed by years of baked-in $600 billion to $1 trillion annual deficits. Obama already has his GM-Chrysler-GMAC zaibatsu. Don't forget -- Obama controls the mortgage industry through Fannie and Freddie. All of these companies will likely continue to hemorrhage cash.

If Obama did nothing more, that would be quite enough ... but we're poised to take a great leap forward on healthcare and energy as well. Obama's likely to see both these trains leave the station in the next few months on some basis.

It'll be very hard to stop these trains in 2010 or even 2012, once they've left the station in 2009. How do the Republicans stop these trains ... they can't.

I don't have a crystal ball, but I see one of three likely scenarios between now and the 2010 elections:

1) The economy goes through a weak recovery and gets a sugar rush boost from stimulus in 2010. The train wrecks don't happen right away.

2) Some of the train wrecks happen. Those of us who write the checks, get panicky.

3) Bad stagflation. We all get panicky. I expect that we'll have bad stagflation, I just can't say whether it will hit before the 2010 elections.

We have a slow-eating cancer, but the cancer may give us a stroke even sooner.

The Republicans have a challenge in 2010. They can only pick up House seats by making a comeback in places like the Northeast. Right now, there are no Republicans in the House from New England, and only three from New York. Republicans may be worse off in the Senate. With five Republicans already retiring, the map favors the Democrats. If you held these elections today, the Democrats would likely pick up as many as five Senate seats.

The Republicans are no longer an effective national party -- they're just white noise. They're not likely to fix this on their own by 2010. They need Obama to fail in a big way, to get back in the game. Scenario 2 might help, but they really need Scenario 3. Even then, the Republican brand may not sell.

But guess what? Even if the Republicans win back influence in Congress in 2010 they won't be able to stop the train wrecks from happening.

Link, over  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Mon Jun 22, 07:12:00 AM:

"Even if the Republicans win back influence in Congress in 2010 they won't be able to stop the train wrecks from happening"

I sense pessimism and inevitability (lol). Having lived thru Jimmy Carter's attack on the economy and then watching Reagan scoop up the ashes makes me a bit more optimistic. Of course, the Republicans have no Reagan...but they have competent men like Romney and the electorate is a bit less inclined to allow the press to eviscerate the Republican candidate.

Much of the stimulus spending is not due to go out the door before 2010. At least some of the business reorganization pushed thru by Obama violates bankruptcy laws and is at least challangeable.

Faint hope indeed. You are correct that the die may be cast. Obama's successor, if there is one, will clearly have an enormous mess to clean up.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 22, 08:51:00 AM:

The Stimulus bill was an early confirmation of my worst fears about Obama. Surprisingly little of it gets spent in 2009, when it would be of some help even if pissed away.

Ironically, the health care bill is the thing that may give us a stroke earlier. By itself it's big, but on top of every thing else it may be a killer.

What I hear is that we can either insure a third of the uninsured for $1 trillion over ten years, or 2/3rds of the uninsured for $1.5 trillion over ten years. I don't understand where the costs savings are coming from -- did I sleep through that part. Obama will say "we didn't raise taxes, we just cut some people's deductions," but we may see his first public acknowledgement that it will be more than the top 5% who will be footing his bills.

I don't know from healthcare but I thought an Obama would come up with something more thoughtful and radical. Most of our healthcare money gets spent on a small number of chronic illnesses and on the last few months of life of the terminally ill. We have a looming shortage of doctors, but no plans to address that by shortening the time it takes to create a GP, or to promote highly trained non-MD specialists like midwives. There's no mention of tort reform. Nothing on the table right now addresses any of this, or did I miss it.

Patient variability is a huge issue in treating chronic illness, but doesn't fit well with mandated one-size-fits-all regimens. More broadly, providers are already forced to work within the payment structure mandated by government -- you learn to game the system to make a buck -- patient outcomes hardly figure. Medicare purposefully underpays -- thus it makes private patients pay more ... a big hidden tax. More dumb government involvement will only worsen our condition.

Link, over  

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