He won re-election under a year ago. His Gallup approval is at 41%, down from a high of 58% in December. Keep that momentum up and he will be at 24% next August. That will help in the midterms. His fabled likeability is fading under the press of his almost casual cruelty towards the people he was elected to serve, and his contempt for his audiences when he tells whoppers is at new levels.
Mark Steyn brilliantly limns the president’s strategy for the shutdown and debt limit battles:
I would like to have been privy to the high-level discussions at which the government took the decision to install its Barrycades on open parkland. For anyone with a modicum of self-respect, it’s difficult to imagine how even the twerpiest of twerp bureaucrats would consent to stand at a crowd barrier and tell a group of elderly soldiers who’ve flown in from across the country that they’re forbidden to walk across a piece of grass and pay their respects. Yet, if any National Parks Service employee retained enough sense of his own humanity to balk at these instructions or other spiteful, petty closures of semiwilderness fishing holes and the like, we’ve yet to hear about it.
The World War II Memorial exists thanks to some $200 million in private donations – plus $15 million or so from Washington: In other words, the feds paid for the grass. But the thug usurpers of the bureaucracy want to send a message: In today’s America, everything is the gift of the government, and exists only at the government’s pleasure, whether it’s your health insurance, your religious liberty, or the monument to your fallen comrades. The Barrycades are such a perfect embodiment of what James Piereson calls “punitive liberalism” they should be tied round Obama’s neck forever, in the way that “ketchup is a vegetable” got hung around Reagan-era Republicans. Alas, the court eunuchs of the Obama media cannot rouse themselves even on behalf of the nation’s elderly warriors.
The GOP has passed bills to fund veterans services, the NIH, the parks and WIC and many other things. The president orders Harry Reid to keep up the blockade. It isn’t the GOP who lacks an endgame, it is the president. Perhaps he actually believes the really dumb analysis that the shutdown is diverting attention from the utter collapse of the Obamacare exchanges and the sticker shock rolling out across the land as people get their premium hikes, all courtesy of President Obama and Obamacare. Every health insurance bill should have a small addition at the bottom of it “Brought o you by President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi,” because like Captain Picard they really did “make it so.”
So with anger growing at the casualty and wholly unnecessary cruelty of the government towards the people who fund it, the people inside the Manhattan-Beltway media elite bubble tell each other the GOP is getting killed. Hmmm. I don’t think so. I think the utter inanity of the Big Three are combining into a politically lethal display of contempt for voters, the sort of contempt that drives enormous turnout and activism, and which won’t even blink if Jack Lew climbs on top of the Lincoln Memorial and screams “default is coming, default is coming” as the non-furloughed combined bands of the Armed Services strike up doom music beneath him.
The congressman began with an anecdote from the Civil War. “I would liken this a little bit to Gettysburg, where a Confederate unit went looking for shoes and stumbled into Union cavalry, and all of a sudden found itself embroiled in battle on a battlefield it didn’t intend to be on, and everybody just kept feeding troops into it,” the congressman said. “That’s basically what’s happening now in a political sense. This isn’t exactly the fight I think Republicans wanted to have, certainly that the leadership wanted to have, but it’s the fight that’s here.”
The analogy is flawed, since the collision at Gettysburg was only unintended as to exact timing. Lee intended to get behind D.C. and force a battle. It didn’t occur on ground favorable to him because of the heroism of Brig. Gen. John Buford and his dismounted cavalrymen who saw what was happening long before anyone else from the Union side and seized and held the high ground under intense fire for many hours until help arrived. (Draw your own analogies, but Ted Cruz saw it coming and took the floor first and framed the debate very well indeed.) Now the GOP is looking for a Chamberlain, and President Obama –very unwisely– is fighting on ground not favorable to him since the pictures of the old heroes being turned away from their memorials and of the House bills piling up on Harry Reid’s desk while the most inarticulate man in D.C. struggles to explain his indifference to children with cancer. The fight has been coming for a long time
–since the people voted for divided government in fact last year– and Cruz picked the best ground.
David Axelrod isn’t running this show. The B Team is gone as well. The president and Valerie Jarrett, aided perhaps by his crackerjack Syrian team, are calling all the shots. Want to run with the Gettysburg analogy some more? Lee’s cavalry under Jeb Stuart deserted him, so the commander of the Army of Virginia was blind to the implications of what he was doing. Nate Silver left the New York Times, and even if he is still messaging the bunker at 1600, he isn’t able to tell the troops via the Times what they should be saying and thinking.
So we are headed towards a “default,” whatever that means, and the big “O” is going to be all over it as he won’t negotiate. Even the “hostage rhetoric” is failing the president, for reasons on display here
. No real hostage situation sees the negotiators sending back in released captives, but the president and Harry Reid won’t take the offers to set free the parks, NIH, veterans, FDA etc.
Another week of this and the president will be below 40%, and while the GOP will suffer as well, so to will endangered Senate Democrats in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina not to mention open seats in Iowa, Michigan, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia. Contempt for the intelligence –and the freedoms– of voters is never a winning strategy, especially when combined with a massive public fail of promised technology and the steam roller of insurance rate shock.
I will be discussing all this with Texas Governor Rick Perry and and cast of radio colleagues including Michael Medved and Dennis Prager this afternoon in Pomona
before heading off to appear on the premier of Sean Hannity’s new show Monday night at 10 PM Eastern along with a cast of thousands. I expect the Green Room will be full of disparate opinions, but I am firmly in the camp of Cruz-as-Buford, and hope Paul Ryan and or Marco Rubio emerge in the Chamberlain tradition of charging when people think you have lost. The people who think the GOP is losing this are inside a very thick bubble, and most don’t pay full freight for their health insurance or have to deal with websites run by the government, and especially didn’t drive dad to see Mount Rushmore, or the Iwo Jima Memorial, or fly him to Normandy to salute his old friends one more time.
One programming note
: My particular friend, as Aubrey would say of Maturin, the estimable Guy P. Benson, will be filling in for Monday
as I enjoy the Hannity Green Room and the premier. Guy’s playing hurt, wounded by his beloved Northwestern Wildcats’ loss to the mighty Buckeyes, clearly the best team in the land, assisted by the Best Damn Band In The Land. So go easy on him. He bleeds purple, and he’s bleeding a lot.