I was popular, but it was transitional

I was amused during the run-up to Obama's inauguration and shortly thereafter when his approval ratings were sky-high. Considering he won something like 53% of the popular vote, who were the other 30% of Americans that suddenly approved of the job he was doing? What, in particular, did they approve of? Picking Hillary Clinton for State? Being able to string words together? Wanting to buy a dog? What?

This obviously couldn't last. Part of it is, in my perpetually humble opinion, because some people had ludicrous expectations that the recession would magically disappear as soon as Obama took office, and that Republican and Democrat alike would all sit around in a circle talking about how great he is for the near futue. This obviously hasn't happened, and was never going to happen. Obama has presented a stimulus bill, and has gone to extraordinary lengths to build bipartisan support for it. It didn't take long for the GOP to show how interested they were in playing along, and people who expected the mellifluous tones of Obama's voice to somehow charm passage of a massive spending bill are now forced to recognize that he can only do so much.

Part of it is also because, frankly, there are a lot of jerks out there. It does the country no favors to undermine its brand new president, but Limbaugh has a lot of listeners and his own self-interest to consider. As my one-time band teacher once said, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest his armpits.

And finally, of course, some of it was Obama's own fault. He is responsible for the screw-ups of his team's vetting process. Blessedly, we now have a president that can admit he was wrong. It doesn't make it all better, but it does take the sting away.

In a nutshell, I agree with Megan. Governing is hard, particularly when dealing with something as complex and massive as the US economy. I think Obama is doing the best he can, and hope that he continues to do so. But let's give the man a little time to get things started.


  1. It does the country no favors to undermine its brand new president

    Isn't dissent the highest form of patriotism? And how does it do the country favors to go along with ideas that you honestly believe are fundamentally wrong? Far better to stand your ground and argue your case.

    In unrelated news, the polling numbers of the stimulus bill continue to fall like a paralyzed falcon. We now return to your regular programming.

  2. Well, John, there's dissent, and then there's refusal to compromise. I really, really have a hard time believing that 100% of the GOP in the House opposed the bill on its merits.

    And openly hoping that the new president is a failure is a pretty funky way of expressing one's "dissent." (You do know that the reference you're quoting is to Limbaugh, right?) I was willing to give W. the benefit of the doubt for a while, which is not what that flaming reactionary gasbag is doing.

  3. I don't believe 100% of the GOP opposes the bill on merits. I'm not a Republican, and I think the Repubs are making a hash of their opposition. But at least they are trying.

    I also don't believe 100% of the Dems support the bill on merits. I'm not a Democrat, and I think the Dems are making a hash out of the stimulus. I mean, ACORN? Condoms raining from the sky?

    There is a lot of stimulus I could get behind, but it isn't going to happen. I do plan to hold the people responsible for the bill to account for the failures, and I'll give credit for success. That's all I can do.