The contention was advanced in this space that the fundamental disconnect between the President’s general approval ratings and issue by issue approval was a structural weakness that could easily drop the President from 53% approval to 46%. Some readers took me to task; that is now exactly what has happened according to Gallup, 46%. According to Reuters/Ipsos the President’s approval rating is 43%, down 14% in less than a month. (% decline, not points)
Congress offered the President discretion to apply common sense to the Sequester cuts that are nothing more than a reduction in the growth of spending. The President rejected the offer. The Sequester is not cutting spending, just the rate of growth of that spending; for the President it is too much to bear, despite being his idea. The President rejected a Congressional offer to grant him latitude to soften the Sequester; he immediately said he would veto such a bill. The President, by extension, has also rejected his responsibility to govern effectively on behalf of the American people. Internal Administration memoranda makes it clear to Federal departments that they are not to ‘contradict’ the President’s warnings of dire consequence over a pittance in cuts. Create pain!
The President is clearly intent on punishing you to prove he’s right, including his most fundamental responsibility as President; national security. It’s beginning to dawn on folks that governance, common sense and the predilection to do the right thing has taken a back seat to goal of demolishing political opposition. I believe a significant majority of Americans will continue to reject this idea, proving that average citizens maintain the ability to apply common sense even if the President does not.
While not a Presidential historian, nothing comes to mind in terms of a President proactively setting out to cause unnecessary pain for the singular purpose of proving he was right. After all, he, his administration and supporters spent a month crying, ‘Wolf, Wolf’! Much of what they said has been disproven. Americans are asking themselves if they have ever witnessed a more significant example of political narcissism in the White House?
Whatever the point of negotiation may, be the President’s position is always the same; more taxes; taxes on guns, taxes on ammunition, taxes on carbon, taxes on business, taxes on the successful, always more, always the same approach. The simple fact that 10% of Americans pay 80% of federal income taxes has no bearing on the President’s thinking; more, more, more. Proposals for grand bargain reforms are rejected out of hand.
The economy still demonstrates the weakest post recession recovery since FDR. Trillion dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see. The President’s Foreign policy has created a multiplicity of crises waiting to happen, many funded with American dollars.
There appears to be no possibility that effective governance or concern for his citizens will overwhelm the President’s political goals.