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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

From One Losing Debate to Another

The president is in big trouble. He continues to approach a moment of truth. He had better get control of his presidency or he might see it spin out of control and not recover. The month of August couldn't have gone any worse. Town hall protesters picked apart the bill and citizens made vocal display of their dissatisfaction with the bill. The administration picked a fight with Sarah Palin and suddenly the president was trying to convince the public his bill "won't kill grand ma". He was telling everyone the public option would merely add competition. At the same time, Barney Frank and Anthony Weiner were telling people it would lead to single payer. The administration floated the idea that the bill might not include the public option and liberals immediately said 100 house votes would be lost without it. Then, Senator Conrad proclaimed it won't pass in the Senate if the public option is in the bill. His own popularity as well as the popularity of the bill itself cratered.

The latest Zogby and Rasmussen polls have Obama at his worst approval in the history of his presidency. Zogby is at 42% and Rasmussen is at 45%. Senator Lieberman suggested that Congress pass an incremental bill. Meanwhile, Senators aren't all that clear as to when they want to pass health care reform. Finally, the president, for reasons unknown, picked a fight with cops by injecting himself into the incident in Cambridge. It's safe to say that his presidency is going through serious turmoil.

So, what does President Obama do? Apparently, he's tired of the health care debate and he's opening up a new debate on proper interrogation techniques. Last week, his AG decided to name a special prosecutor to investigate "rogue CIA agents" that acted outside of the parameters their superiors set up. It's important to note that career prosecutors already looked at each and everyone of these cases and made their decisions about four years ago. By doing so, the debate suddenly shifted to one about proper GWOT policy.

Now, if the president thinks that this debate is one he will win, he's in for a rude awakening. The country is not very sympathetic to the "rights of terrorists". They aren't all that concerned that Khalid Sheikh Muhammad was made to believe he might drown in order to get him to talk. When given a choice between civil rights for terrorists and security, most people choose security.

Furthermore, only the looney left actually thinks its a good idea to prosecute CIA, or anyone, for the policies enacted by the Bush administration. I don't know the dynamics involved in securing the interview, but it appears that the decision by the AG gave Dick Cheney the room necessary to show up on FNS this past Sunday. He excoriated the administration and questioned their ability to protect the nation.

Yesterday, Robert Gibbs, White House Press Secretary, shot back. He basically said that Cheney is wrong and Cheney has no credibility on the issue.

As such, the debate has officially shifted. Now, the country is going to be debating GWOT policy. If President Obama thinks that this debate will be any more joyous for him, he has another thing coming. The president has a remarkable knack for taking a policy that has enjoyed long term Democratic appeal and made it a Republican issue. That's what he did with healthcare. That's a traditionally Democratic issue, but after his disastrous handling of health care reform, it's now a Republican issue. National security, on the other hand, is traditionally a Republican issue. Trying to convince the country that giving terrorists civil rights is a good idea is a disastrous political strategy.

The president appears determined to engage the country in a series of debates in which the majority disagree with his perspective. I suppose he will want to debate the merits of amnesty for illegals next. After that, he may want to engage in the merits of the fairness doctrine. After that, he should take up the issue of gay marriage. So far, the president's governing skills are nothing short of laughable. It now appears his political instincts are about as good as his governing skills.


Anonymous said...


2nd para from the bottom, you wrote, "That's a traditionally Republican issue..." Did you not mean "Democrat issue"?

Anonymous said...

You're not very smart, are you?

Anonymous said...

This blog post reminded me of this video clip. Imagine yourself, Mike, as Fry, and the brain is your teaparty brethren.

mike volpe said...

That's all very cute. Mock me, the tea parties...I notice that no one has challenged anything here. The numbers are what they are. Zogby and Rasmussen are a matter of public record. The president's popularity is cratering. The people really don't like his health care bill. That is really so. So, you resort to mockery hoping no one notices that you can't challenge anything within the piece.

Nathan said...

I think you've done a good job summarizing some key reasons why people are losing faith in Obama.

They expected HOPE and recieved CONTEMPT and 'politics as usual' instead.

I feel bad for the whole lot of them who believe that either the Democrats, Republicans, or anyone else in Washington, are going to save them.

lisa said...

Who cares if they mock the tea parties anymore anyway. They are gaining momentum with or without the criticism.
Just in our local area we now have 476 members. All since April and 150 of them just last month. And that's a small fraction of the total members across the country.
Brethen is the Congress,MSNBC and ABC.
The criticism has strengthened us so yeah let's hope they keep criticizing.
It just shows the arrogance an denial.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, you can feel proud of 476 or so members, but you have yet to demonstrate any appeal beyond the 30% or so of Americans who still think Dick Cheney is a swell guy.

mike volpe said...

With all the polls supporting Lisa's position, what exactly do you need to see to give you evidence?

This isn't the first time you've made this claim but in fact the polls back up the tea parties so isn't it you that would need to show evidence that all of that is wrong.

lisa said...

Anon polls matter. After ll democrats are notorious for going by polls.
I didn't bring up Cheney. But lets' bring up Whole Foods. A smart guy with another suggestion who runs a successful business and provides low cost quality health care to his employees was boycotted because of his position.
Logic is so outdated today. In fact it shows that because his business has been n the increase sine the boycott was "supposedly" started. So the bottom line is all the proof we need.
476 is pretty good because not everyone who feels the same has the time or is as outspoken about what they believe. But I am sure the polls in 2010 will be the judge of it.
People are having voters' remorse and didn't realize the propaganda
of "change" they voted was all hype. The only change we got is the money changers.