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Did president’s budget speech cause his numbers to plummet?

According to the “Gallup Daily tracking three-day average,

41% of Americans approving of the job Barack Obama is doing as president. That ties his low as president, which he registered three times previously — twice in August 2010 and once in October 2010.

The current 41% approval rating from April 12-14 polling includes interviews conducted before and after Obama announced his plan for deficit reduction on Wednesday. It also comes in the same week Congress is voting on the 2011 budget deal reached last Friday. The deal did not seem to have an immediate effect on the way Americans viewed Obama, given his 44% approval rating in the three days prior to the agreement and his 46% rating in the initial days after the agreement.

July 2009-April 2011 Trend: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president? % Approve

The president has also lost considerable support among independents, only 35% of whom approve of him, “nine points off his average from independents this year.”

Perhaps they’re turning because the speech because most people expected a conciliatory gesture after Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, introduced a serious plan to rein in federal spending.  They may well have been expecting that he the president would acknowledge Ryan’s efforts, praise him on his commitment to reducing the deficits and then offered his plan, explaining why it was the better alternative.

Ryan himself certainly expected the speech would be “a call for common ground on deficit reduction”, but found instead as Allahpundit puts it, “that it was a campaign stemwinder aimed at ambushing him and the GOP.”  Obama, the blogger opines further, “elected as a healing force of post-partisan pragmatism, is willing to turn into Godzilla when there’s an electoral opportunity in front of him.

Peggy Noonan, once supportive of Obama, thought the speech showed that the president to be an out-of-touch executive:

His speech this week brought together all the strands of his flawed leadership. It was at moments clever, but merely clever, not up to the needs of the moment—and cleverness in a time of crisis comes as an affront. The speech seemed oblivious to recent history, as if the president had just discovered something no one knows about, a problem with spending, and has decided to alert us to the danger. He said other politicians attempt to cut by focusing on “waste and abuse,” but he knows the real secret: The problem is entitlement spending. But addressing entitlements is all anyone serious has been talking about for years; it’s what the Ryan plan is all about!

The speech was intellectually incoherent. An administration that spent two years saying, essentially, that high spending is good is suddenly insisting high spending is catastrophic. The president appealed for bipartisan efforts but his manner and approach leave his appeals sounding like diktats. His attempts to seem above the fray leave him seeming distanced and unwilling to risk anything.

Most important, the speech signaled that the White House, after all this time, sees the question of spending as a partisan tool, a weapon to be deployed in an election, and not an actual crisis. This is disrespectful toward citizens who feel honest alarm.

She too thinks the president is gearing more for the upcoming presidential than for the current round of budget negotiations.  Read the whole thing.



  1. Thank you, V. See, I missed that thread.

    Read it now. To be perfectly fair, Auntie Dogmatic could have meant to praise one aspect of Hay (his outness) while ignoring another (his advocacy of NAMBLA). I know, it’s a stretch… the more so as it would have been Auntie’s responsibility to make that clear, and she apparently did not even try. Like this: I condemn NAMBLA, and its supporters.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 18, 2011 @ 1:46 pm - April 18, 2011

  2. ILC,

    Thanks for your very thoughtful points about my stand with how NDT approached the hypocrisy of ignoring extreme gay behavior. You are correct that NDT occasionally skips a few steps before reaching the jugular. I, also, fail to layout the groundwork each and every time I strike back. In my case, sometimes I am talking to fellow travelers more than I am trying to “communicate” with the lefty. I have played the endless “communicate” games with Hi! Cas and his/her/its insufferable, eely, meandering, “reframing” of the argument. I do not even pretend to “communicate” with the incognito Auntie of All Dogma, because he/she/it has no agenda, only a maddening itch from which he/she/it can not find relief.

    Ergo, I do not exactly value “civility” as the best means of communicating with those who practice to deceive. On the other hand, one must always keep one’s hyperbole within defensible bounds.

    Thanks again for your moderating thoughts. I remain four square behind NDT. His “incivility” has not been gratuitous in my opinion. In fact, his “incivility” is more akin to ferreting out the ugly truth than it is related to incivility. And, naturally, “incivility” is name calling at best. It is in the mind of the beholder and sometimes the beholder has a questionable mind. I put references to Palin’s vagina at the top of the list of dialog by a questionable mind. In my world, aging men fascinated with Palin’s crotch are just a bit more than horny.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 18, 2011 @ 2:51 pm - April 18, 2011

  3. I, also, fail to layout the groundwork each and every time I strike back. In my case, sometimes I am talking to fellow travelers more than I am trying to “communicate” with the lefty… I do not exactly value “civility” as the best means of communicating with those who practice to deceive.

    Understood. “Me, too.”

    I believe that one owes one’s fellow human being two things: civility, and justice (or moral clarity). And when the two conflict, the second one is more important. NDT believes he is delivering justice. I am trying to make clear, that I respect his motives even when I think he has gone out on a limb where (from my own sense of justice) I cannot go.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 18, 2011 @ 3:06 pm - April 18, 2011

  4. Auntie Dogma: If you confiscated every single cent of income from all taxpayers making 100,000 or more this year it STILL would not make up Obama’s DEFICIT _this year_. We would. Still. Be. Spending. More. Than. We. take. In.

    Comment by Ryan Aaron — April 18, 2011 @ 3:13 pm - April 18, 2011

  5. To be perfectly fair, Auntie Dogmatic could have meant to praise one aspect of Hay (his outness) while ignoring another (his advocacy of NAMBLA).

    I understand your point, but there’s a certain, “Despite supporting the Klan, he was otherwise a nice guy” aspect to that. There are some things in life that are just so far beyond the pale that any association with them ought to be a permanent taint.

    Comment by V the K — April 18, 2011 @ 3:26 pm - April 18, 2011

  6. V, I grant your point as fair. And it’s fair to say to Auntie, did you know Harry Hay was a strong NAMBA supporter? Are you willing to condemn NAMBLA, and Hay’s support for it? And then, when Auntie spins and evades the question, OK that would kind of settle it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 18, 2011 @ 10:29 pm - April 18, 2011

  7. ILC,

    Except that Granny Goodness doesn’t reply to posts. So I think letting the statement stand on its own merits is fine.

    It’s not as damning as Tim’s infamous statement that anyone who thinks adults haveing sex with 15 years olds is wrong needs their moral compass adjusted, or Levi’s comments about Arabians being unable to comprehend democracy. Or Levi’s ‘dragging us into the future’ statements, but giving the previous threads on the blog, it’s pretty damning.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 19, 2011 @ 8:06 am - April 19, 2011

  8. Livewire, you might want to remind Timmeh of that in the Atlas Shrugged thread; where he is still baffled why NDT doesn’t think gays who don’t have a problem with molesting underage kids shouldn’t be allowed to adopt.

    Comment by V the K — April 19, 2011 @ 9:27 am - April 19, 2011

  9. TL, yeah. I thought about it some more, I am trying to bottom-line it.

    She praised Harry Hay, without distancing herself from or even acknowledging his NAMBLA connection. OK, that is really disgusting.

    But here is somebody relatively sympathetic (to your viewpoint) and attentive (to the blog) – namely, me – and y’all are slinging around Granny NAMBLA and she-supports-bareback-sex-with-8-year-olds, and I’m lost. And again, most people would describe me as attentive to the blog.

    I’m not blaming anybody because in the rush of debate, we all say things in a condensed way – i.e. cut a few corners. But could we all try to cut fewer corners? Criticism, to be effective, must make sense to the audience.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 19, 2011 @ 11:00 am - April 19, 2011

  10. And TL, yes you do a pretty good job of explaining what you mean (as you just did, about Tim and Levi).

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 19, 2011 @ 11:05 am - April 19, 2011

  11. But could we all try to cut fewer corners? Criticism, to be effective, must make sense to the audience.

    I’ll drink to that!

    (One exception, please. In my experience Hi! Cas can not ever quite settle for an explanation.)

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 19, 2011 @ 11:30 am - April 19, 2011

  12. Heh 🙂 Well yes Heliotrope, it also takes an audience that isn’t wholly unwilling to understand.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 19, 2011 @ 11:33 am - April 19, 2011

  13. For me, it’s something more to comment on when deconstructing posts. I started calling it ‘Granny Goodness’ because it fits the image and voice (as done by Ed Asner) of the comic book character. Granny’s known for torturing Children (Her female furies, Mr. Miracle, Big Barda, etc) so Dogma’s praise of Harry Hay just adds to the image.

    It’s like when I mock Tim that he can’t understand us because we’re too old for him.

    Most of ‘us’ have clearly defined positions. And by ‘us’ I mean the ‘clean and articulate’ posters. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to obscure where I stand (or when I get things wrong), Pat is clear on his beliefs (if wrong) 🙂 etc.

    It’s only when someone tries to take the ‘moral high ground’ I feel the urge to point out how far they have to go.

    Praising Harry Hay is like praising Stalin for his sense of humor, or Edi Amin for his cooking skills. I feel there’s so much evil to outweigh any ‘good’ they may have.

    (veering even more off topic, I support the boy scouts. Any ‘evil’ that might be inferred from their morally straight clause is more than offset by the good they do. You don’t like their membership standards, form your own group. 🙂 )

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 19, 2011 @ 11:36 am - April 19, 2011

  14. ‘I’m not saying Obama’s popularity is tanking, but Kenyans are now claiming he was born in the United States.’ – Dennis Miller

    Comment by V the K — April 19, 2011 @ 12:57 pm - April 19, 2011

  15. the left wanting all of the riches monies has nothing to do with the money, it has more to do with punishing achievment. Don’t you see, if you are well off, that means you did better than the down trodden Democrat whinning in the corner over there. And well,….that just ain’t fair.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — April 19, 2011 @ 5:29 pm - April 19, 2011

  16. The modern Democrat Party is really Communists; the “fairness” they screech about is to destroy wealth for them to distribute it to their cronies. Why don’t the modern Democrats just move to a Communist country such as China, Cuba, Venezuela, & North Korea? They would, of course, be hounded by minders because they are still Americans. So why do the modern Democrats want to turn America into a Communist pothole? Besides the lust for power & the need to divide others with their class warfare crap…

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — April 19, 2011 @ 7:06 pm - April 19, 2011

  17. And here’s the latest example of Levi, Brendan, and Barack Obama’s “civility”: sending death threats to the wrong individuals.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 19, 2011 @ 8:43 pm - April 19, 2011

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