Exciting news at Powerline!
I hardly look at Powerline any more, maybe once every six months, but I was curious to see their reactions to the performance in the debate last night of their former governor Tim Paw-the-lady whom they used to favor for the presidency, so I headed over there. And what was the first item I saw? John Hinderaker, that cutting edge analyst, announces the breathtaking news that Obama is steadily heading downward in the polls. Wow! His approval rating is—guess, guess—it’s now at 43 percent!!!
In fact that’s exactly where it’s been, uh, repeatedly, over a period of a year, yet each time it gets there the Republicans eagerly declare that Obama is touching unprecedented lows, he’s plunging, he’s finished. For Hinderaker and so many other Republican mediocrities, no matter how many times Obama’s approval hits 43, or 44, or 42, it’s significant and exciting news.
The entire political world is obsessed at the moment by how horribly Obama is doing. In a reverse fairy tale, the golden prince has become a frog loathed by both parties. I don’t deny that his dealing with the finance crisis, and his repeated speeches to the nation, which seem to come every two days, show a man not up to the job. Yet at the same time I also think the all-consuming focus on his inadequacies, his lies, his extreme partisanship, and all the other negative things about him (or, from the Democratic side, his supposed yielding to the right-wing crazies in the House), is a waste of time. It’s entirely possible that in a year the economy will have improved, Obama’s approval rating will be higher, and the conventional wisdom, entirely forgetful of the obsessions of the summer of 2011, will be that he is heading toward re-election. I hope profoundly that he is not re-elected. But the Republican self-delusory hysteria on the subject of Obama’s forever-plummeting approval rating does not bode well for their side.