26 November 2009

Not Quite a Year Later ...

So, how’s Obama doing after 10 months or so on the job?

In my opinion, he’s doing pretty damn good, frankly. Not magically solving problems as fast as I’d like, of course -- and not doing everything I would do exactly the way I’d do it if I were Dictator of Amerika -- but pretty good. I think people tend to forget that most of his job for at least the first two years (if not his entire first term) is/will be just turning the ship of state around. Things were very very very very very very very bad this time last year, and things still aren’t good, but an awful lot of the damage has at least been halted, and some has been reversed. The smaller the problem, the quicker it’s gotten some positive change in direction. The really big stuff (the wars, the economy/jobs and Guantanamo) are taking a long time to fix, but let’s face facts -- Obama got left with a lot of complicated shit to deal with, fixing that doesn’t happen overnight. You didn’t get whitening strips on a Thursday and had a model smile the following Monday, kapish?

The time to evaluate Obama as a president and take corrective action (if needed) is still three years away, IMHO. Americans tend to see Congressional mid-terms as a referendum on the presidential administration, which it can be sometimes, but really voters should not use it that way. It should be a referendum on Congress, which all too often gets a free pass on how poorly they generally do their jobs. It should specifically be a referendum on your congresspeople, but of course most of you out there can't even name your congresspeople, much less tell if they deserve to keep their jobs. That’s the real problem, you know.

If that ever changed, I think both the executive and specifically the legislative branch would do their jobs a lot better.

Anyway, considering that Obama (and all Democrats, for that matter) have a dedicated 20% of Americans actively working against them, another 20% that are just fearful of any sort of change without really thinking it through, and considering that Congress has been (particularly in the last decade or so) spectacularly bad at actually representing the mainstream will of their constituents, I’d have to say Obama has done as well as anyone could reasonably expect. Let me put it another way: if I were a Republican and had voted for John McCain, and he had done as well in getting his agenda done as Obama has, I’d be FLABBERGASTED. In fact, I'd be surprised he wasn't already dead of a stress-induced heart attack, and you know what that would mean ...

But oh noes! According to Gallup, the non-stop, multimedia, never-ending, shrill and fantasy-based barrage of race-based criticism (apart from the much lower degree of non-race-based, non-hysterical legitimate criticism) has had (gasp) some effect! Obama is losing support among whites (who as we all know still rule the entire universe and are thus the only people who matter)!

Wow, that sure looks bad! But wait -- what if we check out only Democrats?

Oh, I see -- the headlines are just (yet) another example of How to Lie With Statistics! So the meme that white people are abandoning Obama is actually false -- it’s just that the Republican party is now so 100% white-based and so composed of white-fear paranoid nutbags that once they get past their proud-of-America optimism and go back to watching Faux Noise again -- being constantly reminded that Obama hunts, kills and eats middle-aged white people for sport -- they turn against him and back into partisan douchebags! Oh, okay, got it!

Sure, Obama has lost some support among white Democrats too, but I’d wager good money most of those are from the south and west, strongholds of “conservative” Dems. And you’ll notice that when it comes to positive feelings about Obama, Gallup lumps all minorities together instead of breaking out “Blacks” the way they did “Whites.” Now you might argue that “Blacks” are naturally going to be supportive of Obama, but “Nonwhites” includes everything from Hispanics to Chinese. What’s their motivation to be supportive?

Say, anyone remember Gallup making a big deal out of the fact that President Bush enjoyed a whopping TWO percent approval rating among blacks? Anyone remember Gallup breaking out President Bush's approval rating by race groups? No?

You know why? Because they didn’t. Gosh, it sure is funny that they do it now, isn’t it? Somehow I think this poll says a lot more about Gallup (or perhaps more accurately, whomever paid Gallup to do this poll) than it does about Obama ...

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