Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Question of the Day

 

From the Washington Post:

A majority of Americans and even many Democrats consider President Obama’s tenure to be a “failure,” according to a new poll from the Washington Post and ABC News. The poll shows Americans say 52-42 that Obama has been more of a failure than a success. Among registered voters, the gap is even bigger — at 55-39 — with four in 10 (41 percent) saying they “strongly” believe Obama has been a failure.

Okay, pro forma stipulations: the question was binary. You either had to rate the President a success or a failure. And, to be sure, the 18 percent of liberals who feel “strongly” that Obama has made a hash of things are probably most upset that we don’t have single-payer health care (or at least employer-provided euthanasia), that our energy economy isn’t yet soy-based, and that we haven’t managed to turn over control of public school curriculum to the United Nations. Stipulated.

Here’s the question — and here I’m interested especially in what you’re actually hearing from people you know: do the voters who Obama has turned off see this as a failure of the man or the ideas? In other words, do they conceive of the problem as Barack Obama being overmatched by the office or as progressivism being inherently flawed? 

The distinction may not make much difference now — either way the president is underwater — but it likely has serious implications for the future. What are you hearing?

There are 20 comments.

  1. raycon and lindacon Inactive

    Given Obama’s oft repeated intention that he would fundamentally transform America, he has not failed. It is America that is failing because of Obama’s successful efforts. And it is all don with the look of casual indifference to the process that people view it as a failure.

    We are no longer the world leader militarily; check

    Our economy, despite the news medias cheer leading, remains in the tank; check

    Successful businesses are fleeing to tax friendly countries and America is now non-competetive; check.

    Health care in America is a socialist mess; check.

    Young people are learning that they will never have the future that their grand parents achieved; check

    How could anyone consider Obama a failure. He has NOT fulfilled Rush Limbaugh’s wish for his failure.

    • #1
    • September 9, 2014, at 12:16 PM PST
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  2. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    I don’t know anyone who voted for Obama who thinks that deeply about the issues. The sense I get is more about the price of food, fuel, and healthcare going up while wages stagnate or decline. They don’t think he or his ideology is a failure, but they sure feel it every time they fuel up, head to the grocery store, or get a cold.

    • #2
    • September 9, 2014, at 12:17 PM PST
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  3. Tuck Inactive

    Troy Senik, Ed.: What are you hearing?

     Nothing. To judge by my Facebook interactions and discussions with friends, they don’t even mention the guy. They still get worked up about liberal issues, but it’s radio silence on Obama and Obamacare.

    One liberal friend opined that Obama would probably ignore the 22nd Amendment and stay in office, since he was ignoring the rest of the Constitution.

    • #3
    • September 9, 2014, at 12:19 PM PST
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  4. cdor Member

    I think most people judge the man, not the philosophy. The man is right there on the news, in your face. He’s the guy that is causing all this bad stuff to happen. He’s the dude who’s flying all over the place, playing golf, sending a separate plane FOR HIS DOG, while you are waking every morning, dragging your butt out of bed, going to work to feed your family. He’s the guy who wants your electric bills to go through the roof or have you freeze in the winter and sweat in the summer so that some jerk 50 years from now will have it easier than you. WHAT?! He’s the guy who wants to let all the Latinos over run our border to use our health care and our schools while we get paid less and taxed more. Every day our people wake up, look in the mirror and think, I’m getting screwed. Then they turn on the TV and there’s Obama, smiling and acting so cool. No, liberalism is just a word, Obama is the deed.

    • #4
    • September 9, 2014, at 12:31 PM PST
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  5. Higgs Boson Inactive

    Not a single person left-of-center that I know thinks liberalism itself is implicated in the manifest failures of the last 5 years. That is not how the mind of a liberal works. Their beliefs, and more importantly the emotions surrounding those beliefs, are paramount. Reality is interpreted, spun, ignored or lied about to support those beliefs, not the other way ‘round.

     More and more money to union dominated public schools fails to improve education? Provide more money. Playing the nice guy in foreign affairs invites aggression? Play nicer. Global temperatures remain flat for 18 years despite predictions? Shout down opponents louder.

    • #5
    • September 9, 2014, at 12:36 PM PST
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  6. EThompson Inactive

    I don’t even discuss this issue with people anymore except on Ricochet. I almost came to verbal blows with a childhood acquaintance (PETA member) for growling, “It’s all that damned Dick Cheney’s fault!”

    I was able to stop myself because the true definition of insanity is responding to an insane remark. Lurch had it right. :)

    • #6
    • September 9, 2014, at 1:14 PM PST
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  7. Leslie Watkins Member

    They channel Wil Wheaton and think it’s all the Republicans’ fault.

    • #7
    • September 9, 2014, at 1:14 PM PST
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  8. Casey Inactive

    I think lots of people think progressivism stinks. On the other hand, they really like all those little progressive pieces lying around on the table over there.

    When Obama tried to put all the little progressive pieces together and the picture started to look like progressivism then people started to say “No, no no! That can’t be right!”

    At the end of the day (OH gollly, that hurt!), the 20% in the middle want progressive pieces assembled into conservative pictures and they turn on whoever the puzzler is.

    • #8
    • September 9, 2014, at 1:37 PM PST
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  9. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    How could he be a failure? The moment he was elected he fulfilled his destiny. He is the first black person elected to the most racist, misogynistic, homophobic, warmongering, theocratic nation ever to exist. Anything he could not accomplish is because of those stupid, hateful Republicans and their terrorist Tea Party allies bitterly clinging to their guns and religion.
    Since he has been elected, Marxism / socialism is once again on the march, Christianity is being eradicated from the planet, Russia is once again gaining it rightful place in the world, eventually socialized medicine is all but a certainty, the borders are all but unguarded and race riots stalk the land. Its a liberal activists dream.

    • #9
    • September 9, 2014, at 1:50 PM PST
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  10. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Casey:

    I think lots of people think progressivism stinks. On the other hand, they really like all those little progressive pieces lying around on the table over there.

    When Obama tried to put all the little progressive pieces together and the picture started to look like progressivism then people started to say “No, no no! That can’t be right!”

    At the end of the day (OH gollly, that hurt!), the 20% in the middle want progressive pieces assembled into conservative pictures and they turn on whoever the puzzler is.

     I think the majority does not want progressivism. But since it does not matter what they want and it is going to happen anyway then they just want their piece of it. For it makes no sense to be forced to pay into a system just to let everybody else benefit from it. Principles are great but they do not feed your family.

    • #10
    • September 9, 2014, at 1:57 PM PST
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  11. billy Inactive

    Tuck:

    Troy Senik, Ed.: What are you hearing?

    Nothing. To judge by my Facebook interactions and discussions with friends, they don’t even mention the guy. They still get worked up about liberal issues, but it’s radio silence on Obama and Obamacare.

     That has been my experience as well. People who were once passionate in denouncing the Bushhitler neocon war-machine and had an unshakable faith in the lightworker of hope and change don’t seem too interested in talking about politics much anymore.
    A simple “So what d’ya think about the Mid-East these days?” can now do what I once thought impossible: It makes a liberal shut up,

    • #11
    • September 9, 2014, at 2:14 PM PST
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  12. AIG Inactive
    AIG

    Most people don’t make the connection between the person and the ideology. The 1 super-liberal I know thinks that because of this, Hillary would be a better president. The ideology apparently doesn’t matter, and it’s all about personal failure to “get things done”.

    But, this fallacy is prevalent among most people, on most issues. 

    raycon and lindacon: We are no longer the world leader militarily; check

     Sure it is. No one is even remotely close. Others (Russia, China) are aggressive in their expansions, but that doesn’t mean we’re not the “world leader militarily”. It just means we’re not crazy.

    raycon and lindacon: Our economy, despite the news medias cheer leading, remains in the tank; check

     It’s doing much better than everyone else’s economy. So relatively speaking…

    raycon and lindacon: Successful businesses are fleeing to tax friendly countries and America is now non-competetive; check.

     A lot more businesses are moving here than leaving the US. 

    raycon and lindacon: Young people are learning that they will never have the future that their grand parents achieved; check

     Their grandparents achieved “it” by increasing government debt and responsibilities to massive levels. Either way, every generation thinks they will do worst than the previous, and every generation is wrong on that. 

    • #12
    • September 9, 2014, at 2:23 PM PST
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  13. Randy Webster Member

    I live in East Tennessee, a hotbed of right wing nutjobbery. The only liberals I know are my daughter, and possibly her fiance. We knew from the beginning that Obama’s policies were destined to failure, in the sense that we meant it, but that he was probably going to succeed in the sense that he meant. And, as a couple have pointed out above, we were both right.

    • #13
    • September 9, 2014, at 4:47 PM PST
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  14. Ralphie Member

    Anecdotaly, I know 3 adults that voted for Obama the first time. The first friend said he was the best person, all the others running were terrible people. She also got most of her information from Oprah. She died, but we remained friends until the end. The second was a business friend who said Obama deserved a chance. He didn’t vote for him the second time. The third was a relative who voted for Obama because he is a native of KY, but well educated and Palin was a hillbilly and he was proud to vote for Obama. Last time we saw him, he said he voted for Romney, learned his lesson, and was very upset over foreign policy.

    Other adults I know that still defend Obama appear fairly shallow when discussing details of current events, so I note them as disengaged in political discourse. They generally don’t like conflict and are go along to get along people.

    The people I know that are disillusioned are more disappointed in the man than the policies domestically, and more upset over foreign affair policies. The latter two people still believe socialized medicine should work.

    • #14
    • September 9, 2014, at 5:41 PM PST
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  15. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Troy Senik, Ed.: Here’s the question — and here I’m interested especially in what you’re actually hearing from people you know: do the voters who Obama has turned off see this as a failure of the man or the ideas? In other words, do they conceive of the problem as Barack Obama being overmatched by the office or as progressivism being inherently flawed? 

    Saying you believe Obama has been a failure does not mean that Obama has turned you off.

    Going by my (very limited and very anecdotal) conversations with (non-American) people who still love Obama, his failures are due to Republican machinations. There was no way he could have been a success, because the Republicans would never let him be one. Everything that is wrong with Obamacare was the result of making concessions to Republicans. Etc, etc, etc…

    The only poll that really matters occurred on November 6, 2012.

    • #15
    • September 9, 2014, at 5:53 PM PST
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  16. Retail Lawyer Member

    Higgs Boson:

    Not a single person left-of-center that I know thinks liberalism itself is implicated in the manifest failures of the last 5 years. That is not how the mind of a liberal works. Their beliefs, and more importantly the emotions surrounding those beliefs, are paramount. Reality is interpreted, spun, ignored or lied about to support those beliefs, not the other way ‘round.

    More and more money to union dominated public schools fails to improve education? Provide more money. Playing the nice guy in foreign affairs invites aggression? Play nicer. Global temperatures remain flat for 18 years despite predictions? Shout down opponents louder.

    Exactly! They also won’t bring up Obama unless asked. Actual real-life responses when asked: “The Nobel Peace Prize went to his head and sort of deranged him.” Also, “He’s a really smart guy who just says dumb things sometimes”. “He’s just not up to the job”

    • #16
    • September 9, 2014, at 7:44 PM PST
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  17. The Question Inactive

    Tuck:

    Troy Senik, Ed.: What are you hearing?

    Nothing. To judge by my Facebook interactions and discussions with friends, they don’t even mention the guy. They still get worked up about liberal issues, but it’s radio silence on Obama and Obamacare.

    One liberal friend opined that Obama would probably ignore the 22nd Amendment and stay in office, since he was ignoring the rest of the Constitution.

     Yes. That’s exactly what I see. There was very little on Facebook from my liberal friends for some time. I think all they can do now is things like criticizing Phil Robertson or Bush (because of the replaying of his Iraq warnings). Actually talking about Obama is not something they want to do, it appears.

    • #17
    • September 9, 2014, at 9:41 PM PST
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  18. The Question Inactive

    I remember listening to Rush Limbaugh before the election, and he predicted that if Obama lost, the media would try to spin it as people rejecting the man, not his ideas. I’m sure that’s exactly what would have happened, had Obama lost. Given that Obama won, I hope that he won more because people were enthralled by his personality (for reasons I can’t imagine) rather than actually believing in his progressive ideas.

    I had an exchange with a liberal friend who took issue with Bush’s warnings about withdrawing from Iraq. He said going into Iraq was “just a big f— up” (that nuanced thinking liberals are so good at). I basically replied that Bush did a decent job of making the world safe and secure given how dangerous things were around 2001. After 9/11, I figured we would have seen a nuclear terrorist attack by now. With Obama, Iran is going to get nuclear weapons and we’re basically back where we were in 2001 or worse. He didn’t have a reply to that.

    • #18
    • September 9, 2014, at 9:57 PM PST
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  19. Tuck Inactive

    So I asked my wife this question just now. (A good friend has commented that my wife is the Mayor of our town: she knows everyone…) We live in a town with a big Jewish population, that votes Democratic (in a Blue state).

    She said everyone’s very disappointed, especially the Jews, who blame Obama for creating this whole ISIS mess. “Disappointed” was the word she used.

    No one I’ve interacted with has a kind word for Obama anymore. Generally it’s harshly critical, and not quotable on this site.

    As I said to a black colleague when he was running, “It would be nice if the first black President isn’t a disaster…” It’s a shame.

    • #19
    • September 11, 2014, at 6:56 PM PST
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  20. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Tuck: As I said to a black colleague when he was running, “It would be nice if the first black President isn’t a disaster…” It’s a shame.

    < satire mode = on >

    The racists in the Republican party would never allow it to happen any other way.

    < satire mode = off >

    • #20
    • September 12, 2014, at 8:40 AM PST
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