16 January 2010

Stuff You'd Rather Not Think About: Obama's Numbers

This graphic showing the precipitous fall of approval numbers for Obama among white voters is from The New York Times. That is Obama in the far right column. Over at at The Guardian, Gary Younge provides this helpful assessment of the free fall. In large part, white voters didn't much like Obama in the first place. In another large part the opposition is simply lunatic. And in some other large part it represents an accurate assessment of his performance.

The problem, from my perspective, is that Obama has not "failed" as many white voters seem to think. He has gotten more or less precisely what he wanted - a 'stimulus package' that revolves around financial bailouts for corporations, a market-driven reform proposal insuring only that health care remains wholly commodified, amnesia as a response to the criminal activities of the Bush administration, and continued commitment to perpetual war. With the partial exception of the war policy, it is hard to see how any of those policies make anyone happy. What is mysterious is that conservatives think he is a socialist.

Those who are disappointed mistakenly fancied Obama to be something resembling a progressive. A more accurate analysis appears in this essay in The Nation by historian Eric Foner who draws out the resemblance between Obama and the feckless Jimmy Carter.

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Blogger Ryan Anderson said...

Maybe it's time for us to follow Mexico's model and form an "Institutional Revolutionary Party" (which is by far my favorite title of all time).

That way, despite the fact that nothing has changed, we can at least feel happy that we belong to a revolutionary movement.

It's all about semantics in the end. Forget ACTUAL change.


16 January, 2010 22:26  

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