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Three Faces Of Opposition

Although his presidency is only just relative days old, Mr. Obama is beginning to face a jelling core of opposition from three sources, partisan Republicans who only support Republicans and can never find common ground issues with most Democrats, American voters who agree that Mr. Obama is rapidly doing things, but they disagree with his policies as being the right sort of actions, and the "instant culture" voters who expect that the president is magic and can wave a magic wand and the economy, health care, foreign policy, the environment or other issues can suddenly be repaired.

The hardcore Republican opposition is much like a sports team mentality, only looking ahead to the next election as well as earning points by opposing policies because they view everything through some prism much like some big sports game. This hardcore of opposition can never really satisfied because they don't view the problems facing American society such as the economy. health care, foreign policy or environmental issues as American issues for our society to collectively pull together to resolve, but as potential for them scoring points towards winning the next election. Their collective psychology seems to often be that a party is only as good as their last election, especially if they win it. There is little room for consensus building or problem solving ability here.

A second core of opposition comes from those voters who recognize that President Obama is one of the most engaged ever in consensus building and a problem solving management style. They recognize that he has held bipartisan and inclusive summits on the budget and health care reform looking for some broad goals. Yet, whenever specific proposals are offered such as on the mortgage reform to help to stem the foreclosure crisis, they raise their voice in opposition that his policies are unfair or not the right solution. In regards to issues such as the stimulus bill, banking and business reform or raising higher income taxes to help to close the huge federal budget deficit, this core of opposition often includes influential corporate heads as well as major Wall Street investors.

The third core of opposition comes from those "instant culture" voters whose opinions are very fluid and subject to rapid change based on minute by minute situations. These include those who might claim to oppose President Obama one minute, but claim to support him minutes after he gives a compelling television address. This group of opposition seems to be largely influenced by the short attention spans generated by our modern electronic culture with a multiple choice of many cable TV channels and an endless supply of Internet websites. This core likely includes many younger MTV generation type voters and is the softest core of opposition of the three groups because these same voters may realign themselves with Mr. Obama at any given moment based on circumstances and events.

Right now, Mr. Obama enjoys 56% of the public that at least somewhat approve of his performance as president compared to a rapidly jelling core of 43% who disapprove to some extent according to the latest Rasmussen daily tracking. These figures include a core of 39% who strongly approve of his performance as president and a string core of 31% who strongly disapprove of his job performance.

The daunting task in the near future is for the policies of Mr. Obama, especially on the economic front to begin to show some results and for the public to begin to sense that an end to the recession and a recovery are in the air. However, near daily terrible news from Wall Street, falling stock values and rotten news from major companies such as GM only serve to further the disillusionment of some to the Obama presidency who seemed to expect that his election would suddenly change the entire playing field.

Mr. Obama probably needs a few months for his policies on the economy and in other key areas to begin to show whether they are really indeed working or not, and whether they are the right policies. But, the fact of the matter is that when the economic recovery comes it should be like a rising tide that will float all boats, including even the economic fortunes of his core of opposition. Then their choice will be to accept that recovery even if they don't particularly like the messenger.

I never voted for Mr. Reagan because his foreign policy views and scandals really scared me. The U.S. came very close to war with the old Soviet Union under Reagan. Reagan built up both Saddam Hussein's military into a huge war machine and regional threat to Kuwait that it became as well as built up the Taliban and the Osama Bin Laden's terror network when it supported the Mujaheddin opposition to the Russian military in Afghanistan. But, when the unemployment under Reagan declined from 10.5%, and the economy finally rebounded, I was glad enough to at least accept economic prosperity and some good times from Mr. Reagan in business. With unemployment at 8.1%under Mr. Obama, and recovery still far off it seems, will his core of opposition feel the same way when recovery comes for them or not?

Sometimes you just have to accept economic prosperity from whoever brings it it seems and at least be grateful for that much if for anything.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (7)


>>Sometimes you just have to accept economic prosperity from whoever brings it it seems and at least be grateful for that much if for anything.

Ill be sure to remind my grandchildren of that when they are old to enough to realize that they are the ones paying for it.


Guess what? Obama wasn't elected for the benefit of the Dow. This country has systemic problems thanks to 30 years of Reaganomics and the resulting bubble/burst economy. There's something seriously wrong when the average American is suffering declines in wages and standard of living--at the same time investors are getting rich during the bubbles. We have an infrastructure problem that extends far beyond Wall Street.

The people that scream the loudest that they don't want to pay for any government programs are usually the first in line to get "their fair share". Your pork is my spending, and vice versa. The whole "earmarks = pork" is Republican/Libertarian bullshit. All spending should be evaluated in terms of return on investment and for whom. I am 100% in favor of "pork" (or spending) that helps the majority of people and invests in projects that have a demonstrable return. For example, you could call the GI bill "pork" but it helped out a lot of middle class folks and ended up with a seven fold return on investment with tax revenue.


Allen, that's a crock. Pork is money going to those that have done nothing to deserve it. The GI Bill is not Pork, nor will ever be. It is a benefit given to those that have/are serving their country. Being willing to leave your family for a year to serve your country earns you that right. Should we not reward those that serve our country. Living off entitlements that you get because somebody else worked for the money is what I'm against. I'm all for helping those that can't work. I'm not for helping those that WON'T work. I've been without a job before (for a short period of time) and I've never taken a penny of government aid. I've done a lot of jobs I didn't enjoy, and I've done a lot of cutting my own spending to make ends meet. I've never been in favor of "Pork", Big Government, or proven-to-fail socialist economy principles. You can not, EVER spend your way out of debt. I'd really rather that The President and Congress not try to do that with OUR income. I work to feed my family, to provide shelter, clothing, and a good education. I file my taxes to provide money for the common defense. I realize that the rest of it is inevitable when you have a decadent society that says we must provide for those that won't work. I don't mind the government helping those that CAN'T work, it's the providing money to those that WON'T work that bothers me. McDonalds and Wendy's are always hiring, If I lose my job, I guaradamntee you that I'll be down there applying the next day. The income won't be as much, but I won't suck from the gov't teat. I have a responsibility to my family to provide their needs. I see people everyday that collect a check from the gov't to do nothing. Not that they can't work, they just don't want to. I say don't hand out checks, hand out food and clothing. Make a direct payment to the landlord for the amount of rent only. My wife is a teacher that does home visits to families that get free lunches and state aid. Guess what, most of those families also have large flat panel tvs and high end video game systems. They don't have jobs, but they have nice entertainment while waiting for that next check. That's my taxes going to provide them with x-box live while they sit around eating government supplied cheetos. Now, I know that's not everybody on welfare. I have no problem helping those that are trying to work or are physically or mentally incapable. As a matter of fact it's our duty (not the government's) to help them out. When you have a completely able-bodied adult that is on disability, but works for a guy moving pool tables (cash under the table) there's something wrong with a system that rewards a person for breaking the law.


Chad, when I say "pork", I am talking about the bridge to no where---or building a eco garden in Iowa, both courtesy of GOP Senators, by the way.

Senator Graham of SC has a big bill of pork in the new budget, in fact the pork bill was split about 50% for each party. These projects do provide jobs so they can be built, and as a vet, I am well aware of what the GI Bill is, in fact I have used VA funding for my 4th house. As long as your loan is paid in full, you can use the VA loan over and over if that place is your primary resident. I just used it as an example to show how some projects do pay back, and yes when the GI bill was first introduced, some politicians, from both parties thought it was a waste. Sad, isn't it on how the vet is treated?

I wasn't talking about entitlements. I agree with you on that part, if you are not physical handicapped, then there is no excuse to depend on handouts. But the economy right now, with the official unemployed at 8.6%, unofficial around 15%, not many people are hiring. A school had a janitor opening, 700 people applied for the one job. Right now, people do need help.


Allen, where do you come up with an "unofficial" unemployment at 15%?

BTW, the republicans, by tradition as the minority party, got about 40% of the earmarks. what you're not understanding is that grass roots conservatives are even madded at the republicans who do this than the democrats.

paul, the basic problem with your article is that you pre-suppose that Obama's ideas are the right ones and will work. Sorry, but I don't think so. As Chad said, you can't spend your way out of debt.

The "smart" diplomacy that Obama is using doesn't work. See insulting the UK, making us look like idiots to the Russians, and reaching out to the Iranians who have never given us any reason to for examples.

How many of his cabinent picks have withdrawn? Given how competent that all of his supporters claimed he was, you'd think that he would have actually vetted the picks before announcing them.

On economic matters, he really hasn't come out with a coherent plan. And what he has come out with scares the financial and investor people. Just take a look at the stock charts matched up to various anouncements from Obama and other high ranking democrats.

And then he goes and picks a fight with a guy that buys ink by the barrel. Dumb dumb dumb.

And as far as him being a consensus builder? Really? Show me the proof.

Some of the reasons that I oppose him are because of ideology. I don't apologize for that. I truely believe that the government is too large and takes too much in taxes. I really think that we need to have a strong foriegn policy.

*If* Obama can demonstrate that his ideas work, I'll re-evaluate my positions. But he hasn't done anything yet that has worked. And I see no problems in opposing those positions that I believe will not work or that I believe will make things worse.

That's not being partisan. That's sticking up for my beliefs.


KE, I'm not trying be a smartass, but if you would read different articles that are all over the place, plus common sense tells you that people you have exhausted their unemployment are not counted, etc; that would explain where I came up with that number.


allen, i don't doubt that the "unofficial" unemployment rate is higher than 8%. i actually read a lot. most likely more than you or any other commentator on this site, but it doesn't mean i read everything. nor know everything.

I just want to know how you came up with 15%. That's almost twice the official rate, which seems an exaggeration.

Interesting note, of my various friends, 2 are or were unemployed. One worked the phones and the job sites and got a job. Not the job she wanted, but a decent job and she can pay her bills.

The other is sitting on his ass and complaining that his old company actually wanted him to work. He isn't trying to find a job and is milking his unemployement checks til he runs out of benefits.

Guess what, I applaud the first and have no sympathy for the second.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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