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.
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