Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why Barack Obama Can't Be President

The numbers aren't there.

I will say right now that I had about 1,000 words that followed that first line, but I just now deleted them.  Here's why:

I can't make sense of our situation.  I thought Congress was utterly saturated with Republicans but it isn't.  The House has a Republican majority but the Senate has a Democratic majority (barely, and not if the Independents swing red).  So what you have is a Congress that can stalemate itself, which we watched happen during the debt ceiling bill issues at the beginning of August.

It just feels like it's soaked with Republicans because of the extraordinarily strident Tea Party representatives in office.  They're highly motivated, highly ideological, and extremely vocal.  No wonder it feels like there's more of them.  Anyway.

So with a Congress so closely divided, you have a President who has no clear direction to jump.  With a friendly Congress full of Democrats, he could pass whatever he wanted.  No sweat.  Facing a largely Republican Congress, he'd know from the outset that whatever came his way would be the result of carefully crafted compromise.

With a balanced Congress, there's little way of knowing exactly what will work out.  The way I understand it is, the debt ceiling bill that eventually passed had actually been introduced weeks before but was shot down that first time.  So we could have avoided a lot of hand wringing.

Let me get back to the numbers bit.  Obama's approval rating is only 20% right now.  Combine that with his Strongly Disapprove rating of 42%, and you see a President who's in the red by 22%.  That's got to stink.

There are things you remember when you go to the voting booth.  Things like, "he's the guy that was in the chair when S&P cut our credit rating," and "what do you mean we're not going to go back to the moon?"  He's got some scores in his favor too but, like the networks will tell you, good news doesn't sell like bad news.  You won't remember that Osama bin Laden was taken down during Obama's administration, you'll only remember that it took ten years to find one guy.  Never mind that Obama wasn't President for most of that time, that's not the fact that sticks.

Too many bad things have happened during his Presidency.  I haven't been able to keep close enough track of who was running the events, and how they might have been kept under control.  But I'm fairly certain that the frightening maelstrom in which we find ourselves can only bring Obama's campaign down.

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