Wednesday, April 21, 2010

48% Approval for Obama?

Americans are so fickle! We seem to be satisfied only when everything is going just great. Instant gratification. No memory. That's why Obama's approval rating is just under 50%. Sometimes I think we don't deserve him. McCain would have been far worse.

Other times, I think the republicans got out in 2008 while the going was good. The economy in shambles, the deficit out of control, wars not being bad could it get? Time to cut and run, give the problems to Obama and then blame them on him. So far, this cynical strategy seems to have some traction. After all, if people can listen to Glenn Beck they can believe anything.

I'm very happy I voted for Obama. He's quietly pursued progress in many areas and achieved quite a few goals in just over one year. The stock market has rebounded and the economy is slowing rebounding - slow, but much faster than most people would have predicted twelve months ago. Iraq is winding down to a conclusion, and Afghanistan is on a timetable. Obama's won a health care reform war that some opponents wrongly thought would be his "Waterloo", and a financial reform package is also likely to pass. He's beefing up education policy, and he's done pretty well with foreign policy. Not too much to complain about!

Republicans and tea partiers call Obama a socialist or worse. The problems they decry were made worse during many years when their own party was in control, but memories are short and anger, even inane anger, is powerful. It's not what Obama has done, but the idea that he personifies a government that does things and influences our world, that is the reason they hate him. I just disagree with them, for the most part.

Time is on Obama's side, I think. As the country continues to heal economically, and, if there are no big uncontrollables to sidetrack him, Obama's steady pace of accomplishment will win back the independents. This will be true especially if his opponents continue to oppose but have no plan of their own to sell. November's elections will be important, but they will not make or break Obama. He has several more years to make the case for his approach, and the republicans need to worry about 2012 - it's far from in the bag for them.