As the president’s ratings tank, let us quickly examine why.
Barack Obama’s presidency is the mirror image of George W. Bush’s. Only he has done in six months what it took Bush six years to accomplish: While keeping his base happy, he has alienated the center of the political spectrum and thus lost his ability to lead the country.
Here is a general rule of American electoral politics: you must have a passionate base to get nominated, but to rule effectively you must also have strong appeal in the political center.
Sept. 11 gave the center to Bush from 2001 through the 2004 election. In 2005 he lost it — first with his lame attempt to reform Social Security and then with the Hurricane Katrina fiasco. He — and the GOP — never recovered. They lost the Congress in 2006, then lost even more seats in 2008 as well as the White House
Obama was handed the center last September when Lehman Brothers crashed and John McCain picked Sarah Palin.
The uncertainty about the economy’s future last fall eclipsed the uncertainty about an almost-unknown new national candidate. The left loved Obama, and the dispirited-by-Bush’s failures-right either stayed home or reluctantly voted for McCain. But the political center, those who shun the extreme positions of both bases, rolled the dice with this moderate-sounding Democrat who promised “change.” These voters, many of them self-described ‘Independents’ — the fastest growing electoral group in the nation — ignored the fact that Sen. Obama had the most liberal voting record of all 100 senators. Somehow that little fact escaped the electorate last year.
So we should not be surprised that as president — with an overwhelmingly Democrat House and Senate and an in-the-tank compliant press — Obama has ruled from the far left. It is his nature. And there is nothing to stop him, no countervailing political force to nudge him back to the center.
The result: the United States is shell-shocked over our two parties’ successive failures, our hypocritical elected officials, the deficits, the healthcare fiasco, the CIA interrogation disaster, the Professor Gates Beer Summit, and on and on.
While Obama and the Democrats decline, the GOP does not profit politically. Why not? Because they, too, had all the power — and they blew it from 2001-2007.
So neither political party has any credibility left.
All this, three years before the next presidential election.
We are in dangerous political times. When there is a vacuum in the political leadership, trouble ensues.
So buckle your seat belts as we are in for a bumpy ride.
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