The Stunning Decline of Barack Obama

The stunning decline of Barack Obama:
10 key reasons why the Obama presidency is in meltdown

By Nile Gardiner, London Telegraph, Last updated: August 12th, 2010

The last few weeks have been a nightmare for President Obama, in a summer of discontent in the United States which has deeply unsettled the ruling liberal elites, so much so that even the Left has begun to turn against the White House. While the anti-establishment Tea Party movement has gained significant ground and is now a rising and powerful political force to be reckoned with, many of the president’s own supporters as well as independents are rapidly losing faith in Barack Obama, with open warfare breaking out between the White House and the left-wing of the Democratic Party. While conservatism in America grows stronger by the day, the forces of liberalism are growing increasingly weaker and divided.

Against this backdrop, the president’s approval ratings have been sliding dramatically all summer, with the latest Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll of US voters dropping to minus 22 points, the lowest point so far for Barack Obama since taking office. While just 24 per cent of American voters strongly approve of the president’s job performance, almost twice that number, 46 per cent, strongly disapprove. According to Rasmussen, 65 per cent of voters believe the United States is going down the wrong track, including 70 per cent of independents.

The RealClearPolitics average of polls now has President Obama at over 50 per cent disapproval, a remarkably high figure for a president just 18 months into his first term. Strikingly, the latest USA Today/Gallup survey has the President on just 41 per cent approval, with 53 per cent disapproving.

Related link: The Obama presidency increasingly resembles a modern-day Ancien Régime

There are an array of reasons behind the stunning decline and political fall of President Obama, chief among them fears over the current state of the US economy, with widespread concern over high levels of unemployment, the unstable housing market, and above all the towering budget deficit. Americans are increasingly rejecting President Obama’s big government solutions to America’s economic woes, which many fear will lead to the United States sharing the same fate as Greece.

Growing disillusionment with the Obama administration’s handling of the economy as well as health care and immigration has gone hand in hand with mounting unhappiness with the President’s aloof and imperial style of leadership, and a growing perception that he is out of touch with ordinary Americans, especially at a time of significant economic pain. Barack Obama’s striking absence of natural leadership ability (and blatant lack of experience) has played a big part in undermining his credibility with the US public, with his lacklustre handling of the Gulf oil spill coming under particularly intense fire.

On the national security and foreign policy front, President Obama has not fared any better. His leadership on the war in Afghanistan has been confused and at times lacking in conviction, and seemingly dictated by domestic political priorities rather than military and strategic goals. His overall foreign policy has been an appalling mess, with his flawed strategy of engagement of hostile regimes spectacularly backfiring. And as for the War on Terror, his administration has not even acknowledged it is fighting one.

Can it get any worse for President Obama? Undoubtedly yes. Here are 10 key reasons why the Obama presidency is in serious trouble, and why its prospects are unlikely to improve between now and the November mid-terms.

1. The Obama presidency is out of touch with the American people

In a previous post I noted how the Obama presidency increasingly resembles a modern-day Ancien Régime, extravagant, decaying and out of touch with ordinary Americans. The First Lady’s ill-conceived trip to Spain at a time of widespread economic hardship was symbolic of a White House that barely gives a second thought to public opinion on many issues, and frequently projects a distinctly elitist image. The “let them eat cake” approach didn’t play well over two centuries ago, and it won’t succeed today.

2. Most Americans don’t have confidence in the president’s leadership

This deficit of trust in Obama’s leadership is central to his decline. According to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, “nearly six in ten voters say they lack faith in the president to make the right decisions for the country”, and two thirds “say they are disillusioned with or angry about the way the federal government is working.” The poll showed that a staggering 58 per cent of Americans say they do not have confidence in the president’s decision-making, with just 42 per cent saying they do.

3. Obama fails to inspire

In contrast to the soaring rhetoric of his 2004 Convention speech in Boston which succeeded in impressing millions of television viewers at the time, America is no longer inspired by Barack Obama’s flat, monotonous and often dull presidential speeches and statements delivered via teleprompter. From his extraordinarily uninspiring Afghanistan speech at West Point to his flat State of the Union address, President Obama has failed to touch the heart of America. Even Jimmy Carter was more moving.

4. The United States is drowning in debt

The Congressional Budget Office Long-Term Budget Outlook offers a frightening picture of the scale of America’s national debt. Under its alternative fiscal scenario, the CBO projects that US debt could rise to 87 percent of GDP by 2020, 109 percent by 2025, and 185 percent in 2035. While much of Europe, led by Britain and Germany, are aggressively cutting their deficits, the Obama administration is actively growing America’s debt, and has no plan in place to avert a looming Greek-style financial crisis.

5. Obama’s Big Government message is falling flat

The relentless emphasis on bailouts and stimulus spending has done little to spur economic growth or create jobs, but has greatly advanced the power of the federal government in America. This is not an approach that is proving popular with the American public, and even most European governments have long ditched this tax and spend approach to saving their own economies.

6. Obama’s support for socialised health care is a huge political mistake

In an extraordinary act of political Harakiri, President Obama leant his full support to the hugely controversial, unpopular and divisive health care reform bill, with a monstrous price tag of $940 billion, whose repeal is now supported by 55 per cent of likely US voters. As I wrote at the time of its passing, the legislation is “a great leap forward by the United States towards a European-style vision of universal health care, which will only lead to soaring costs, higher taxes, and a surge in red tape for small businesses. This reckless legislation dramatically expands the power of the state over the lives of individuals, and could not be further from the vision of America’s founding fathers.”

7. Obama’s handling of the Gulf oil spill has been weak-kneed and indecisive

While much of the spilled oil in the Gulf has now been thankfully cleared up, the political damage for the White House will be long-lasting. Instead of showing real leadership on the matter by acing decisively and drawing upon offers of international support, the Obama administration settled on a more convenient strategy of relentlessly bashing an Anglo-American company while largely sitting on its hands. Significantly, a poll of Louisiana voters gave George W. Bush higher marks for his handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with 62 percent disapproving of Obama’s performance on the Gulf oil spill.

8. US foreign policy is an embarrassing mess under the Obama administration

It is hard to think of a single foreign policy success for the Obama administration, but there have been plenty of missteps which have weakened American global power as well as the standing of the United States. The surrender to Moscow on Third Site missile defence, the failure to aggressively stand up to Iran’s nuclear programme, the decision to side with ousted Marxists in Honduras, the slap in the face for Great Britain over the Falklands, have all contributed to the image of a US administration completely out of its depth in international affairs. The Obama administration’s high risk strategy of appeasing America’s enemies while kicking traditional US allies has only succeeded in weakening the United States while strengthening her adversaries.

9. President Obama is muddled and confused on national security

From the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the War on Terror, President Obama’s leadership has often been muddled and confused. On Afghanistan he rightly sent tens of thousands of additional troops to the battlefield. At the same time however he bizarrely announced a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces beginning in July 2011, handing the initiative to the Taliban. On Iraq he has announced an end to combat operations and the withdrawal of all but 50,000 troops despite a recent upsurge in terrorist violence and political instability, and without the Iraqi military and police ready to take over. In addition he has ditched the concept of a War on Terror, replacing it with an Overseas Contingency Operation, hardly the right message to send in the midst of a long-war against Al-Qaeda.

10. Obama doesn’t believe in American greatness

Barack Obama has made it clear that he doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism, and has made apologising for his country into an art form. In a speech to the United Nations last September he stated that “no one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. No balance of power among nations will hold.” It is difficult to see how a US president who holds these views and does not even accept America’s greatness in history can actually lead the world’s only superpower with force and conviction.

There is a distinctly Titanic-like feel to the Obama presidency and it’s not hard to see why. The most left-wing president in modern American history has tried to force a highly interventionist, government-driven agenda that runs counter to the principles of free enterprise, individual freedom, and limited government that have made the United States the greatest power in the world, and the freest nation on earth.

This, combined with weak leadership both at home and abroad against the backdrop of tremendous economic uncertainty in an increasingly dangerous world, has contributed to a spectacular political collapse for a president once thought to be invincible. America at its core remains a deeply conservative nation, which cherishes its traditions and founding principles. President Obama is increasingly out of step with the American people, by advancing policies that undermine the United States as a global power, while undercutting America’s deep-seated love for freedom.

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About Christine

I believe in the CONSERVATIVE principles and values of the Republican Party as they are written, and not how they are currently practiced by today's RINO's. Smaller government, lower taxes, more personal responsibility, states' rights, free market capitalism, and less government intrusion in our lives!
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5 Responses to The Stunning Decline of Barack Obama

  1. patriots_forever says:

    BO’s self-love insulates him from reality.

  2. Toye Allen says:

    I have been keeping up with the tea party in Lenoir; just haven’t been able to make a meeting yet but I am going to. I have read your articles; very good. Hope to see you soon.

  3. Christine says:

    Thank you, Toye! I hope to meet you one of these days.

  4. datGurl! says:

    1. The Obama presidency is out of touch with the American people.
    American people elected him, so wth do you mean? And as far as Michelle going to Spain, SHE’S THE FIRST LADY, THEY HAVE TO DO STUFF LIKE THAT! Barbera Bush went wherever she wanted to all the time Dubya was ruining the country, and driving us into debt. Dont forget all this bull was on the table when he got elected. GM was failing DURING the election…
    2. Most Americans don’t have confidence in the president’s leadership.
    And why is that? Because they still smarting over the fact that he was actually elected?
    3. Obama fails to inspire.
    Inspired the h3ll outta me and millions of little black boys and girls. They too, can be the President of the United States!
    4. The United States is drowning in debt.
    It was drowning in debt before Obama was elected. Bush and his cronies saw to that.
    5. Obama’s Big Government message is falling flat.
    Actually its not. Thats the rhetoric you people spew to support you weak arguments. With that being said, its some of you corrupt folks who arent using the money as it should be.
    6. Obama’s support for socialised health care is a huge political mistake.
    Why? Becasue you and yours have health care and the lil old lady down the street who hasnt taken her meds in over a year because she cant afford it and has no healthcare can just kiss your ass?
    7. Obama’s handling of the Gulf oil spill has been weak-kneed and indecisive.
    Ok Blame that on the guy too. He didnt cause the spill and he surely couldnt dive down there and plug it up. Put the blame where it belongs: on the big businesses whose watch that well was on… And thats a flat out lie about Bush and Katrina. That idiot is probably still dumbfounded about that…
    8. US foreign policy is an embarrassing mess under the Obama administration.
    Not really-this is the first time in ages that these people can even sit in the same room and talk…Bush didnt make that happen, did he? Nope.
    9. President Obama is muddled and confused on national security.
    You might be. He’s doing his job. Stay out of it.
    10. Obama doesn’t believe in American greatness. Yes he does. It just looks good in print and you needed a number 10.

    • Christine says:

      Thanks for taking the time to post a comment.

      1. Barbara Bush is Dubya’s mom. But when she was first lady from 1989-1993, she didn’t travel to lavish spas around the world with 30-60 close friends.
      GM didn’t need to be bailed out. They should have let it fail, if it was in such bad trouble. That’s a free market principle where the company either adjusts or closes it’s doors.
      2. I was willing to let Obama govern. I even thought he might govern in a more moderate way than Hillary. I was wrong. Obama has forced legislation through that Congress hasn’t even read, but they didn’t write it.
      3. You’re right, he did inspire millions when he was campaigning. He really did. As I see it now, he doesn’t inspire the nation as a whole. He has divided the nation like I have never seen before. Many are mad because he has either not done enough bring about the European-style, big government, nanny state control, or because he has moved to too far Left for the mainstream voter.
      4. You’re right again. Bush was truly a big spender. This would have been a good time for Obama to have set a new tone in Washington and brought spending under control, but he hasn’t. Instead he raised the debt ceiling to $14 trillion dollars. That means our national credit card limit will soon be $14 trillion. Today’s taxpayers cannot pay that back. It will take several generations to repay that debt. In the meantime, China owns a large portion of that debt and could demand repayment at anytime. How would you like to live under Communist Chinese rule (See Tienanmen Square) where political critics are punished by imprisonment, slave labor, and/or death? NO THANKS! I’d would like to keep our US financial house in order so that we are no living under fear of a hostile country’s whims.
      5. “Rhetoric we spew”?? I don’t want to live under BIG GOVERNMENT. That is not our historical norm. Big Government is not constitutional. Living under Big Government control is unAmerican. What corruption do you refer to here? Corruption I hate is the waste in government that requires them to take $1,000 from me to get $3 to someone in need. That is corruption to me. That’s theft. OR are you referring to quasi-governmental agencies like the United Way that extort money from hard-working people to give to community groups that do nothing!! Yes, I said and meant extort money. The Unite Way received hundreds of million dollars in donations for Katrina aid, but they would never open their books to show how that money was spent. It was rumored the money was reaching the people. Is that they kind of corruption you are referring?
      6. Canadian, British, or Cuban style national health IS a mistake. Forcing me to buy any product or be subject to IRS fine and jail is wrong and not supported by the Constitution. For the record, I don’t not have medical insurance. I CHOOSE NOT TO HAVE IT. I happily use old remedies for acute illness and take good care of myself for LONG TERM health. I don’t want to be in the medical system. It’s my choice. If you want medical insurance buy it yourself or work for someone who offers it as a benefit, but don’t expect me to have the same want as you.
      7. Of course Obama didn’t cause the BP oil spill, but he waited 57 days before he ever spoke to a BP executive. Obama waited over a week to ever say anything public about the spill. Those are unacceptable for a leader.
      8. Agreed, our foreign policy has sucked since Bush 41 (1990), but at least the other Presidents didn’t apologize for being America. While he has brought worthless, American-hating, dictators together, Obama has dissed American at every foreign speech he has given.
      9. I don’t necessarily agree Obama is “muddle and confused”, I do think he is acting intentionally to ruin America.
      10. Obama doesn’t. He gave a speech and said we are not better than any other country. There are dozens and dozens more reasons Obama is ruin America. We have plenty to talk about, but have to end somewhere.

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