A Quinnipiac University poll has awarded President Obama the title “worst president since the end of World War II.” It’s a bit like being tarred and feathered and, as Abe Lincoln observed, if it wasn’t for the honor you’d just as soon skip the recognition.
It’s a notable distinction considering that the roster of those available includes Jimmy Carter, tossed out in a re-election rout, and George W. Bush, who got us into one of the most ill-advised, longest and costliest wars in our history. Oh, and did I mention Richard M. Nixon?
Obama, in short, beat a formidable field of contenders for the title.
Actually, it didn’t require a poll to inform us Obama is unpopular. Republicans have been spreading that message since the day he was inaugurated in 2009 and, as professional message manipulators have proved, if you say something long and loud enough, lots of folks will believe it.
The result is tarnished by the history of such polls: In almost every case, the sitting president ranks at or near the worst, reflecting the discontent of the moment.
The worst aspect of the poll for Obama — and for Democrats this fall — was his poor approval among independents, the decisive cohort in any close election. Among Republicans he’s viewed as the devil incarnate, but then they’ve despised him from Day One; it’s in the Republican DNA to oppose any Democrat and that’s understandable. But even among Democrats he slipped.
So, let’s stipulate that, whatever the cause, Obama’s unpopular, maybe even very unpopular. But what does that say about the rest of our ruling class in Washington?
The most striking message from that poll and others is that, as bad off as he might be, Obama’s more popular than either party and especially more popular than Congress. No institution connected with our federal government draws more scorn and loathing than Congress.
One is tempted to suggest that if we did at the federal level what cities and states do occasionally — recall whole slates of elected officials — a federal recall drive this fall would sweep out the Augean stables of the Republican-run House and a goodly share of Democrats in the Senate, as well.
SOURCE: John Farmer
The Star-Ledger, NJ.com