Aug 22, 2011

Obama's Struggling Against All Top GOP Contenders, But That's The Price He Pays for Weak Leadership

Obama's approval rates are in the low 40s, but as for handling the economy are even way, way lower. Another interesting poll (Gallup), perhaps more troubling is that the president is in a tight race with all top Republican contenders. What I sense is that the country is trying to decide whether Obama presidential material--someone who can lead not just delegate his responsibilities to Congress and try to compromise on the lowest possible denominator. The window for him to do anything to reverse this perception (with a great dose of reality) of an ineffective leader is closing. 

The president came out swinging against Congress just before he went on a ten-day vacation on a posh island where he's photographed playing golf. Nice swing, Mr. President. Admittedly, he has a better swing with a golf club than he swings against his political adversaries. It's actually amazing that the GOP hasn't paid a bigger political fine for bringing the country to the edge of insolvency. That the GOP was actually able to fight for and win amidst a recession tax breaks for the very wealthy!

Soon, the GOP will argue for a tax increase. The payroll taxes have been reduced under Obama's stimulus package [how many people know this??!!] but are slated to go up next year. This has been money directly into the pockets of working people. But, it's been a reduction only for the workers not the employers, so why should the GOP be in favor of this? Oh, they said letting the Bush tax cuts expire would be a tax increase. Let's see how the handle this one. And, let's see how this president handles it too.

But, There's Hope in Extremism
 I still think the GOP will go for Perry, unless someone else declares soon who may be stronger (I doubt it), or unless the Texas governor has a secret closet. If I were selecting one of the current GOPers, I'd pick Huntsman. But he's "crazy" as he Twitted recently. He believes in science, evolution, and other facts--but this is not what this extremist party wants right now.
So, you have Perry who wants to be President of the US and who doesn't believe in science, nor does he understand the meaning of the word science & scientific theory. Or, doesn't know how old the earth is. Do you? Does it matter?

Elections have consequences, and of course there are differences among candidates and the policies they pursue. They may be playing poker with our chips though, and this isn't good for our country. Leadership is important, and not only in implementing policy, but also to set the narrative. These are the stories we tell ourselves. People repeat slogans, ideas, myths, because they've been indoctrinated without bothering to analyze.
This is not something anyone wants to hear--that they parroting away. Yet, ask what do people mean by freedom ? Why do they reject evolution (one of the strongest scientific theories we have), climate change? Or, that they believe the earth is a few thousand years old? Or, that creationism [read: the Xtian myth, not any other] should be taught in public schools?  Leaders  who shared those beliefs would be marginal not presidential contenders!
Maybe this election will highlight those differences, that is, between a weak president and a right wing extremist. That's Obama's best hope, because he doesn't seem "to get it" nor does he seem to "go for broke" [as Savannah Guthrie asked Gibbs on Meet the Press] and fight for what's right not what the Republicans will allow him to have.