Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Obama – The Most Polarizing President Ever

During his four years in office an average of 86% of Democrats and 10% of Republicans approve of the job Barack Obama did as President., “Obama on Track to Become the Most Polarizing President Ever,” February 10, 2014

Barack Obama has the dubious distinction of becoming the most polarizing president in modern history.

In this 4th year as President the party approval gap between Democrats and Republicans is 76%. That percentage ties George W. Bush, but if things continue as is , Gallup says the gap will reach its historic high by the end of Obama’s term, surpassing even George W. Bush. The approval gaps of previous Presidents in their 4th year were: Clinton 61%, Reagan 60%, Eisenhower 45%, Nixon 44%, and Carter 29%. This is striking because Obama was elected on his promises that he would be a unifying president.

Why the differences?

It may be because times have changed and the issues differ.

One of the most striking changes has been the impact of the Internet on journalism.

We now have a 24 hour news cycle, with multiple news organizations competing for public attention. To gain attention, these organizations have become more partisan and branched out into show business, opinion-mongering, and make-believe. The so-called mainstream media, talk radio hosts, left-and-right wing bloggers, comedy central satirists, the social media, and organizations like Fox News create controversies, compete for demographic market share, and see how many books they can hawk in their respective venues

Another change has been the emergence of covert class warfare. Obama, the brilliant social organizer, has exploited the Internet, the social media, his rhetoric, and his status as the first black President to win over minorities – blacks, Hispanics, gentry liberals, single women, and young voters – into a winning coalition that turns out in greater numbers to win Presidential elections, but not mid-term elections, where the middle class, the elderly, and white males prevail. Divide and conquer among the classes may be a temporary winning strategy s but it is not a lasting or winning strategy in America.

Yet another change has been ObamaCare. Obama is the first President to pass a national health reform bill. But he passed the health law under dubious circumstances with tricky parliamentary procedures, Medicaid bribes to key Senators, and against the unanimous opposition of Republicans. The public has opposed ObamaCare from the beginning by double digit margins, although they like certain features , the end of discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions and the coverage of adult children under their parents plans.

ObamaCare has other problems as well. Americans do not like radical change, being mandated as to what they cannot or cannot do; being told what plans and doctors to choose; having plans cancelled because the plans did not comply with federal standards; being called “stupid” by an Obama acolyte, who claims the “stupidity” of American voters is why the ACA passed; having promises of keeping your own doctor and health plans and lower premiums and lower costs broken; and witnessing the disaster of the launch and general confusion and managerial incompetence surrounding enrollment and re-enrollment.
Finally, there is the “personal” issue. Nothing is more personal than health care. Of all government issues those affecting health care are the most personal. It is not like other government policies. What health care to buy, to have, and to gain access to, is a potentially life and health threatening decision about your Moms and Dads and kids. According to David Simas, Obama’s senior advisor on selling health reform, “ Health care is personal. It is completely- completely- different.”

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