Obama has a list of accomplishments as long as your arm. But a less-than-masterly use of the bully pulpit has allowed both opponents and supposed allies to minimize them. A very vocal part of the progressive base has painted many of his successes as capitulations, while many on the far right have painted them as a threat to the security and solvency of the republic. That’s the problem with lingering too long in the middle: you take fire from both sides.
And then there is the prickly racial question that we dare not raise lest the raiser him or herself be called a race baiter: can the president win back enough of the white and Hispanic support? A Gallup report issued this week found that the president’s approval rating among both whites and Hispanics had dropped to the lowest point of his presidency. Since he was elected, his approval rating among whites has dropped by 43 percent and by 36 percent among Hispanics, but it has dropped nearly 9 percent among blacks.
There is no way to fully understand this racial movement, but there is no denying that it exists. Maybe some blacks are stubbornly sticking with him, in part for racial reasons. Maybe some whites and Hispanics are drifting away from him, in part for the same reasons. Who knows? But the dramatic difference points to something that exists beneath the surface and beyond policy.
Let’s see, he made a speech, and then he made another speech, then he went golfing, then he made another speech . . . oh, wait! Lily Ledbetter!
IIRC, Barack Obama was already black when he was elected. It’s amazing that so many racists didn’t realize it until now.