Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Obama's Second Term Already Looks A Lot Like Obama's First Term.

[Editor's Note: I recently realized that one of the most time consuming things about writing new posts here is my stubborn insistence and odd need to insert a photo in every piece. So I'm going to try something a little different today and just rattle off a bunch of new material, sans pics. Let me know if this bothers you (or not) in the comments.]

When President Obama was re-elected last Fall, I stated then that I felt more relief (that Romney/Ryan hadn't won) than elation. DC is gridlocked, and as long as the GOP controls the House, nothing of substance is going to get done. 3 months into #2Termz, nothing has changed. Sequestration came and went. The debt ceiling is coming soon, and surely will not end any differently. No plan to slash debt/deficit has even been seriously discussed. It's like these guys are just pocketing free money to do absolutely nothing.

Not surprisingly, when sh*t isn't getting done, the guy at the top gets the blame. Fair, or unfair.
The afterglow of President Obama’s reelection and inauguration appears to have vanished as increasingly negative views among Americans about his stewardship of the economy have forced his public approval rating back down to the 50 percent mark, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

In December, just after he won a second term, Obama held an 18-percentage-point advantage over congressional Republicans on the question of whom the public trusted more to deal with the economy. Now, it’s a far more even split — 44 percent to 40 percent, with a slight edge for the president — but the share of those saying they have confidence in “neither” has ticked up into double digits.

The poll contains ample evidence of the disillusionment voters feel toward both sides amid a sense of continuing dysfunction in Washington, which since December has been grappling with fiscal crises and deadlines of its own making.

Asked who is responsible for the sequester, 47 percent say Republicans in Congress and 33 percent say Obama.

Obama’s overall job-approval rating stands at 50 percent, down five points from before he took the oath of office in January. Looking along partisan lines, the slippage since then has been particularly pronounced among political independents. Two months ago, independents tilted clearly in his direction, with 54 percent approving and 41 percent disapproving. Now, half of independents express a negative opinion of the president’s performance; just 44 percent approve.

The president has also seen an erosion in confidence among groups that he has counted as core supporters. Compared with a Post-ABC poll in December, the share of liberals who place their faith in Obama over Republicans when it comes to dealing with the economy is 14 points lower; there has been a 12-point slide among women.

At 50 percent, Obama’s overall standing in the poll is lower than that of most other modern second-term presidents at this point in their terms. Of the seven second-term presidents who have been in office since Harry S. Truman, only George W. Bush had a positive rating as low as 50 percent at this stage.
Personally, I don't care who is to blame at this point. The GOP hasn't wavered one bit in its opposition to Obama. Obama isn't giving an inch, or at least he isn't talking like a guy who gives one. It all adds up to one huge stalemate with no chance of resolution anytime soon.

Since the 2nd term is supposed to be about building your legacy, I wonder what Obama's legacy will be. In his first term, he passed some important legislation, but did so at the expense of his ability to pass other important legislation. Now, unless the Democrats can miraculously regain the House by winning gerrymandered heavily Conservative districts, we're looking at about 4 more years of the same ole'. At some point, do you consider switching up your approach? The GOP clearly has no intentions of giving in. Sheeit, obstruction is for all intents their mission statement.

This puts the POTUS between the proverbial rock and hard place. But one thing's for certain: doing nothing sure isn't helping his legacy. Or us.

Question: Is there any fix for the partisan gridlock in DC? Should the President be more willing to bend?

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