Polls deliver lumps of coal

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By John Barnhart

    I don’t know what Santa Claus is bringing President Barack Obama for Christmas. Santa was here for the Elks National Home Christmas Lighting and stopped by the Bulletin to pick up some back issues. Our news stories have featured a few folks who I’m sure have made his “naughty” list. He did tell me that he isn’t bringing lumps of coal anymore, as coal is too expensive. This year, he’s bringing dirty socks.
    I do know, however, that the polls have delivered President Obama more than a few lumps of coal. The most recent was a Washington Post/ABC poll released early last week. President Obama’s approval rating in this poll was 43 percent. This means he has the lowest approval ratings, in this poll, of any president in his fifth year in office since Richard Nixon. Yes, only “Tricky Dick,” who was in the process of going down the tubes due to the Watergate scandal, had a lower approval rating at this point in his presidency than Barack Obama!
    Actually the only presidents since World War II to get a rating below 50 percent are President Nixon, President Obama and President George W. Bush. Even Bush the Younger did better than President Obama in his fifth year. President Bush, who is some sort of evil beast in liberal mythology, had an approval rating of 47 percent.
    Oh how liberals hated Bush the Younger! That’s why I’m going to have so much fun comparing him to Barack Obama.
    One thing these two two-term presidents have in common is that the major contributor to their second term woes was something that they did in their first. In the case of Bush the Younger, it was his decision to invade Iraq in order to topple Saddam Hussein in March, 2003. That part went really fast and smoothly, but an Islamist insurgency developed shortly afterwards and spilled over into his second term because Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who, along with Robert McNamara, was one of the two sorriest secretaries of defense we ever had, failed to use sufficient forces in the invasion to secure the country after the Iraqi Army evaporated. This allowed an Islamist insurgency — eventually al Qaeda backed — to rise. We only got the situation under control when Bush the Younger got rid of Rumsfeld and sent in a troop surge.
    In Barack Obama’s case, it’s ObamaCare. President Obama rammed this through Congress, using some legislative fancy footwork. Unlike Bush the Younger, who had bipartisan support for his invasion of Iraq, Barack Obama got ObamaCare passed on a  party-line vote.
    Like the invasion of Iraq, ObamaCare’s roll-out has been a disaster due to Obama administration incompetence. The American public was never supportive of ObamaCare to begin with, and Barack Obama’s approval ratings took a nose-dive after the HealthCare.gov fiasco on Oct. 1, while his disapproval ratings rose.
    Bush the Younger never pulled his approval ratings out of the toilet, and it remains to be seen what Barack Obama will be able to do over the next three years. It’s not looking good because of a problem revealed in other polls. The roll-out of ObamaCare has demonstrated that President Obama lied to the American public when he told people, over and over, that folks who liked their pre-ObamaCare insurance could keep it and people who liked the doctor they were seeing could stay with the same doctor. In the wake of that, polls have shown that the marks he gets for honesty have taken a big hit.
    He has a few other things going against him, too, as his poll ratings have been on a downward slope all year. The IRS targeting of Tea Party groups and the NSA phone records scandal did not do him any good. I think it will take more than the “Worst President, Ever” will be able to muster to climb out of this hole he’s dug for himself.
    Meanwhile, if Santa Clause brings him dirty socks for Christmas, I think President Obama deserves a whole clothes basket full of them.