…Cassandra is universally disliked (h/t to Bob Eberhart).
What are we to make of this poll that shows Obama rapidly losing altitude with voters, particularly the Independent voters? Just as Obama was being inaugurated, and immediately afterward, I wrote a number of posts on this blog warning about his mistakes in taking ownership of the Bush mistakes. After taking heat from my friends and the incredible (the root word here is credit, which means trustworthiness etc.) rise of the stock market, I decided to keep my mouth shut.
Now we are nearly six months into the new presidency and what do we have? Obama has invoked Bush era Imperial Presidency secrecy rules, signing statements, and even willingness to torture. The CIA has admitted lying to Congress, the direct representatives of the people, and there are no prosecutions. Unemployment that is reaching ever new highs, and the green shoots the Administration promised shriveling and dying. Wars in Afghanistan and now Pakistan are spiraling downward. For those who admonished opponents of these wars that there was no choice, I can guarantee you that the war will be lost and we will be worse off for having gotten involved. It is existential bad faith and terrible politics to say there are no choices. The Iraq War continues on. Our treasure is being squandered even as we are going bankrupt as a nation.
The real catastrophe that threatens to swamp Obama are the bailouts without end to Wall Street and, even more important, the increasing perception among Americans that Wall Street has become a rigged casino where citizens, pension funds, and 401Ks go to be sheared. Whereas Obama should have begun prosecuting executives who lied materially about the status of their companies, e.g., Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and AIG, they have so far been given a free pass. There are stock market rumors about front running in on a massive scale, tip-offs from the Federal Reserve to selected banks about forthcoming actions that allow the equivalent of insider trading, etc. This is serious stuff.
It was these abuses that were the core of the Roosevelt clean-up of Wall Street. There have been massive bailouts, but no programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps etc. to put people back to work.
Consider the observed pecking order of bailouts: Wall Street gets trillions; GM and Chrysler 100s of millions; state and local governments tens of millions; ordinary citizens very little. If Obama is to save his presidency, then he needs to fight as hard for the Main Street as he has for Wall Street. Let’s hope the newest polls give him the message.
How are you folks feeling? Has the Obama Administration been doing the right things? Is this the way forward for the country?