Time wonders how Obama lost his mojo

posted at 8:45 am on September 2, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Some of us might answer that question with “the media was finally forced to cover him properly,” but let’s not get too picky about that now.  At least the media has begun to notice that Hope and Change has worn threadbare in a very short period.  Time calls Barack Obama “Mr. Unpopular” in its headline today, and reports on the steep decline in support for Obama over the course of his nineteen-month administration.  They describe his “overreach” on policy, but Michael Sherer starts off closer to the truth in the beginning of his analysis:

A sense of disappointment, bordering on betrayal, has been growing across the country, especially in moderate states like Indiana, where people now openly say they didn’t quite understand the President they voted for in 2008. The fear most often expressed is that Obama is taking the country somewhere they don’t want to go. “We bought what he said. He offered a lot of hope,” says Fred Ferlic, an Obama voter and orthopedic surgeon in South Bend who has since soured on his choice. Ferlic talks about the messy compromises in health care reform, his sense of an inhospitable business climate and the growth of government spending under Obama. “He’s trying to Europeanize us, and the Europeans are going the other way,” continues Ferlic, a former Democratic campaign donor who plans to vote Republican this year. “The entire American spirit is being broken.”

One explanation for Obama’s steep decline is that his presidency rests on what Gallup’s Frank Newport calls a “paradox” between Obama and the electorate. In 2008, Newport notes, trust in the federal government was at a historic low, dropping to around 25%, where it still remains. Yet Obama has offered government as the primary solution to most of the nation’s woes, calling for big new investments in health care, education, infrastructure and energy. Some voters bucked at the incongruity, repeatedly telling pollsters that even programs that have clearly helped the economy, like the $787 billion stimulus, did no such thing. Meanwhile, the resulting spike in deficits, which has been greatly magnified by tax revenue lost to the economic downturn, has spooked a broad sweep of the country, which simply does not trust Washington to responsibly handle such a massive liability.

Let’s check some assumptions in this paragraph.  Has Porkulus “clearly helped the economy?”  Or has it merely provided a short-term spike that has already dissipated without fixing the underlying problems of the economy?  The economic collapse, after all, did not come because the US didn’t do enough road projects or spend enough money on pork.  It didn’t even result from a lack of government investment in alternative energy resources.  In the shortest of short terms, the massive government spending provided a bump upward in GDP — a reflexive result — but in the long run, it means higher debt and less capital for private-sector expansion.  Plus, of course, it failed to keep millions of jobs from disappearing, which was its explicit mission.

And then there was the overreach.  Obama ran as a post-partisan moderate, a pose that the media enthusiastically accepted and contrasted with John McCain’s supposed representation of the Old Guard establishment.  Instead of embracing financial responsibility and a moderate course, Obama instead ignored the fact that America was bleeding jobs for most of the past 19 months to get a far-Left agenda pushed through Congress:

Rather than address these concerns as the economic crisis grew, Obama made a conscious choice to go big with government reforms of health care and energy. The bailouts of the auto companies, the rescue of Wall Street and the new regulation of banks and the financial industry only deepened the public’s skepticism, especially among independent voters. Rather than dwell on the political problems, the President pushed his team forward, believing, in the words of top adviser David Axelrod, that “ultimately the best politics was to do that which he thought was right.”

If Obama thought that the best politics was to adopt that agenda, then why didn’t he run on the platform of the hard Left in 2008?  Scherer doesn’t even bother to challenge this rather wan defense.  Instead, he accepts it at face value.

Obama has become unpopular because voters are angry over the bait-and-switch that Democrats used to get him elected, with the help of a cheerleading media.  After 19 months, the nation knows Obama a lot better than they did in 2008, and they see an inexperienced and incompetent executive who has a dedication to an agenda of arrogance and top-down control.  Had the media done its job in 2007 and 2008, this would have been no surprise — and Obama wouldn’t be President, either.


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David Mamet explained it all in House of Games.

It’s just that the conned aren’t liking being in on the con co much anymore.

Bruno Strozek on September 2, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Rush Limbaugh made a good point when he said that America can survive Barack Obama, but the people who were foolish and gullible enough to vote for him are the ones who can destroy this great nation. I fear the fools!

Agreed. Dopes like the Dr. Ferlic interviewed for the article are the real problem, and there are scads of them. they might swing GOP this time, but they can and will be led down the primrose path by the next socialist charlatan. If you want to do something for your kids, protect them from the Dr. Ferlics as best you can.Get them out of socialist and socialist leaning jurisdictions and schools. Demand that your states assert and protect their sovereignty against Uncle Socialist. Starve the socialist feeder institutions.

james23 on September 2, 2010 at 1:11 PM

BO OH never had MO JO.

“He’s trying to Europeanize us, and the Europeans are going the other way,” continues Ferlic, a former Democratic campaign donor who plans to vote Republican this year.

Obama has pretty much treated our European allies like dirt, and embraced the likes of Chavez, and Castro. These men…Chavez, and Castro are what he wants to take America to. Not European socialism, but a brutal dictatorship, complete with shootings in the street for those non compliant comrades.

Deval Patrick gave us a hint about that the other day. I have no doubts he spoke for many in the same mindset. This includes Obama!

capejasmine on September 2, 2010 at 1:18 PM

It’s almost satisfying (in a grim way) to be among the people who saw this coming & opposed Obama from the beginning. The trick is to get the Obama voters to come around to our way of thinking. If we don’t, we’re screwed in the long run.

OhioCoastie on September 2, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Lost his mojo? That’s racist!

Blake on September 2, 2010 at 1:36 PM

I hope if my daughter and SIL cannot afford private christian school that they homeschool my grandkids.Seriously.

DanaSmiles on September 2, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Through Axelrod’s marketing and an incurious, rah-rah media, ObaMao’s voters were sold some fool’s gold. I wonder how many of them are proudly displaying their ObaMao commemorative plates and coins now. Charlatans belong in the ash heap of history.

The orthopedic surgeon cited in the Time article must have an accountant equally dense as he is. Are they wallowing in ObaMao money from the stash now? Will they ever recover?
How does the specialist celebrate looking forward to working for national health care?

onlineanalyst on September 2, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Preventing teacher layoffs is not a concern of the federal government, Axelrod. As a retired teacher, I can tell you that teachers should not be exempt from economic downturns. Federal intrusion in education has led to the expansion of administrative bureaucracy, not excellence in education.

onlineanalyst on September 2, 2010 at 1:40 PM

As a retired teacher, I can tell you that teachers should not be exempt from economic downturns.

onlineanalyst on September 2, 2010 at 1:40 PM

I heard this kid call into a radio station late last spring after his teachers threatened to strike. He complained that his parents lost their jobs several months earlier, home life was tense, and the teachers are striking over not receiving a raise and demanding that the students support them.

Blake on September 2, 2010 at 2:05 PM

What about the so-called “moderate” Conservatives? Have they done proper mea culpas yet? I thought they would by now. What is taking so long…

David Brooks
David Frum
Kathleen Parker
Peggy Noonan

Did I miss any?

Gob on September 2, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Did I miss any?

Chris Buckley comes to mind. Daddy must be spinning like a top down under!

chickasaw42 on September 2, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Yeah right, we thought we getting hope and change and now what we got is
a Queen for a Day.

The MSM thought they would be the privileged leeches on his ass and by golly in his heart he despises them too, along with the rest of us.

Dhuka on September 2, 2010 at 4:18 PM

chickasaw42 on September 2, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Thanks Chicka…good one!

Gob on September 2, 2010 at 4:34 PM

HOPE and CHANGE
CRASH and BURN

profitsbeard on September 2, 2010 at 5:50 PM

MoJo? He was always just a “B” grade actor that had a knack for reading a teleprompter. The gullible bought into the “idea” of Obama and lost sight of the reality that he has NO experience!

joedoe on September 2, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Some of us might answer that question with “the media was finally forced to cover him properly,”

Not even close.

Lieutenant General McInerney’s affidavit

Tav on September 2, 2010 at 6:39 PM

Has Porkulus “clearly helped the economy?” Or has it merely provided a short-term spike that has already dissipated without fixing the underlying problems of the economy

The problem is that there never was a ‘fix’ for the economy, The stimulus package- which constituted primary of federal subsidies to states and unemployment benefits- had the primary benefit of preventing the economy from falling into an abyss. The average American has little basis for appreciating this. Those who expected a V-shape recovery never understood the true nature of the financial crisis and the amount of time it will take businesses and households to fix their balance sheets.

People want things to improve economically, but there’s not way that’s going to happen anytime soon. The tough medicine needed to balance the budget hasn’t even been taken yet.

bayam on September 2, 2010 at 6:40 PM

“We bought what he said. He offered a lot of hope,” says Fred Ferlic, an Obama voter and orthopedic surgeon in South Bend who has since soured on his choice. Ferlic talks about the messy compromises in health care reform, his sense of an inhospitable business climate and the growth of government spending under Obama. “He’s trying to Europeanize us, and the Europeans are going the other way,”

How does one so easily fooled get through medical school and become a orthopedic surgeon?

RJL on September 2, 2010 at 7:08 PM

After 19 months, the nation knows Obama a lot better than they did in 2008, and they see an inexperienced and incompetent executive who has a dedication to an agenda of arrogance and top-down control.

Also, the laziest wanker to ever occupy the White House.

AUINSC on September 2, 2010 at 7:09 PM

Time wonders how Obama lost his mblojo

chickasaw42 on September 2, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Mojo my ass, it was bad juju all along.

infidel4life on September 2, 2010 at 7:50 PM

“We bought what he said. He offered a lot of hope,” says Fred Ferlic

Dummies. Turn in your voter registration.

ddrintn on September 2, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Obummer never had no mojo. Not a lick of it. No mojo rising from the ashes for this faulty phoenix of a prezdent or PEZdent. I like PEZ. I do not like the prez. No contest.

Sherman1864 on September 2, 2010 at 8:34 PM

“We bought what he said. He offered a lot of hope,” says Fred Ferlic
Dummies. Turn in your voter registration.

ddrintn on September 2, 2010 at 8:31 PM

I agree. But we already “educated” them in our lib schools with lib teachers teaching propaganda and not the 3 Rs plus the importance of our nation and its wonderful Constitution. The ship has left the dock.

Sherman1864 on September 2, 2010 at 8:37 PM

The charlatan Münchhausen has been found out. This liar will never go back into the box. It’s all about him and he’s exposed, nakid.

The U.S. American people are deeply hurt to have been fooled like this.

They are to blame. However, they will never repeat such a monstrous scrooming.

Schadenfreude on September 2, 2010 at 9:04 PM

So many people thought they were getting a Gem. They ended up with a Pet Rock.

trigon on September 3, 2010 at 3:13 AM

Great article. Obama is being exposed for what he is, and has been all his life: a leftist marxist-leaning elite who deliberately sought out like minded people. Nobody really knows who this man is.

A creature of “living off the government”, this community organizer has spent his adult life grabbing chunks of “free money” to give it to grievance mongers. Never a job in the private sector

A person who believes in his supreme elitism (along with James Brown in Drag MEchelle)who looks down on the vast majority of Americans.

The good news is that arrogance levels all in its path, and has throughout human history. The Messiah is but a bowling pin in arrogance’s bowling lane.

Cleveland Steamer on September 3, 2010 at 8:13 AM

The few jobs Obama ever held — among them, a few weeks scooping ice cream — and today he’s lecturing the U.S. if not the world on “the economy” and “solutions.”

Obviously, the people who elected this ice-cream scooper have more than a few screws loose.

Lourdes on September 3, 2010 at 10:53 PM

Mojo my ass, it was bad juju all along.

infidel4life on September 2, 2010 at 7:50 PM

BINGO!

Lourdes on September 3, 2010 at 10:55 PM

A creature of “living off the government”, this community organizer has spent his adult life grabbing chunks of “free money” to give it to grievance mongers. Never a job in the private sector

Cleveland Steamer on September 3, 2010 at 8:13 AM

No, no, no, he scooped ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins for a few weeks. AND he wrote classified ads for one or two months or so.

Lourdes on September 3, 2010 at 10:56 PM

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