Green Room

The March of Zombie Obama

posted at 9:59 am on February 17, 2011 by

There were more than a few knee-slappers in Joe Scarborough’s Politico column this week. He brought up some uncomfortable factoids from Mitch Daniels’ biography and shared some rather odd observations about CPAC.

“Romney’s support is a mile wide and an inch deep” was a refrain repeated around the Omni Shoreham ballroom as often as “Rocky Top” gets played at Tennessee football games.

I’m not saying Romney was the belle of the ball here, but I do know that CPAC was held at the Marriott this year, not the Omni Shoreham. I know that for a fact because it’s the same Marriott where I could not find a reasonably priced room and wound up taking the Metro in from Arlington every day. (Sorry, Joe. Just couldn’t resist that one.)

One of his other observations, though, did get my rusty mental gears grinding into motion.

Still, the biggest reason prospective candidates are so reluctant to declare their candidacy in 2011 is simple: Most of them privately believe Obama will end up winning in 2012.

That reality may be hard for Republicans like me to digest, since many of us believe the president’s domestic agenda over the past two years has been a disaster. But Obama’s poll numbers paint another picture.

The most recent Fox News poll shows the president with a 51 percent approval rating at a time when real unemployment is above 10 percent.

Obama’s support among voters is hard to explain, but the impact of the reality is simple to explain. His popularity is freezing Republican candidates in their tracks.

There’s two points there to tackle. First, the idea that potential GOP candidates are “paralyzed” by some foreboding that Barack Obama is destined to win a second term is rather flimsy. From what I saw, there is a crowd of people keenly interested in grabbing the nomination. If they’re being frozen in place by anything it’s a sense of waiting to see if Palin is going to run or not. (Another possibility which Scarborough mentions, to his credit.)

But what of this phenomenon that no matter how badly things may seem to be going on many fronts, no matter how poor the president’s scorecard on specific issues, his popularity seems to remain quite strong? I know that one of the favorite pastimes of Ed Morrissey is to pick apart the cross-tabs of polls, point out that so and so was oversampled and note negative numbers on specific figures under the covers. But one thing remains clear… no matter what the “hard numbers” may be, following a prolonged dip leading up to the mid-term elections, Obama’s numbers have been trending back upward.

So is it true? Is Obama some sort of unstoppable political zombie, devouring the brains of American voters and shambling his way to inevitable victory in 2012?

Zombie Obama

It’s hard to imagine where the confidence comes from. I freely admit that I’ve given the president a bit more generous marks on foreign policy than some of my GOP friends, but on critical domestic issues it can’t be justified. In the areas of stemming unemployment, beating down the deficit and reducing spending, Obama’s scores would not see him promoted to the next grade this fall. And when it comes to energy policy a grade of F wouldn’t do him justice. His performance calls for expulsion from the school.

And yet the president retains popularity among near or above 50% of poll respondents. What will happen if some of these economic conditions begin to improve over the next twelve to fifteen months? I’m not saying he’s going to be unbeatable, but it’s going to be a stiff challenge for any candidate. And if the GOP hopes to have a chance, there’s only one thing to do. And we must act on it immediately.

It’s time to fire Reince Priebus and bring in… Miss Cleo. How else are you going to stop a zombie?

UPDATE: “Belle of the ball” works better than “bell.” Language Martinet strikes again.

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bell of the ball

That should be “belle”. A “bell” is something completely different.

-Language Martinet

The Monster on February 17, 2011 at 10:04 AM

I think it fits, since he’s such a ding-dong.

Dark-Star on February 17, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Joe doesn’t seem to know jack. It still boggles my mind that anyone out there doesn’t want bho to fail. He’s killing this country one exe order at a time. Still a lot of fraidy cats who can’t say they don’t like the AA black man.

Kissmygrits on February 17, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Obama’s support among voters is hard to explain,

No, not difficult at all. Some number, let’s go with 30% of the population are fanatical ‘progressives’ ranging from knowingly Marxist, to sympathetic Marxist, to useful idiots, while another ~20% are just ignorant, ranging from useful idiots to emotion based ignorance.

That’s the problem. Marxism has been allowed to become an acceptable ideology, while sympathetic emotionalism camouflages the ideology. Conservatives just don’t seem to be able to find an acceptable and effective counter to that point of view.

For example, “Of course health care should be free, after all we have a right to life.” Left out of that assertion is the very simple fact that someone has to do the work, and by using the force of government, those who have to do the work are enslaved by the demand for service, and poorly compensated for it.

Same thing with food, “We live in a free country, where you are free to starve if you demand your freedom.” When in truth, demanding free government provided food, or shelter, or a government job, or anything else procured by the force of government, someone becomes a slave to the people who claim the power of government for themselves.

We do live in a free country where you are free to starve if you choose to do work for which people refuse to compensate you sufficiently, until your work becomes good enough to command the ‘living wage’ the Marxists insist is a right.

Wisconsin is a good example, teachers unions are using the threat of force, or the threat of work stoppage to demand excessive compensation that can no longer be afforded.

We will continue to lose this argument until conservatives can effectively make the case that one has to earn respect, not just demand it, and one has to earn that living wage by providing goods and services that are valuable to those who have to pay for them.

Skandia Recluse on February 17, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Still a lot of fraidy cats who can’t say they don’t like the AA black man.

Kissmygrits on February 17, 2011 at 11:03 AM

If there’s any justice at all, they’ll at least find the bawlz to say it within the safely anonymous confines of a voting booth.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2011 at 11:42 AM

“But what of this phenomenon that no matter how badly things may seem to be going on many fronts, no matter how poor the president’s scorecard on specific issues, his popularity seems to remain quite strong?”

Just a lot more useful idiots than previously thought.

VBMax on February 17, 2011 at 11:52 AM

So is it true? Is Obama some sort of unstoppable political zombie, devouring the brains of American voters and shambling his way to inevitable victory in 2012?

.
Don’t know about ‘zombie’,
but Obama definitely has Boris Karloff eyes:
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/brainiac/Frankenstein_monster_Boris_Karloff.jpg

mrt721 on February 17, 2011 at 3:29 PM

President Obama retains the overwhelming support of mainstream media, which is roughly the equivalent of billions in campaign advertising dollars, truly an inestimable advantage. Pravda was never so much in the tank for Brezhnev during the Cold War as the American press is now for Obama. The President could go mad-dog crazy and start kicking puppies and strangling kittens during a live televised interview and the press would tweak the footage accordingly, make the spin he was warding off a ferocious rabid animal attack on an orphanage.

If a politician engages in habitual dishonesty and chronic ineptitude and no one hears about it, it didn’t happen. Propaganda works, and it is difficult (but not impossible) to counter.

The only way the winner of the GOP presidential primaries stands a chance is if he or she is willing to bluntly tell the truth about Obama, which by necessity means he or she will have to do it the Chicago Way and go negative since the truth about the president is very ugly, indeed. The nice guy approach seemingly advocated by Mitch Daniels is, in my view, a surefire strategy for failure. It would be McCain redux: losing honorably, with emphasis on losing.

The campaign motto of the Republican challenger should be ‘All That Is Legal Is Acceptable.’ Playing nice against a ruthless political machine and assuming a common ground of decency and fair play is nonsense and folly.

troyriser_gopftw on February 17, 2011 at 5:48 PM