Get ready for another round of finger-pointing and name-calling. The bone of contention this time is a new Gallup poll, released on Thursday, that reveals that Barack Obama’s fourth year as president is tied for the most polarized in the history of the office, The identity of the president with whom Obama shares this dubious distinction is a strange bedfellow who has popped up in other one-on-one comparisons. Gallup explains:
During his fourth year in office, an average of 86% of Democrats and 10% of Republicans approved of the job Barack Obama did as president. That 76-percentage-point gap ties George W. Bush’s fourth year as the most polarized years in Gallup records.
Gallup observes that the fourth year, when incumbents seek re-election, is frequently a polarizing time in presidencies.
So who is to blame for the bitterly partisan divide? It could be that times (and temperaments) are a-changin.’ Gallup features a table of recent presidents beginning with Eisenhower that shows a trend toward more highly polarized ratings in which “Americans aligned with both parties are apparently not looking much beyond the president’s party affiliation to evaluate the job he is doing.”
On the other hand, although liberals will deny it, Obama ran an especially mean-spirited campaign that devolved at times into the most petty sorts of put-downs, including depicting his opponent wearing a dunce-cap and resorting to scatology.
It hasn’t helped either that he is a man of no small ego, a trait that mainstream journalists and liberal bloggers have encouraged via their fawning coverage.