In her column today at USA Today, moderate Democrat Kirsten Powers writes:
When asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about Boehner’s claim that the president had exceeded his executive authority, Obama retorted, “I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something while they’re doing nothing.” He went on to explain that his administrative actions regarding immigration were OK because the GOP wouldn’t work with him and “the majority of the American people want immigration reform done.”
The comment is remarkable for two reasons. First, as Powers notes, Obama does “not make a substantive legal case in defense of his executive power grabs” but, rather, defends his views on the basis of their reflecting the will of the people. Which leads to reason two: Obama has stated on more than one occasion that he pays no heed to polls. How then can he profess to know what “the majority of the American people want done” on anything?
Staying with the topic of polls, a particularly interesting one came out today. Conducted by Quinnipiac University, the survey found that 33% of voters view Obama as the worst president since World War II. (Maybe it’s a lucky thing he doesn’t read the polls!) Quinnipiac also determined that 45% of respondents think the country would be better off under Mitt Romney.
Daily polling data by Reuters/Ipsos bears out Quinnipiac’s numbers. Among the eight or so daily polls that make up the Real Clear Politics average (which also includes Quinnipiac), Reuters has Obama’s lowest (at 37%) and highest (at 56%) job approval and disapproval ratings respectively.
If you probe a little deeper into the Reuters Polling Explorer, which offers real-time data, you find that around 16% of those queried strongly approve of Obama’s job performance. Strongly approve? The poll doesn’t provide demographic information on these people, or better still names, but it would be fascinating to speak with someone who is bullish on the job Obama is doing to find out why.
I appreciate that this subgroup is preternaturally inclined to believe Obama’s interpretation of events and, thus, hold inaction by House Republicans to be the main cause of economic stagnation and partisan divisions at home, but how do these people rationalize away Obama’s cluelessness on the world stage? His foreign policy (if it can be called that) has made the nation far less secure than it was when he first entered the White House.
Could it be that these people, who are doubtless outraged by those who unfairly criticize the president, are the new generation of “bitter clingers”? Are they so invested in the myth of Obama that their faith in him is unshakable?