Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Long-Term View On President Obama

Hmmm… What to write about today? The Arizona ruling? PBS’s decision to portray Paul McCartney as a classy guy instead of the tactless prat (British insult intentionally included) that he went out of his way to portray last month? How about the apparently inevitable acceptance of an entirely activist-minded judge with no real experience onto the Supreme Court?

Then again, there’s always the fact that the oil from BP’s destroyed Deepwater Horizon well seems to be disappearing – after we vilified its CEO as an unfeeling monster who probably blew the whole kit and caboodle up on purpose just to kill innocent baby sea turtles – just like “obnoxious anti-environmentalist Rush Limbaugh” predicted?

Personally, I see no good reason to be concerned about any of those topics when our beloved president is descending from on high to mingle with the masses via ABC’s The View.

And that makes all of America’s problems go away, right?

I actually do think that some people might be swayed by his sweet words about family life at the White House, and how his daughters have to work for their allowance. For a little while, at least.

(Incidentally and with no disrespect meant to either Sasha or Malia, who seem to be perfectly normal and likeable children from the little I know about them, but I somehow doubt that they really will babysit for extra cash, as the President proposed recently. I mean, come on. This is the family that had their own personal chef back in Chicago, much less at the White House.)

Regardless, trolling daytime, housewife-oriented shows seems a bit desperate, even for somebody accustomed to Chicago-style politics. And while he might experience a temporary bump from this appearance, how long do you think that euphoria will last? My guess is that it’ll flee much quicker than promises of “ that Hopey Changey stuff” has been.

After all, unemployment will still range somewhere between 9.5% and 17.5% depending on what indicator you’re looking at. That’s despite today’s news that the “Labor Department said new claims for unemployment benefits fell to 457,000 last week... slightly better than the 459,000 forecast by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.” The article goes on to admit: “Economic reports the past few months have pointed to a slowdown in growth despite companies' optimistic outlooks. The Federal Reserve said Wednesday in its assessment of the economy known as the ‘beige book’ that the recovery is weakening in some parts of the country.”

That all means that small businesses will continue to struggle for loans. Consumer confidence will continue to falter. The housing market will continue to decline and the U.S. will continue to struggle.

Until Obama starts to address those problems with more than just pretty talk, his approval ratings will continue to decline in the long run.

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