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I have been sitting on this post for a minute. I initially wrote it as a vent piece from the heart. After reading it, I thought it was too divisive. Not wanting to feed the us vs. them fire, I put this post on ice.
However, after watching this past week's relentless attack on President Obama (see the pic: a new low in crazy), I decided to post it.
As a political junkie, I am not offended by harsh criticism and caustic policy debate among elected officials: I know how sausage is made.
But this measure of vitriol, disrespect and racial dog whistling has been at unprecedented levels for modern politics.
Cue the GOP trumpets:
President Obama's approval rating in a low 41%
Our Fox & friends and other random conservative talking heads relish harping on this figure. Their superficial logic on interpreting this data extends to: low Obama rating equates high GOP rating.
Not so fast. The number -- without proper context -- is quite deceptive.
On the surface, the number indicates that the vast majority of Americans disapprove of his job performance. And our conservative friends assert: it's a resounding repudiation of all things Obama -- including Obamacare.
However, to the less emotionally bias and more politically astute poll reader, context matters. So, let's provide more perspective regarding the political landscape.
For starters, one can not point out Obama's low rating without mentioning congress's deep in the Valley of Bones 13% approval rating: Meaning Obama's rating are almost 30 points higher than the congress.
Just think, 87% of the American public disapproves of congress. This is the highest disapproval record in polling history. Can we glean, like conservative talking heads, this represents a rejection of all things congress: including Benghazi hearings and the repeal Obamacare fight?
Food for thought.
And, according to the Gallup Poll, Obama usually scores 4-6 points higher than the Supreme Court -- the Judicial branch of government.
Thus with context, President Obama -- the Executive branch -- is outperforming all, seemingly unpopular, branches of Federal government.
But, yet in still, those numbers still point to a "throw all them bums out" American attitude.
As the average American sees it, in the current state of hyper-partisanship, Washington is dysfunctional and broken: locked in a bunker mentality.
Not to mention the zealous Tea Party insurgents.
To complicate things further, the GOP is at war with itself: Beltway establishment vs. Tea Party renegades (funded by our dear Koch brothers). This battle is essentially: the far right-wing pols against the far, far, far right-wing anti-government ideologues.
This dysfunction and disconnect has been exasperated by the "scorched earth" GOP tactic.
As political analyst Chris Matthews describes:
"Maybe if he were a genius or a better politician, I don't know. But from the day he got in, he faced a wall of opposition," Matthews continued in his remarks on Obama.
Drawing a comparison to the kind of treatment President Abraham Lincoln faced during his term, Matthews suggested that some of Obama's Republican opponents have similarly deployed a "scorched earth" tactic to stymie his efforts in the White House.
"It wasn't a positive program. It was Mitch McConnell, it was Newt Gingrich, and these guys meeting almost like during the Civil War when Lincoln was coming to town. They were meeting as he (Obama) came to take the oath, and their goal was this: stop this guy in his tracks," said Matthews, who also expressed his belief that some of the opposition faced by Obama was due to his ethnicity. source
Senator Jay Rockefeller further expounded on the racial component of the "hate all things Obama" GOP party:
Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), one of his party’s leading health-care experts, lobbed an accusation this week that most Democrats have only whispered to themselves: some Republicans oppose the new health law because of President Obama’s race.
“It’s only a part,” Rockefeller said of racial elements to the opponents, in an interview with reporters Thursday. “But it is a part of life, and it is a part of American life and world life, and it’s a part of — just a part — of why they oppose absolutely everything that this president does.” source
Sorry to be so blunt. But, I have my own take on the country's conundrum:
The middle-class and average American citizens will continue to lose economic ground until working class and middle-class white men vote for their own interests over supporting and continuing propping up white male supremacy -- which in reality only favors a relatively few billionaires.
Oh, BTW for those yelling foul on how President Obama negotiated the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl please read: Ronald Reagan Gave Iran 1,500 Missiles for Hostages. Obama Trades Five Guys? GOP Heads Explode.