Those of us who believe in the greatness of the America system and the inherent wisdom of the American people should not be surprised by the record decline in the president's approval ratings, to a level below that of George W. Bush pre-9/11. While Obama's vague call for "Hope and Change" met fertile ground in the aftermath of the financial system meltdown and weariness with Bush's financial irresponsibility and aggressive foreign policy, there is a growing awareness that, as David Brooks notes, if Obama proposes it, it must involve "big spending, big government, and a fundamental departure from the traditional American approach." This should not be a surprise.
As stated in a recent letter by a former senior executive at Proctor and Gamble, Obama departs radically from American traditions in terms of his attitude toward the military (see today's You Tube), his attitude toward business, his apologies for America abroad, his concept of role of the government and private sectors, and his demonizing of opposing perspectives. It should have been clear from Obama's autobiography - Dreams from My father, A Story of Race and Inheritance - that the abandonment by his parents and his experiences in Indonesia and Kenya created a world view far from that of mainstream America. Add to that his associations with the likes of Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers. What is amazing is that, for a time, the voters (and the media) did not care.
Many will trace the decline in Obama's approval ratings to his proposed government take-over of health care, with its trillion dollar price tag, deferral to Nancy Pelosi to write the legislation, and unbelievable claims that it would not increase costs, force people to change their insurance plans, or raise middle class taxes. I think that the problem is broader.
When he gets off script, the real Obama comes through. During the campaign the veil came down a bit with his admonition to Joe the Plummer to "spread his wealth around". With his criticism of the Cambridge police for "acting stupidly" in briefly arresting his Harvard friend, Professor Gates, it came down further as he demonstrated that he sees things through a racial prism. He was right that it was a "teachable moment", but the lesson should have been to praise the behavior of Sgt. Crowley who followed procedures and demonstrated the personal restraint that police must exhibit when faced with offensive citizens in situations that can get dangerously out of control. Glenn Beck had it right - Obama acted as a racist, and that is what the public, if not the media, saw.
The swamp of Guantanamo and CIA interrogations offers another insight. What is clear is that the "enhanced interrogation techniques" worked to help prevent at least a few additional attacks and to break up al Queda's command structure - despite the Left's efforts to obfuscate the facts contained in the CIA Inspector General's report. Faced with unpalatable choices, difficult decisons were made and the agents tried hard to work within the guidelines that they were given. Despite his professed desire to look forward and his commitment to not prosecute agents, Obama is now deferring to the Left and giving maximum attention to borderline decisions of the past at the risk of degrading the capabilities of the intelligence community.
Less reported is Obama's decision to appoint an Ayers-type radical to the White House Council on Environmental Quality where he is an "Advisor to the President". As recently as the 90's, Van Jones was a founder of Standing Together to Organinize a Revolutionary Movement - STORM (manifesto attached), an organization with a "fundamental commitment to the ideas of Marxism-Leninism." With a nod to the debunkers and the conspiracy theorists, some of the original discussion of Jones has been taken off of the Internet, and there is no discussion yet of Van Jones or STORM on either Snopes.com or FactCheck.org. Skeptics can look up Van Jones on Google, or go to Glenn Beck.org and search under "Van Jones" for recent videos. (Examples: "green energy" should be linked to reparations for Native Americans; the "Whites" have deliberately poured toxins into the communities of "People of Color"; and, repeatedly, Republicans are a*holes".) Watch the videos, then tell a friend.
To a guy who grew up in the middle class in a small New England town, and spent some years in the military and a career in business, this is definitely not "change that I can believe in."
This week's You Tube comes from loyal reader Bill McCormick, and captures the attitude of the military toward two presidents.
bill bowen - 9/4/09