President Obama’s job-approval ratings are so low that even the mainstream media can no longer ignore them. But what is surprising is that the president’s ratings aren’t even lower. They should be. Obama rammed an ill-conceived healthcare bill through a facile Congress that vowed to pass the bill in order to learn what was in it. In doing so, the president and Congress completely ignored the long-term economic ramifications of their actions, while making a worse mess of America’s healthcare system. Sensing that Americans were war weary, President Obama executed a cut-and-run strategy in Iraq, again completely ignoring the long-term ramifications of his actions. This misguided political strategy has now blown up in his face and paved the way for a takeover of Iraq by ISIS. In fact, Obama’s ill-conceived pullout from Iraq has created a situation that is worse than when Saddam Hussein ruled that troubled country.
The president failed to act responsibly in Benghazi with the result that Americans were killed—including a U.S. Ambassador—and our embassy was burned and looted. His response to this monumental failure of leadership has been to deny, distort, and cover up. Now he has mishandled the Ebola epidemic about as badly as an American president could. Obama’s only saving grace is that Americans cannot even keep up with his failures; they come in waves. Just as soon as the American public begins to debate the president’s latest self-inflicted disaster, it is overtaken and obscured by another that is even worse. Consider. When was the last time you heard anything about Afghanistan, Benghazi, or Obamacare? In fact, Obama’s amateurish mishandling of the Ebola crisis now gets more news coverage than ISIS. Is it any wonder that this president’s job-approval ratings rival Abraham Lincoln’s among Southerners during the Civil War?
Obama’s disapproval rating is now in the mid-50’s, a level exceeded only by President Truman’s in the aftermath of his firing of General Douglas MacArthur. But as low as the president’s approval rating has dropped, what is even more surprising is that around 30 percent of those polled still give Barack Obama a favorable rating. Who in the world are these people? Are they so disconnected they don’t know what is happening in America and the world? Are we allowing ISIS or Al-Qaeda to vote in these polls? Maybe the executives of Obama’s favorite failed alternative energy companies are being polled. It would be tempting to believe that the president’s ratings are being propped up in these ways, but the reality of the situation is probably even worse. The real explanation can be found in the now infamous comment Mitt Romney made during the last presidential campaign; the statement about 47 percent of Americans drawing their subsistence from the federal treasury.
An embarrassed Romney made the mistake of trying to retract his statement. Instead he should have stuck with it and repeated it as his new campaign theme. He was right. The 30 plus percent of Americans who think Obama is doing a good job come from this larger 47 percent of Americans who count on government handouts for all or part of their living. In fact, since the functional number in this case is 47 percent, it’s a wonder that Obama’s approval ratings aren’t higher. One might think he would have a 47 percent approval rating.
What explains the difference between his lowly 30-plus approval ratings and Romney’s 47 percent figure? It can only be that even some of those on the government dole disapprove of Obama’s performance as president, as do a growing number of his supporters. Perhaps there are people collecting welfare and other entitlements who actually understand that ISIS and Ebola represent even bigger threats to them than conservatives, Republicans, libertarians, and other Americans who believe in personal responsibility. Obama’s job-approval ratings are low and getting lower, just as they should. But what in the world can be done about the 30-plus percent who still claim he is doing a good job?