Is the electorate getting disillusioned?
Note that source is Rupert Murdock's Wall St. Journal, so take with requisite dose of salt
Strains in Party Threaten Democrats' Plans - WSJ.com (note : Democrats often seem strained to acted together - see Will Rogers "I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!")
Fred Barnes: Why Obama Isn't Changing Washington - WSJ.com:
"First, Mr. Obama misread the meaning of the 2008 election. It wasn't a mandate for a liberal revolution. His victory was a personal one, not an ideological triumph of liberalism. Yet Mr. Obama, his aides and Democratic leaders in Congress have treated it as a mandate to radically change policy directions in this country. They are pushing forward one liberal initiative after another. As a result, Mr. Obama's approval rating has dropped along with the popularity of his agenda."
"Second, Mr. Obama misread his own ability to sway the public. He is a glib, cool, likeable speaker whose sentences have subjects and verbs. During the campaign, he gave dazzling speeches about hope and change that excited voters."
"Third, Mr. Obama misread Republicans. They felt weak and vulnerable after losing two straight congressional elections and watching John McCain's presidential bid fall flat. They were afraid to criticize the newly elected president. If he had offered them minimal concessions, many of them would have jumped aboard his policies. If that had happened, the president could have boasted of achieving bipartisan compromise on the stimulus and other policies. He let the chance slip away."
On the lead domestic program, health care:
David S. Broder - David Broder: Fears of health-reform cost are justifiable:
"By David S. Broder
Sunday, November 22, 2009
It's simply not true that America is ambivalent about everything when it comes to the Obama health plan.
The day after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) gave its qualified blessing to the version of health reform produced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Quinnipiac University poll of a national cross section of voters reported its latest results.
This poll may not be as famous as some others, but I know the care and professionalism of the people who run it, and one question was particularly interesting to me.
It read: 'President Obama has pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our federal budget deficit over the next decade. Do you think that President Obama will be able to keep his promise or do you think that any health care plan that Congress passes and President Obama signs will add to the federal budget deficit?'
The answer: Less than one-fifth of the voters -- 19 percent of the sample -- think he will keep his word. Nine of 10 Republicans and eight of 10 independents said that whatever passes will add to the torrent of red ink. By a margin of four to three, even Democrats agreed this is likely."
The executive branch is not all that strong, and congress was allowed to take over the agenda. Furthermore, I wonder if "campaign style" really works oversees, or do you have to put the foreign service to work laying the groundwork.
Peggy Noonan: He Can't Take Another Bow - WSJ.com:
"An icon of a White House that is coming to seem amateurish."
"From journalist Elizabeth Drew, a veteran and often sympathetic chronicler of Democratic figures, a fiery denunciation of—and warning for—the White House. In a piece in Politico on the firing of White House counsel Greg Craig, Ms. Drew reports that while the president was in Asia last week, "a critical mass of influential people who once held big hopes for his presidency began to wonder whether they had misjudged the man." They once held "an unromantically high opinion of Obama," and were key to his rise, but now they are concluding that the president isn't "the person of integrity and even classiness they had thought.
She scored "the Chicago crowd," which she characterized as "a distressingly insular and small-minded West Wing team." The White House, Ms. Drew says, needs adult supervision—"an older, wiser head, someone with a bit more detachment."
"Just as stinging as Elizabeth Drew on domestic matters was Leslie Gelb on Mr. Obama and foreign policy in the Daily Beast. Mr. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and fully plugged into the Democratic foreign-policy establishment, wrote this week that the president's Asia trip suggested "a disturbing amateurishness in managing America's power." The president's Afghanistan review has been "inexcusably clumsy," Mideast negotiations have been "fumbling." So unsuccessful was the trip that Mr. Gelb suggested Mr. Obama take responsibility for it "as President Kennedy did after the Bay of Pigs."
He added that rather than bowing to emperors—Mr. Obama "seems to do this stuff spontaneously and inexplicably"—he should begin to bow to "the voices of experience" in Washington.
When longtime political observers start calling for wise men, a president is in trouble."Then the more "liberal" NYTimes chimes in:
Editorial - Diplomacy 101 - NYTimes.com:
"Mr. Obama’s own credibility is so diminished (his approval rating in Israel is 4 percent) that serious negotiations may be farther off than ever.
Peacemaking takes strategic skill. But we see no sign that President Obama and Mr. Mitchell were thinking more than one move down the board. The president went public with his demand for a full freeze on settlements before securing Israel’s commitment. And he and his aides apparently had no plan for what they would do if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said no.
Most important, they allowed the controversy to obscure the real goal: nudging Israel and the Palestinians into peace talks. (We don’t know exactly what happened but we are told that Mr. Obama relied more on the judgment of his political advisers — specifically his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel — than of his Mideast specialists.)"