The Marriage Between Obama And The American People Starts To Go Sour

by John Hawkins | June 18, 2009 4:42 pm

From CQ Politics[1],

Early in his presidency, Barack Obama had a grace period when the public saw the nation’s problems as ones he inherited, but two new polls — by New York Times/CBS News and Wall Street Journal/NBC News – make clear that there are rising concerns about his policies

The biggest public concern is over the size of the deficit being run up by Obama’s economic recovery proposals and how much more it will rise if his plan to overhaul health care and increase coverage for uninsured Americans is enacted. But there is also discomfort about his intervention in the auto industry and taking a big government stake in ownership of General Motors. And voters also disagree with Obama on closing Guantánamo.

On these issues, the new polls track with surveys done by Gallup. Gallup found strong job approval ratings for Obama in a late May poll but disapproval of his handling of the federal deficit and controlling federal spending. A Gallup poll conducted June 9-10 found a majority disapproving of the government’s investing in GM. Gallup said that voters opposed closing Guantánamo by more than a 2-to-1 margin.

To me, this is reminiscent of some relationships I’ve seen come and go. It starts with a whirlwind romance. The couple can’t get enough of each other. His friends point out some of her rather obvious glaring flaws, but she’s fresh, she’s new, she’s great in bed — and in his eyes, she can do no wrong. (Stage 1)

After a surprisingly short period of time, he proposes. His friends are dismayed, but they can’t really talk to him about it. If they suggest that perhaps they should slow things down and get to know each other a little better, he says he sees no need to wait. If they try to point out her flaws, he gets mad. There’s really nothing they can say that will change his mind. Soon, they’re married. (Stage 2)

After the marriage, they move in together and even though things still seem pretty good, he can finally see some of the flaws his friends pointed out. She gets in foul moods. She nags. She gets into fights with his parents. She seems flighty. She’s not very supportive. She’s a drama queen. Wow, how did he miss all these things? (Stage 3)

A few months in, he realizes these are not one time things, they’re patterns of behavior and he starts to have doubts, although he really can’t bear to talk about them. If you ask him basic questions like — “Do you enjoy spending time around her? Do you think your wife respects you? Is your wife your best friend? Are you ready to have children? Are you having as much fun as you were six months ago?” — the answer to every question is, “no.” But, if you were to ask him — “Do you still love your wife? Would you do it all over again? Are you happy to be married?” — he’d say “yes” to every question.


Because he’s hoping things will change. Because he can’t bear to admit his friends were right. Because it would make him feel petty to say, just a few months into his marriage, that he made a bad choice. Because he just can’t admit that he blew one of the biggest decisions of his life. (Stage 4)

Fast forward to 12-24 months after the couple is married and things are very different. They yell at each other all the time. He’s constantly upset. He’s asking his friends privately if they think he should get divorced. He’s utterly miserable. (Stage 5)

Then eventually, they get divorced, and it’s, “I don’t know what I saw in her. I don’t know what I was thinking. That was the biggest mistake of my life.” (Stage 6)

Today, most of the American people outside of Obama’s hard core supporters, who will stick with him no matter what, are either at stage 3 or stage 4. The more of them that move on to stage 4, the harder it’s going to be for him to get legislation passed. If the majority of people reach stage 4 and 5 before the 2010 election, and I believe they will, the Democrats will take a tremendous beating. Let’s hope this marriage continues to sour because the best thing that could ever happen to this country would be for it to get a divorce from Barack Obama.

  1. CQ Politics:

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