Thursday, March 7, 2013

Election's over. Time for pols to work

Part of the reason I don't pay much attention to the approval ratings of political people is because they are so fleeting.
OBAMA: Mr. 43 percent? For now!

They're usually a reflection of the issues at large that are taking place in our society. Something goes bad, and we blame whoever's in charge -- regardless of whether they did anything to cause the problem.

SO SHOULD IT be a surprise that with the federal government failing to come up with a solution to financial problems that the "sequestration" process is being used to impose arbitrary budget cuts that will impact our lives that somebody is "paying" for this?

It seems the person paying is President Barack Obama. A new study by Ipsos for the Reuters wire service says his approval rating has dropped to 43 percent -- down from the roughly 50 percent he was at a few weeks ago.

And far below the high 50s ratings he got in the days leading up to Election Day last year. Which was more about how little the bulk of us thought of Mitt Romney than how much we really liked Barack Obama!

Now it should be noted that the approval rating for Obama is questionable. The Gallup Organization does its own daily polling of what people think of the president, and they had him at a 49 percent approval rating (44 percent disapprove) on Wednesday.

BUT THE IDEA that people are ticked off at our government officials for not being able to do something about finances is so obvious. I don't doubt people think less of the president now than they did a few weeks ago.

For the poll also shows that people are blaming Republican officials as well. We just think less of our U.S. government officials as a whole. Considering their actions (or lack thereof, in recent weeks), it is deserved.

Literally, this same poll says 38 percent of people questioned think everybody deserves blame. While 27 percent will blame the Republicans exclusively and 17 percent want to stick the blame on Obama.

Only 6 percent, however, say Democrats in Congress are to blame for the problems. Could it be that people just think the Democratic caucuses are too weak and ineffectual to pay any attention to?

IF ANYTHING, I may be as much a part of the problem as anyone else for even bothering to dignify these poll results by reporting them here.

Perhaps if our government officials were to pay less attention on trying to gain a favorable poll rating and more on trying to figure out the nuances of our government, we might actually be able to come up with something resembling a solution.

I'd like to think that Obama is in a position to do that. After all, he won't be running for re-election to another presidential term.

In fact, he has about one year before he falls into "lame duck" status and nobody pays any attention this desires anymore -- because their mindsets are more focused on the 2016 election cycle.

WHICH MEANS HE ought to be trying to act now in ways to prevent his legacy from being that of a president who was so obsessed with his current approval rating that he didn't accomplish anything of lasting value.

I'm not sure if that is where Obama is headed. But it certainly is a possibility if we become too obsessed with current approval ratings.

Besides, you just know that something will happen in coming months that will tick off the people against the conservative ideologues that will manage to give Obama a boost in approval back to his old levels.

Even that boost won't be permanent. The sooner we realize that, the better off we all will be.


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