Obama's slide in the polls is likely the result of liberals thinking Obama was something that he wasn't. (Here is a story that says the Obama slide is because moderates misread Obama). Now liberals are applying pressure to get Obama to do what they want him to do because they feel as though they are the only ones who supported him. They feel owed because they got him elected. Like any group, people want what they want. They think they're right. Just like the conservatives.
The so-called Obama Slide could also be caused by the fact that Obama has accomplished much in such a short period of time, people are demanding a lot. They're tightening the screws, so to speak. When was it that a president held a town hall, let alone the number that Obama has held? Obama has been here, there and everywhere, explaining, explaining, explaining. The more Obama communicates, the more people demand. It doesn't help that the Bush administration left the country a shambles and that few understand the economics of the bank "bailout."
I think support could turn around if Obama comes out forcefully for a public option, something that liberals are demanding. But is that the right thing to do? I'm on the fence. David Brooks thinks it would be suicide. He says Obama's sliding because he's losing the center:
Amazingly, some liberals are now lashing out at Obama because the entire country doesn’t agree with The Huffington Post. Some now argue that the administration should just ignore the ignorant masses and ram health care through using reconciliation, the legislative maneuver that would reduce the need for moderate votes.As Obama's presidency progresses into its third and fourth years, I predict he'll be in great standing. Obama likes to say he's slow to start and then picks up speed. He's a thinker and a weigher of options and a tryer of new things.
This would be suicidal. You can’t pass the most important domestic reform in a generation when the majority of voters think you are on the wrong path. To do so would be a sign of unmitigated arrogance. If Obama agrees to use reconciliation, he will permanently affix himself to the liberal wing of his party and permanently alienate independents. He will be president of 35 percent of the country — and good luck getting anything done after that.
The second liberal response has been to attack the budget director, Peter Orszag. It was a mistake to put cost control at the center of the health reform sales job, many now argue. The president shouldn’t worry about the deficit. Just pass the spending parts.
Another problem for Obama has been the rightwing, which is absolutely flailing around. The nation is changing underneath their feet, progressing. Obama is a reminder of that. But they don't know what to do with all the change. Brooks' remedy for the slide:
But fiscal restraint is now the animating issue for moderate Americans. To take the looming $9 trillion in debt and balloon it further would be to enrage a giant part of the electorate.Rachel Maddow says Obama picked a really hard issue to tackle in his first year and that it's time to end bipartisanship on health reform. But is it even possible for democrats to pass health reform through the controversial "reconciliation" process?:
This is a country that has always been suspicious of centralized government. This is a country that has just lived through an economic trauma caused by excessive spending and debt. Most Americans still admire Obama and want him to succeed. But if he doesn’t proceed in a manner consistent with the spirit of the nation and the times, voters will find a way to stop him. Read the whole thing at NYT
Somehow, Obama has to put politics aside, cut through the noise, and figure out what's the best move for the country on a number of fronts.