Last week's headline, "President Obama's approval ratings at 46 percent" was very bad news for the White House. Yet a deeper look at the data suggests even worse news for the country.
The data from Rasmussen reveals America is deeply divided along political, ideological and racial lines, despite the repeated promises from the president that he would bring America together.
At his keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, a speech that propelled him into the national spotlight as a fresh new voice for the Democratic Party, he said, "Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America."
Well apparently that ain't so, Mr. Obama â€“ at least not with you at the helm.
Seventy-two percent of Democrats approve of Mr. Obama's performance while 80 percent of Republicans disapprove. Seventy-seven percent liberals approve of the president, and 76 percent of conservatives disapprove. Of course, the bad news for the president, statistically speaking, is there are a bunch more people who claim to be conservative in the country than liberal.
But the most concerning statistic to me is the divide along racial lines, given Mr. Obama was marketed as the "post racial" candidate â€“ a candidate who would once and for all put racism behind us. The president earns a 37 percent approval among white voters and a 98 percent approval rating among black voters. Apparently job performance is not color blind.
The divide could not be wider when it comes to race. And yet this is during a time when members of the Democratic Black Caucus like Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee are attacking the president for ignoring the black community and doing little to improve the lives of African-Americans.
One would think if black leadership were demanding more from the president it would show up in a lower approval rating from the black community. Not so. With 98 percent approval, there is a huge disconnect or at least a huge "benefit of the doubt" being afforded this president.
Maxine Waters has vowed to be a troublemaker of massive proportion for Mr. Obama unless he immediately moves her constituency to the top of his list of priorities. She is willing to go as far as voting with the Republicans to get what she wants. The threat is real.
Under her leadership, the 43 member group recently agreed to boycott a vote on financial overhaul measures as a sign of protest. She is demanding Obama's attention at a time when allegedly 98 percent of the African-American population is satisfied with the president?
Maybe it is not Mr. Obama but the people around him. "I think that it is important for us to educate those people around [Obama]," Waters told reporters. "We've got to get his people educated and moving. We have not brought these issues to him personally â€“ it is important first to educate those people around him so they understand."
I thought Mr. Obama was the most intelligent man of our time? And the likes of Waters is going to increase that intelligence by teaching the people around him? Once again, it couldn't possibly be Obama's responsibility.
But this is just one group of Americans. What about all the other Americans Mr. Obama promised to serve?
It seems pretty obvious to me that Mr. Obama is doing little to bring us together as Americans. Quite the opposite. He wants to pit the poor against the rich, communism against capitalism and government control against free markets.
His list of villains is endless. The "Fat Cat" bankers, "Big Oil" raping the public, large industry spewing the new public enemy No. 1, CO2 and "greedy" insurance companies must all be cut down to size in Obamerica. Everything that made our society great is now a target for the socialist worldview of our new president.
Incentive to work hard, save and plan for the future will be replaced with Big Brother making sure every need is taken care of with an endless supply of red ink to future generations. Government group think will replace innovation and creative thinking.
It's a bold new America.
Don't expect Mr. Obama to heal our nation from the divides that have separated us for decades. Clearly he clings to his "divide and conquer" strategy to bring about the "fundamental change" he promised.
I can't say I don't have some level of respect for Mr. Obama. He is doing exactly what he said he would. He is spending huge amounts of his political capital to implement his agenda. The polls are the proof in the pudding. A once 65 percent plus approval rating is now barely 44 percent. That is a huge shift under any interpretation of the data.
One has to wonder just how far Mr. Obama will attempt to stretch the divide before irreparable tears appear in the fabric of our society. If the stretching does not stop, he will be a one-term president who will leave the nation more divided on all lines than any of his predecessors.
That is change we can regress in.
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