I was scrolling through the various commentaries on offer at TownHall.com yesterday when I spied one written by Newt Gingrich’s daughter Jackie Gingrich Cushman titled “Are We Sick of Him Yet?” Being all too familiar with the anti-liberal, anti-progressive and rabidly anti-Obama venue that TownHall has devolved into I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I opened the article to find just what I had suspected to be contained therein. In this stock and shop worn anti-Obama diatribe Ms. Cushman likens Obama’s decline in popularity of late to a story she once heard about a woman who wanted a divorce from her husband, not for any of the usual reasons, but because she had grown sick of him. So much for family values and the sanctity of marriage among conservatives.
Cushman went on to juxtapose from the marital to the political: “Relationships that begin bright and shiny can fade into dark and gloomy when events occur that change one’s interactions, perceptions and hope for the future. Hope was gone — the relationship could get no better.” She then went on to try to force fit this juxtaposition, derived from her friend’s failed marriage, into a broad brush analysis of Obama’s present public relations predicament: “He has fallen furthest among 18- to 29-year-olds — down 7 points within the last week to 42 percent. More telling than his 40 percent overall approval rating (Gallup), is his disapproval rating, which has reached 53 percent…the 53 percent disapproval rating marks a new high. Simply put: More people than ever before disapprove of the job that Obama is doing…What can’t be determined is if Obama can get back that loving feeling or if it’s just that finally we’re sick of him. Maybe we need a divorce.” Thus reading Ms. Cushman’s piece we are left to conclude that vast swaths of the American people have grown sick of Barack Obama and are desperately in need of relief from this most onerous, if not debilitating relationship. However, short of impeachment, which is thus far unlikely no matter how strong the flights of fancy on the right are about such a thing, there’s no divorcing Obama for the next three years so get over it.
But as novel an approach to dealing with Barack Obama as Ms. Cushman’s might be seen to be, she has stumbled pathetically in her analysis of our collective gastrointestinal maladies by failing to examine the extent to which the American people have grown sick of Obama’s critics on the right. A simple examination of polling numbers from Real Clear Politics or Polling Report.com on the public approval of Congress shows that while Obama’s popularity has fallen the popularity of the Republicans on Capitol Hill remains stuck near historic lows at 21% and that 73% disapprove of how they are handling their job. While those numbers are off the absolute lows, its only by a few points and that with all of the problems besetting Obamacare already factored into the latest numbers. These results for Congressional Republicans are consistent throughout all of the recent polling, even that of the right leaning Fox News Network. And when it comes to the popularity of the regularly reliable anti-Obama movement that is the Tea Party the results are pretty much where they’ve been for quite some time, at the historic lows in terms of both popularity with the American people and those who consider themselves members of the movement.
Speaking of things that make voters sick, the plight of the political right is hardly anything to cheer about and it’s certainly nothing to be overlooked if your in the business of intellectually honest political commentary, which apparently isn’t the case for Ms. Cushman. Am I being trite in suggesting that it’s probably a good thing that Ms. Cushman isn’t in the medical profession as her methodology when it comes to formulating a diagnosis leaves much to be desired?
In the past few days much has been made among conservative commentators about the numbers of young people who are dissatisfied with the participation mandate of Obamacare. This has given, I believe, many on the right a false sense of hope that they might now capture the votes of those 18- to 29-year-olds. That’s a giant leap of faith when you stop to factor in where these voters are on issues such as climate change, same sex marriage, reproductive rights, immigration, minimum wage reform and voter identification issues, all issues where the G.O.P. is definitely out of step with young voters. Republicans and their fellow travelers still have the albatross of the government shutdown around their necks and the negative aspects of that will far outlast the Obamacare website rollout debacle or a few million cancelled insurance policies as a issue to reconcile before the voters in 2014. Why, because the technical glitches of the ACA website and cancelled insurance policies are far less debilitating politically than are those of the Tea Party afflicted government shutdown or the track record that comes with five years of political obstruction. That being understood, is there any reason to think that these young voters are well on their way to becoming conservative voters? I seriously doubt it.
The great irony of all of this is that TownHall promotes Ms. Cushman as “passionate about improving the world her two children will inherit and teaching them how to make a positive impact through their daily lives” yet they’re happy to print a piece as intellectually dishonest as “Are We Sick of Him Yet?” The point is that Jackie Gingrich has done nothing more than to engage in the usual pig pile of anti-Obama rhetoric that now has become the stock in trade of TownHall.com and any number of other far right venues like The Weekly Standard, Red State, American Thinker, ad infinitum. Some of these people are so biliously affected by the Obama Presidency that they just can’t bring themselves to accept it even though they’ve been defeated twice in national elections as well as in Supreme Court decisions related to this administration’s policies. Are they going to spend the next three years beating their heads against the wall of reality that Barack Obama represents to them or will they finally see the farce and folly of articles such as the one examined here and come to grips with the need to promote viable, politically acceptable, alternatives?
Now I’ll be honest and say that there’s plenty of the same sort of tripe and swill on the far left as well, but the point is that if you’re out of power and looking to get back into a position of governing in a meaningful manner you’re not likely to get there by peddling the sort of hackneyed drivel that “Are We Sick of Him Yet?” represents. Needless to say it’s hardly the sort of writing that would inspire one’s children to “make a positive impact through their daily lives”
Steven J. Gulitti
6 December 2013
Are We Sick of Him Yet?; http://townhall.com/columnists/jackiegingrichcushman/2013/12/05/are-we-sick-of-him-yet-n1757790
Real Clear politics – Latest Polls; http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/
President Obama Approval: http://www.pollingreport.com/obama_job1.htm
Congressional Republican Approval; http://www.pollingreport.com/cong_rep.htm
The Tea Party Movement; http://www.pollingreport.com/politics.
Just 8% Now Say They Are Tea Party Members”; http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/january
Tea party identification nationwide. Now 22%, was 32% at time of the 2010 election”.; http://t.co/oDThWeYIEC
Judd Gregg: Impact of shutdown lingers; http://thehill.com/opinion/judd-gregg/190507-judd-gregg-impact-of-shutdown-lingers-on