“The level of dislike for the president has ratcheted up sharply”

Peggy Noonan is calling Obama a not so smooth operator:

NotSmoothOperatorSomething’s happening to President Obama’s relationship with those who are inclined not to like his policies. They are now inclined not to like him. His supporters would say, “Nothing new there,” but actually I think there is. I’m referring to the broad, stable, nonradical, non-birther right. Among them the level of dislike for the president has ratcheted up sharply the past few months.

It’s not due to the election, and it’s not because the Republican candidates are so compelling and making such brilliant cases against him. That, actually, isn’t happening.

What is happening is that the president is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who’s not operating in good faith. This is hardening positions and leading to increased political bitterness. And it’s his fault, too. As an increase in polarization is a bad thing, it’s a big fault.

he shift started on Jan. 20, with the mandate that agencies of the Catholic Church would have to provide services the church finds morally repugnant. The public reaction? “You’re kidding me. That’s not just bad judgment and a lack of civic tact, it’s not even constitutional!” Faced with the blowback, the president offered a so-called accommodation that even its supporters recognized as devious. Not ill-advised, devious. Then his operatives flooded the airwaves with dishonest—not wrongheaded, dishonest—charges that those who defend the church’s religious liberties are trying to take away your contraceptives.

What a sour taste this all left. How shocking it was, including for those in the church who’d been in touch with the administration and were murmuring about having been misled.

It’s hopeful and promising to see that people are finally seeing this guy for what he is.

Radical.

Devious.

Self-centered.

Get here November so that we can rid ourselves of him once and for all.

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Posted by on March 30, 2012.
Filed under Barack Obama.
I blog more regularly at my own place where plain thoughts are delivered roughly. My about page gives you more on who I am.

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  • Gmacr1

    His definition of “Hope and change” isn’t the same as everyone else’s, in fact it’s radically different.

    • PBunyan

      I think “most everyone else’s” would be more accurate.  I think about 20 of Americans do want this country to go full blown communist.

      • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

        If they get it, they won’t want it.

  • herddog505

    IIRC, Noonan was one of the “good” Republicans who bought into the idea of Barry the genius, Barry the Lightworker, Barry the post-racial, “different” politician.

    Personally, I NEVER bought into any of this, so I am totally NOT surprised to see Barry doing the things Noonan whines about.

    Barry has been kept afloat because MiniTru is ready, willing, and able to flack for him, to make excuses, to cover up, to flood the airwaves with people who find his policies “reasonable”, see “compromise” in his every decision, and point out the wicked, partisan, racist nature of his critics.

    [T]he shift started on Jan. 20, with the mandate that agencies of the Catholic Church would have to provide services the church finds morally repugnant. The public reaction? “You’re kidding me. That’s not just bad judgment and a lack of civic tact, it’s not even constitutional!” Faced with the blowback, the president offered a so-called accommodation that even its supporters recognized as devious. Not ill-advised, devious.

    Well, not according to his supporters, and OH! how we heard from them!  Why, the very idea that the Catholic Church would try to be “above the law”!  Free BC is a Good Thing(TM) that will reduce health care costs!  And, anyway, the ONLY reason to deny free BC to women is irrational hatred of women, a “war” on them.  “PEOPLE WHO OPPOSE THE PRESIDENT WANT WOMEN TO DIE!” we were told.  Then, Barry “compromised” by trying to sell us on the idea that a third party purchase made everything OK.  “See?  He’s a COMPROMISER!  But YOU don’t want to compromise because you’re a RAAAAACIST!”

    Whether people really are coming to dislike Barry in greater numbers – or, more exactly, dislike him enough to not vote for him – is a matter for debate.  I don’t think his poll numbers have gone done markedly; libs are VERY quick to point out that he beats this or that GOP candidate in such-and-such poll (not a difficult feat given their negative press and general low quality).

    I suggest that the person for whom “the level of dislike for the president has ratcheted up sharply the past few months” is none other than one P. Noonan, who is surprised and chagrined to discover that Barry is what many of us have always known him to be: politely, “a trimmer, as an operator who’s not operating in good faith.” Less politely: a Stuttering Clusterfuck of a Massive Failure.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PCBUEGLBF5K3DUBO3KZHQDMN7Q Brad

      I think her point was more that Obama’s callousness (shrouded in increasingly obvious ineptitude) has hardened those who disagreed with him but who could sort of tolerate him. Now he has pushed them over to actively oppose. So she wasn’t talking about his supporters per se.   But you’re right about it being her and her ilk.

  • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

    There’s nothing Obama’s showing now he wasn’t showing before – if people had just bothered to look in the first place.

    Lack of demonstrated competence in any real-world setting?  Check.

    Lack of managerial skills? Check.

    Divider, not uniter?  Check.  Community Activism requires setting groups of people against other groups – whether they be commercial (like a bank) or governmental (like housing offices).  AKA a ‘rabble rouser’, depending on whether you like what they’re doing or not.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rabble-rouser

    “one that stirs up (as to hatred or violence) the masses of the people”

    What part of dividing people up so they’ll be pissed off at other groups isn’t clear about that?

    Demonstrated acumen in politics?  Half-check – Illinois record a blank, Senate record blank.  Great at getting elected, with Chicago machine backing.  Otherwise?  Take away the teleprompter and support system lifting him up, and he’d have a hard time.

    As I said – there’s nothing Obama is showing NOW that wasn’t there BEFORE.  You can plaster all the “Hope And Change!” and “We are the people we’ve been waiting for!” bumper stickers you want all over him, you can spray him down with industrial-strength deodorants, you can spraypaint him in sparkly unicorn colors – but at the end of the day, you got a divider, not a uniter.

    And it was evident from the beginning, if you’d only bothered to look.

    • jim_m

       Demonstrated acumen in politics?

      Politics has been called the art of compromise.  0bama has shown as far back as Illinois that he is incapable not just of reaching compromise but of even considering the possibility of compromise.  He has always been a hard line ideologue completely unwilling to give in. 

      What the left has characterized as his compromise as a President has been his walking away from the table and letting the chips fall where they may.  That isn’t compromise, that’s capitulation.

      • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

        That’s why I said a half-check.  He can get elected – but after that?  Forget it. 

        I thought about leaving it off, but the man knows how to work the system well enough to make it where he is, so that (to my mind) demonstrates some little talent.

        • jim_m

          No I think you’re right. He talks a good game and certainly his sycophants believe that he is full of compromise.  He’s certainly full of something.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Full of fail, to be sure.

      • LiberalNightmare

        According to Winston Churchill, compromise is what you do until you can find damaging pictures of your opponent.

  • Hank_M

    It’s hard for Americans to like a President that doesn’t like them.

  • Commander_Chico

    Obama’s weak and mediocre.  He had the advantage of running against a cranky old warmonger and an airhead.   He was also from the opposite party from the incumbent president, a flaming f-up whose own “level of dislike” was sky-high in 2008.

    Instead of delivering the change he promised, Obama gave Wall Street a pass for the frauds that croaked the economy, stayed on the warpath in Afghanistan, and continued to build the police surveillance state.  Biggest con ever foisted on the American people by the oligarchy, which is now secure.

    I think he’ll be beaten by Romney and Rubio, mostly by Rubio.  While Obama just allowed the oligarchs to loot America, Romney will actively help them, since he’s a specialist in asset-stripping.  In this case, the assets will be those of the public, rather than some down-at-the-heels manufacturer.

    Unfortunately, we live in an age of great problems and small leaders.  There are no Lincolns, Roosevelts, or Eisenhowers in sight.   Heck, I’d settle for Nixon or Clinton.

    • jim_m

       While Obama just allowed the oligarchs to loot America, Romney will actively help them,

      I would hazard to guess that Americans don’t necessarily object to people becoming rich from holding political office as long as the rest of us are becoming better off at the same time.  0bama has managed to become fantastically wealthy throughout his political career and at the same time he is impoverishing America.  People really object to that (except for the 20% that want to be communists as PBunyan notes).

    • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

      ” He had the advantage of running against a (media portrayed) cranky old warmonger and an airhead.”

      FIFY.

      I’d take Palin over Biden any day.  I might even take Tina Fey playing Palin - the one who could see Russia from her house.  McCain – I don’t know how he would have done as President, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have worked to piss off our allies and kowtowed to our enemies, and I don’t think he would have done everything he could to FUBAR our economy with ‘green’ boondoggles in the guise of ‘energy independence’.

      He would have been roundly hated by the left, of course – but anyone with an (R) after their name would have been.

      You had a Lincoln, I think, in Bush. As far as him being a F-up, I think history will be much kinder to him than to Obama. A whole lot of folks thought Lincoln a ‘God-damned Ape” at the time, and hated him passionately.

      There’s a saying that first rate people hire first rate advisors, while second-rate people hire third-rate synchophants. With Obama’s choices, it’s pretty clear he’s second-rate, possibly third.

      • Commander_Chico

        “Media portrayed” warmonger??   Just last week, McCain was calling for the U.S. to bomb Syria.  Before that, he was complaining about the withdrawal from Iraq, and before that was on the Libya war wagon.  And let’s not forget “bomb, bomb Iran.”  The guy never saw a war he didn’t want, including intervening in the Republic of Georgia and starting a war with Russia.

        He wasn’t always like that, though.  I supported McCain in 2000 because he had objected to the bombing of Serbia, which he said was “immoral.”

        Bush will not be Lincoln.  Lincoln had an existential threat to the nation forced on him and fixed it.  Bush turned one bad day into an existential threat by incompetently overreacting. The existential threat is the money spent, the military and policy weakness revealed, and the liberties betrayed.

        Obama could save his presidency by announcing an immediate and rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan, and responding to the inevitable accusations of “surrender” by saying that a vote for Romney is a vote for war, but he does not have the balls to do that, and maybe Americans don’t care because only a few are serving.

        • jim_m

           McCain has always struck me not so much as a warmonger, but as a politician who was in favor of whatever the media was in favor of.  He was against military action when the media is against it and now that the media are pushing that we take some action in Syria he is all for it.

          When the media winds change I am sure that his position will change.

        • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

          Like I said, lot of folks hated Lincoln until they died, and saw no good at all in what he had done.

          The historians will judge, unaffected by transient media passion. It’ll take a few decades, however.

        • Brucepall

          Cmdr Chico,

          “… only a few are serving” and “Obama could save his presidency by announcing an immediate and rapid withdrawal…”

          Your wrong about this on so many levels; where to begin?

          Millions have served, and come the year 2042, many of them will still be going to the VA for medial treatment for wounds suffered in the war.  A war which we as a nation sent them to.  We as a country have an obligation to take care of these veterans, and this obligation will last for decades long after the guns fall silent.

          Apologizing and layering asinine ROE on the backs of our troops will not be, and never has been, a path to victory.  If our nation is not in this war to win, then our troops should have come home a long time ago, and a political end to the war concluded.

          This is why electing a person of integrity, honesty, and wisdom is so important for the Presidency and Commander-in-Chief.  

          I’m disappointed that you advocate leading-from-behind political hackery as a way of redeeming your champion.  Americans, especially those who answered our nations call, to volunteer and take up arms and go into harms way – will never forget; nor will the families of those who selflessly gave all that they had – will never forget.  

          Discount them as is your wont; but you do so at your own political peril. 

          Semper Fidelis-

          • Commander_Chico

            Bruce, do you know the ROE?  “ROE” is a common canard about the war, but they’re classified, aren’t they?   When people bring up ROE, what they seem to mean is “if we kill all of the Afghans we will win the war.”  Unfortunately, that style of war is no longer possible with global news media – the blowback is too strong.  If you don’t have fire discipline, you kill people and recruit ten more to the Taliban.  So General Stan McChrystal said about shootings at checkpoints 

            “We’ve shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force.”

            http://spectator.org/archives/2012/03/06/why-are-we-still-in-afghanista/print

            I note that you could not give any reason to stay in Afghanistan.

          • Brucepall

            I cannot confirm or deny any ROE… and if you think about it, you’d know why I would say that.

            I have said many times before (my posts are in the archives – go look) that if I was elected President my first act in office would be to ask Congress for a declaration-of-war, and if for whatever reason, the answer was no, then the troops would be on their way home that afternoon.

            Having spent the majority of my adult life in the Corps, I know that every Marine is a rifleman, who spends a great deal of time practicing and training in weapons and tactics to be competent on the battlefield.

            Since you don’t know, I’m going to back up and tell you, this isn’t always true within the other branches of service.  Thus, when a supply convoy gets shot to pieces and eventually overrun, its not the most junior soldier’s fault that they don’t know what to do in a “non-combat unit” (in a war zone!)  These quoted words are not part of the warrior Marine vocabulary – a military oxymoron of incredible scope and consequence.  This intolerable situation would of ended if I were Commander-In-Chief (among many many other things).

            If a nation decides to fight a war, they must be in it to win. If not, Afghanistan (or any other place) is not worth the life of one single soldier, airman, or Marine.  And I’m going to ignore your gratuitous comment about killing all the Afghans. I know what the face of war looks like; you do not.

            Please take off those cerebral blinders you wear that compels you to advocate an after-the-fact war strategy to “save” your political champion by discounting the sacrifices of our service men and women.  Its a total and complete looser; and will not win you any friends, nor bring anyone over to your point of view.

            Semper Fidelis- 

          • Commander_Chico

            I do know one thing about ROE: each and every ROE promulgated in Iraq or Afghanistan says that troops have the right to return fire to defend themselves.

            Now, the point of controversy in the ROE is the use of indirect fire and aerial bombing, that commanders have to consider the presence of civilians. 

            It seems to me, Gen. McChrystal, Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Allen that shelling a village because some Taliban shot a couple of rockets at your FOB from the village (and then left in a hurry) is exactly what the Taliban would want you to do.

            Maybe the “killing all Afghans” remark was a bit of a cheap shot, but in a counterinsurgency, minimizing civilian casualties is a must. Unless you kill an extreme and immoral amount of civilians, you’re just recruiting for the insurgents by killing any.

          • Brucepall

            Cmdr Chico,

            That’s quite a story – connecting yourself to what active duty General Officers have to say. 

            Speaking of war experiences – I can tell from your writings (and talking with anyone else) within minutes if you have been there, done that, and got the T-shirt.

            I’ll leave you with this…  

            The mission of the Marine Corps fire-team:

            “To seek out, close with, and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver; and to repel the enemy’s assault by fire and close combat.”

            Doesn’t say anything about killing civilians or non-combantants, indirect direct fire on villages, baby raping, burning churches, killing everyone in a country, or any other such nonsense you might allude to… does it?

            Semper Fidelis-

    • LiberalNightmare

      >>Heck, I’d settle for Nixon or Clinton.

      Why not? You settled for Obama.

  • GarandFan

    Buyer’s Remorse is a terrible thing to see.

    • 914

      The end of King Barry’s reign however, is not.

    • Grace_ia

      Actually, I’m thrilled to see it, and hear it – bring on the buyers remorse!

      • jim_m

         More like schadenfreude.

  • Brucepall

    Mr. Rice,

    Your post makes a very good point – perhaps its because as the election draws near, a very busy America is beginning to focus upon it.  

    Our citizenry, as a whole, are not “all politics all the time,” and thus are just beginning to dial into focus the record of accomplishments of their President.  

    He desires reelection, and is asking for their vote; so folks across the land are starting to ask themselves if he has earned their trust in terms of integrity, honesty, and judgement.

    Perhaps, like a canary-in-the-coal-mine, your discernment of the “level of dislike for the President” ratcheting up sharply is an indication of the formation of America’s answer to this important question.

    Semper Fidelis-

  • jim_m

    Noonan Closes: Mr. Obama has a largely nonexistent relationship with many, and a worsening relationship with some.

    But the nonexzistant relationship he has with those who disagree with him is exactly what he intended.  He has never been interested in ideas other than his own and is not interested in the needs of people other than those the left has chosen.  In fact he shows little interest in actually governing and is more interested in the accoutrements of office.

    When your whole reason d’etre is to accumulate wealth and power for yourself and your friends at the expense of everyone else, you tend to alienate everyone else. 

  • Brian_R_Allen

    …. Zero 
    is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who’s not operating in good faith …. 

    You mean like Mittens the Mobbed-Up Massachusetts Moderate whose only faith is an Inner Temple Secret but who externally comes across more and more as a trimmer, whose positions are as sincere as secure and as stable as is the next shake of the Etch-A-Sketch and are changed as often as the average American changes his underwear. The only change we may be certain Mittens may be depended upon to never make! 

    • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

      Fine.  Rant and rail, don’t vote for the man because of his policies and whatever.  Write in Ron Paul.  Write in Mickey Mouse.  Write in Mickey Mantle or Mickey Dolenz, or your pet goldfish.

      I don’t much care for Romney – but I damn sure don’t want to see Obama get re-elected.  If Romney’s the R candidate, that’s the breaks. 

      I’m NOT going to vote for an independent.

      Given the set of choices we’ve got, I can either vote against Romney (hey, how’d that protest vote thingy work out in ’08, anyway?) or against Obama.

      I’m voting against Obama, for the candidate most likely to win.  I won’t be expecting miracles, I’ll be HOPING for a bit less of the catastrophic CHANGE we’ve had so far.

      Your mileage may vary, and probably does.  (Shrug.)  

    • Hank_M

       No, Romney is not like Obama and I dare say that the more you find out about Mitt, the more there is to like. Sure, he’s no conservative but from the did you know dept.

      When Romney went to the rescue of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, he accepted no
      salary for three years, and wouldn’t use an expense account.

      He also accepted no
      salary as Governor of Massachusetts.

      “In July 1996, the 14-year-old daughter of Robert Gay, a partner at Bain Capital,
      had disappeared. She had attended a rave party in New York City and gotten high
      on ecstasy.

      Three days later, her distraught father had no idea where she was. Romney
      took immediate action. He closed down the entire firm and asked all 30 partners
      and employees to fly to New York to help find Gay’s daughter. Romney set up a
      command center at the LaGuardia Marriott and hired a private detective firm to
      assist with the search. He established a toll-free number for tips, coordinating
      the effort with the NYPD, and went through his Rolodex and called everyone Bain
      did business with in New York, and asked them to help find his friend’s missing
      daughter. Romney’s accountants at Price Waterhouse Cooper put up posters on
      street poles, while cashiers at a pharmacy owned by Bain put fliers in the bag
      of every shopper. Romney and the other Bain employees scoured every part of New
      York and talked with everyone they could, prostitutes, drug addicts, anyone.

      That day, their hunt made the evening news, which featured photos of the girl
      and the Bain employees searching for her. As a result, a teenage boy phoned in,
      asked if there was a reward, and then hung up abruptly. The NYPD traced the call
      to a home in New Jersey, where they found the girl in the basement, shivering
      and experiencing withdrawal symptoms from a massive ecstasy dose. Doctors later
      said the girl might not have survived another day. Romney’s former partner
      credits Mitt Romney with saving his daughter’s life, saying, “It was the most
      amazing thing, and I’ll never forget this to the day I die.”

      Hearing anything like this from Barry Obama’s past?

      I didn’t think so.

      • Brian_R_Allen

        Pretty cool stuff, if true and sounds as if he’d make a pretty darned fine community organizer — but we just had one of those — and how is that working out for you? 

        Meanwhile you don’t apparently deny and in any case the evidence is overwhelming that not even Mr Romney has any idea who he is and/or what he stands for.Having designed and implemented Romney Care the every-bit-as fascistically- lawless-big-government/statist in-state version of the later-on Romney-Care-patterned Obama-Care and been on more sides of every issue that is, say, Lurch Kerry, the man is quite simply without a recognizable or a definitive core. Whether I voted for him or not wouldn’t matter a darn in any case as I vote in California 90028 – smack-dab in the middle of Hollywood. But, just as I drew the line short of voting for John Sidney McCain, last time around, so, unless we go to a Brokered Convention and nominate an actual Republican – President-Elect Palin, say — will I once again skip “president” — and vote down the ticket this year. 

        Far as I’m concerned folks who’ll nominate “democratic” lite / RINOs, have no cause for complaint when electorates — EVERY DARNED TIME — prefer and elect Real “Democrats,” instead!

        • http://twitter.com/juandtres juandos

          Are you talking about these kinds of people?

  • Brucehenry

    I know most of you won’t, but if you want to see a hilarious take on Noonan’s article, visit Wonkette today.

    • http://twitter.com/juandtres juandos

      When did the wonkette become hilarious? Has her almost zero grip on reality taken a turn towards improvement?

  • Brucehenry

    Wonkette is a website with several contributors, not just a single person. And, to each his own. Check it out or don’t, juandos, I don’t care.

    • http://twitter.com/juandtres juandos

      I have checked out the web site since its been around for several years…

      Its lame, it has always been lame and its a site for the lame…

  • http://twitter.com/juandtres juandos
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  • Hugh_G

    A very scientific analysis here. Peggy Noonan has an opinion (unsupported by anything) so it must be fact. The actual facts are, even assuming she’s correct, are that folks dislike either of the possible Republican candidates much more than the President. One is a stiff, humorless opportunist and the other is a stiff, humorless ideologue out of touch with most of the universe including his fellow catholics.

    If that’s the test the President wins in a landslide.