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April 19, 2011

Unprecedented: Liberal Media Dares To Wonder: Did Obama's Plan To Not Have A Plan Speech Backfire?

Jonah Goldberg quotes NBC's reliably-reflexively-liberal First Read. (Clarification: The below quote is all from NBC; I'm just linking Jonah because he found it. Some readers mistakenly thought Goldberg was claiming employment's on the rise -- no, that's NBC.)

*** Did last week’s speech backfire? A new Washington Post/ABC poll — which shows President Obama’s approval down to 47%, and with 44% believing the U.S. economy is getting worse (when employment is actually on the rise) — suggests that the climbing gas prices have soured the public’s mood, big time. “Almost eight in 10 say inflation in their area is getting worse, and more than seven in 10 say higher gasoline prices is causing financial hardship at home,” the Post writes. But this poll, as well as the Gallup surveys, also seems to confirm that the president’s speech last week might not have played well. For one thing, and this is true going back to the ’08 campaign, Obama usually doesn’t get rewarded when he comes off as too partisan (even though the left loves it). More importantly, last week’s speech was on a topic — the deficit/debt — that most Americans don’t find as important as the economy/jobs. And in the Post/ABC poll, Obama took a hit with independents, with 55% of them disapproving of his job.

Goldberg notes that the post-speech Conventional Wisdom was either that it was "irresponsible-but-[politically]-effective" -- this the response from the right and middle -- and on the left it was "fantastic-and-[politically]-effective."

It appears the "effective" prong of the CW response was wrong.

And bear in mind this ABCNews poll is seriously skewed in the Democrats' favor, figuring, I guess, that there are now 3% more Democrat-leaning or -identifying voters than Obama's 2008 vote-share.

Yes, I think that seems likely.

It's the movement, particularly among independents, that counts, and the movement is down.

Geraghty finds some other bad news for Obama in that skewed poll.

Obama is actually doing worse on his chances for reelection than December. Right now, 28 percent of respondents (again, adults, not registered or likely voters) would definitely vote for Obama for reelection, and another 25 percent said they would consider it. The number who say now that they will not vote for Obama is 45 percent. The December poll had 26 percent definitely supporting, but 30 percent in the “maybe” category.

Goldberg notes at the end of this post that Conventional Wisdom keeps failing to accurately predict events.

Part of the problem here is that Obama's administration is, in several ways, "unprecedented." And if something's unprecedented, then past precedents fail to serve as reliable guides.

Has anyone governed as unabashedly left as Obama? No; it's unprecedented.

Has the US ever posted a staggering trillion and half yearly deficit? No, not even close. It's unprecedented.

Has the US ever voted for a half-black man as President, partly not out of genuine support but just out of racial good-will, and thus, having not truly voted for Obama based on his capabilities or policies, might have a particularly high level of buyer's remorse? No, that's obviously never happened before; it's unprecedented.

Has any candidate ever promised a supernatural agenda which included, literally, causing the waters of the earth to fall before him? No, no one's ever done that, at least not since Babylon circa 1500 BC.

Has the US suffered a three year deep recession bordering on a depression since the thirties? No, it's unprecedented.

Has the government of the US ever acted as a hostile occupying force and imposed a massively unpopular law on the nation despite the strong majority hostility to it? No, it's unprecedented.

If current models and current conventional wisdom is based upon a series of default assumptions which are actually now untrue, then the old models and old conventional wisdom fails to give us any guide.

The rules haven't applied to Obama all his life. Fortunately, going forward, the general rules of predicting future events also don't apply to him.

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posted by Ace at 12:55 PM

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