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August 09, 2011

Has Obama Met His Economic Sadr City?

I was trying to find evidence for a theory. I did not find it. I am going to give you the theory anyway. (The media taught me that.)

It is my recollection -- this is my gut -- that public opinion began to soften on the Iraq War after about a year, and then, after the second year, maybe 24 or 30 months in, turned against Bush and the War.

I can't find evidence for that impression, because the Gallup numbers I looked at showed a steadily increasing level of opposition to the war; that is, there was no clean break at some point in the second year at which I can point and say, "Ah ha! There! There is the moment opinion shifted!"

It just shifted slowly but consistently.

So, okay, I have no evidence for this. However, that's not going to stop me.

I am thinking that when we speak of the public being "patient" with a policy which is not resulting in clearly positive results, we are speaking of patience for 24-30 months. Two years to two and a half years.

That is, I'm hypothesizing, the duration of public "patience."

Before the public seemed to really sour on the Iraq War, I felt that while polls still said they supported it, they did so tepidly, more out of habit than conviction. And that at some point -- say, the unending pacification of Sadr City, the implication that the war simply would never end -- a crystallization occurred, and they stopped supporting the war, and began to oppose it.

The downgrade may be that sort of event. While people have been tepidly "giving the president's policies a chance to work," again, more out of habit than conviction, the downgrade may represent the moment where people are forced to evaluate their actual beliefs, and take stock of where their previous support of the president has brought them.

Economic confidence is absolutely plunging. It has fallen dramatically in the past two weeks, and Obama's approval rating seems to be stuck in a bad place for him -- 40% supportive, 50% disapproving.

I have waited for public opinion to finally break against him; perhaps the overnight loss of three points of of support represents, finally, this break.

I have vaguely predicted that a tipping point would come at some point. I don't think I ever said "And now here it is!" I just expected it to come sometime.

I think this is actually the tipping point. I think this is the point where the 6% or so of the public that seems to give Obama support one week, and then withdraw it the next, based on daily incidents and pure mood, will, overall, now just break against him, lost to him.

At some point people really have to notice the elephant in the room, and that elephant is complete failure in every single respect of job performance. (Except, of course, for making the "Gutsy Call" to kill the man the United States has dedicated itself for ten years to killing.)

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posted by Ace at 04:56 PM

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