The country seems pretty polarized to me. How does it seem to you? Barry O won the Presidency with a majority of around 53%. Not that much but when you add in the third party, write ins and error votes, there was a 7-8% spread between him and John McCain. When you consider that a lot of Right Wing voters who would normally have knee jerked for the Republicans hated McCain and may not have voted at all, it might be expected that Obama's popularity would get lower after the election. It might even fall below 50%.
It doesn't seem to be happening. People rate Obama all over the map on the major issues, war, the economy, health care, foreign relations, spending deficits and on and on. The bottom line is that Barry has a 55% approval rating generally, about the same percentage of people that elected him in the first place. As I said before, the country is pretty polarized, I guess it's foolish expect things to change much, very quickly.
The Right has been beating the drums of hyper patriotism, fundamental religion, foreign war, and imminent collapse of society as we know it, soon to be replaced by a dictatorship of communist, Islamic, people of color, who don't wear pants or use toilet paper. I won't say it hasn't been effective to some degree. They currently enjoy more support than I ever thought they would get with these tactics but I think most people would agree, even on the right, that they have reached the point of diminishing returns and that further hysterics regarding Islamic takeover, race war, communist revolution, immodesty and poor bathroom hygiene will cause more people to turn away from, rather than attract new converts to, the cause of social conservatism. It doesn't mean they will stop or change the current tactics soon. They seem happy with the present plan, even though it is not producing positive results. Against all odds, they seem to be expecting a breakthrough in popularity.
I'm not that crazy about a lot of the new administration's actions. I don't think economic stimulus through government spending is a functional idea. I think decreased consumer spending and increased domestic production would be better than the other way around. I'd like to see the Great Society entitlements of the 60's and afterwards dismantled. I'd like to see technical, scientific and vocational education emphasized. I'd like to see us disengage from foreign military obligations and cut both the budget and payroll of the military as well as many other government functions. I'd like to see the Department of Homeland Security dissolved. I'd like to be able to go to Mexico or Canada again without a passport. I don't think the new administration will do any of these things. If I was polled about the Obama administration's handling of these issues, my responses wouldn't be positive. I know a Republican administration wouldn't have done any of the things that I wanted either and what they did do, would have been not only ineffective but unfairly partisan and probably involve illegal surveillance, torture and genocidal conflict, the garni bouquet that Republicans believe adds spice and depth to all the endeavors of political life.
I'm one of the 55% that approve of Barry's performance so far. If nothing else, he seems reasonable and intelligent in his reaction to new problems as they arise and not burdened with a preloaded ideological template for how to manage them. I would never vote for the kind of people now in the leadership of the Republican Party. My position will not change depending upon how Barry handles the Presidency. It is dependant on what kind of platform the Republicans build for themselves from this point on and the leaders that they then choose to represent them in public office.