By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.
Need I tell you how Mr. Obama is disliked by the Right? Let us count the ways. He talks to our enemies--Chavez, Castro, et al. How sacrilegious! Then there's Mr. Obama's position on everything from taxes, to overspending, to abortion, to religion in the public square, and so on.
On the other hand, perhaps Mr. Obama is sitting back, watching this, and giggling. Perhaps he figures if he's upset the far left and the far right, he's positioned himself precisely where he wants to be. Perhaps his inner circle (Axelrod, Gibbs, et al.) has persuaded him that's why his public approval rating remains high (at 69 percent in yesterday's ABC-Washington Post poll). Stand for nothing and everyone will love you.
Being a contrarian, I have yet to find reason to trust the man. I like politicians who stand for certain things and against others. I don't trust any politician who is trying to be all things to all people. To me that's a sign of someone who is only concerned about winning re-election. He launched his presidential run as an antiwar advocate and will get us out of Iraq, at best, no sooner than the Bush administration planned to pull troops out.
Mr. Obama's popularity stems from the same reason he won office in the first place. He's the anti-Bush. He's undoing all the damage President Bush did to America's preeminence in international affairs. He's trying to revamp the economy. He even talks a bit, although we have yet to see any action, about cutting the budget. George W. so wrecked this country, anyone would have been a better president than Bush. Mr. Obama was in the right place at the right time.
But whether he's going to live up to America's overblown expectations--that he can transport us from political hell to political heaven--is going to take a lot longer than 100 days to assess.
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By Bonnie Erbe