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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

From the "Be careful what you wish for" file
Posted by Jill | 5:13 AM
For months we've seen progressive bloggers snarking about how the Republicans should "Please, please, PLEASE nominate Sarah Palin!" -- as if it were a shoo-in that Barack Obama would clean her clock in a head-to-head matchup.

But with Barack Obama having ignored Main Street in favor of Wall Street, escalating the war in Iraq, showing signs of being willing to sell out health care reform to Joe Lieberman just to get SOMETHING (even if that something means a mandate that everyone buy health insurance the premiums for which skyrocket every year and cover nothing), still having Guantanamo Bay open, and leaving in place many of the worst excesses of the Bush Administration, the fresh-off-her-book-tour Sarah Palin is starting to get a second look:

A pair of new surveys revealing that President Obama is still declining and has hit a new low in job approval among Americans just 56 weeks after they elected him with a decided margin.

A Top of the Ticket post Tuesday on the relative popularity of Sarah Palin and Barack Obama erred in stating in the text and the headline that there was a Palin-Obama gap of 1 point. Two separate polls were cited, as the post notes, so the findings are not directly comparable.

And -- wait for it -- Republican Sarah Palin is successfully selling a whole lot more than books out there on the road. Even among those not lining up in 10-degree weather to catch a glimpse of pretty much the only political celebrity the GOP has these days.

First, el jefe. Facing double-digit unemployment, rising spending, deficits and Afghan war casualties plus a keystone but stalled healthcare reform effort that caused a rare Sunday presidential visit to Capitol Hill, Obama recently fell below 50% job approval for the first time.

Then, last week's deft dance of rhetoric over sending reinforcements to Afghanistan but, on the other foot, bringing them home quickly maybe gave him a brief boost. That, however, collapsed with equal rapidity.

Obama's new Gallup Poll job approval number is 47%. Last month it was 53%.

Regular Ticket readers will recall how in this space in late November we pointed out that Obama's closely watched job approval slide was coinciding with Palin's little-noticed rise in favorability. And it appeared they might cross somewhere in the 40s.


46% like her (including eight of 10 Republicans), 46% don't (including seven of 10 Democrats) and only 8% are undecided (no doubt including many who've been living underground since John McCain unveiled his VP GOP running mate in Dayton, Ohio, some15 months ago).

But here's the fascinating, little-noticed catch:

The very same polarization now holds true for Obama, the fresh fellow from the old Chicago Democratic machine who was supposed to bring hope and change to a nation tired of divisive politics and the harsh partisan tone of Washington.

Fully 83% of Democrats approve of him, but only 14% of Republicans do.

Among independents, who provided the crucial winning boost for the Democratic ticket in November 2008, Obama's support has melted to 42% today, in large part over immense spending and deficit concerns.

And as political veteran Dave Cook points out over on the Vote blog, just since last month, 3% of Obama's own Democrats have abandoned his ship, another 4% of Republicans and fully 7% of independents.

Other recent polls have shown Republicans leading for the first time this year on the generic congressional ballot and self-identified Republicans closing the gap with self-identified Democrats.

Meanwhile, Palin continued her book/celebrity sales tour across the heartland, stopping Sunday in -- oh, look! -- Iowa. "No politician comes to Iowa by accident," Republican strategist Tim Albrecht told AP's Mike Glover.

Lately I've seen reports that Rahm Emanuel is telling Harry Reid to give Joe Lieberman whatever he wants if that's what it takes to get a health care reform bill to President Obama's desk -- a breathtakingly cynical statement if I've ever heard one, because it implies an assumption that Americans won't realize that the "reform" they've gotten is simply a mandate to hand over exorbitant sums of money to insurance companies who will have no restrictions on their ability to deny claims for any reason. "Coverage" for pre-existing conditions doesn't necessarily imply payouts when they're needed.

Now Americans are pretty damn stupid and short-sighted. They'd have to be in order to give a shiny bauble like Sarah Palin any credibility as a potential Leader of the Free World when she sounds like that Miss South Carolina contestant who babbled about how the Iraqis don't have maps. They'd have to be in order to get in a lather about William Ayers and call a woman who's been associated with a secessionist group a patriot. But remember, this is the same country that sat on its hands while the Supreme Court, which has no jurisdiction over such things, put George W. Bush in the white house and then voted for him AGAIN in large enough numbers, choosing to believe that a war hero is really a coward while a guy who snorted coke off of hookers instead of showing up for the National Guard, to keep him in the White House another four years.

So she's an apocalyptic theocratic nutjob. What does that matter? She's pretty, she gives the men of cable news a boner, and she's a "hockey mom." Isn't that all that matters? When we live in a dangerous world, and have an economic catastrophe here at home, and the ice caps are melting and nobody cares, why NOT elect an incurious ex-prom queen who seems to care more about attention than actually doing anything? No, an America that elected George W. Bush and that gives the likes of Glenn Beck high enough ratings to make him a multimillionaire deserves Sarah Palin. It's like that scene from I, Claudius in which Tiberius tells Caligula, "Rome deserves you":

And the entire last decade is reminding me ever more of Antonia's wisdom in episode 8:

No, I'm not suicidal, but I do understand feeling that I was born into a world of people and now I live in a kennel of mad dogs. And while America may deserve Sarah Palin, it's too bad the sane among us are going to have to go along for the ride.

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Anonymous JD said...
This really depressed me: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/31234647/obamas_big_sellout/print

Blogger Suzan said...
Yes, Jill, it seems like they are flocking towards her magic in droves.

Why, she's more magical than Obama.

Or Hillary.

Her dream come true.

Thanks for your wisdom.


while America may deserve Sarah Palin

Blogger jurassicpork said...
If the election was held today, with Palin vs Obama, it would be more of a horse race than it was last year between McCain and Obama. Ansolutely, Jill.

Blogger Ryan said...
I can't believe anyone would vote her to do ANYTHING. She's proven her inability to stick it out when the going gets rough with her quitting her Governor office mid-term.

I wouldn't vote for Palin to run a Pee-Wee soccer league.

Now, I'm not saying I'd vote for Obama considering his (rather) dismal 1st year... we just have to see what unfolds.

Blogger driftglass said...
How well I remember the glee of establishment Democrats when George H.W. Bush's idiot son started his Presidential dance.

After all, who the Hell would vote for that flaky dunce?