Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered
July 17, 2014 - 5:15 AM
I'm not going to go through the whole "the GOP will take control of the Senate" thing again today (although I reserve the right to continue to saw off my personal prediction limb over the rest of the Summer). I want to take a look at why the President's numbers are stuck where they are.
There was a huge deal last week when studies were released showing that the rate of Americans without health insurance had dropped to 13.9 percent.
Hosannas were shouted by the Liberal media that Obamacare was working because prior to the beginning of the program the rate was 17.4 percent.
What was missed in all that was at the end of 2008 the uninsured rate was 14.4 percent meaning all the shouting, money, energy, polls, punditry, and finger pointing has resulted in a reduction of zero-point-five percent from the end of the Administration of George W. Bush.
As Macbeth might have said about the whole thing: It has been "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
The immigration crisis at the border is absolutely a Presidential issue. Members of Congress can't send the Capitol Police to the border to catch children sneaking across. We can argue what should happen to those children, but there is no argument that it is an Article II (Executive Branch) responsibility.
Whether the President should have gone to the border or not when he visited Texas is a question for the advance staffs, but the "optics" as we in the know like to call them, are not as important as dealing with the problem.
If we allow tens of thousands of young people to stay in America it will create a magnet to attract even more that will make the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland look like a refrigerator magnet by comparison.
But sending them back to societies where they will be attacked, abused, and/or killed is not a pleasant alternative.
We need to spend money - yes money - helping get those economies up to 21st century levels to that the United States isn't a live-or-die alternative for their children.
I don't know the answer, but I would like to think the President is focused on finding one -- at least as much as he was focused last week on playing pool and drinking beer with the governor of Colorado.
Earlier this week, CNN's Christiane Amanpour interviewed the former Defense Minister of Germany who said that Barack Obama is "probably the most detached President [in] decades."
This was said in the context of the CIA getting caught having recruited a German national to spy for them leading the Germans to throw the CIA station chief out of the country. That was on the heels of Edward Snowden making public the fact that the U.S. has been tapping Angela Merkel's cell phone.
But, when you consider Ukraine/Russia; Iraq/ISIS; Israel/Hamas; Libya/Libya; and all the other trouble spots around the world that the U.S. no longer has much sway in helping cool off, "detached" is probably the gentlest thing we can say about the President's foreign policy efforts.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is not without blame in all this, either. I get that. But, neither is the Democrat-controlled Senate.
According to a poll by Bloomberg, Republicans in Congress are seen favorably by only 34 percent of respondents. 53 percent have a negative view.
But before you email that to MSNBC, the Dems don't do much better: 37-51.
As we move through the Dog Days of Summer, I don't have much confidence that our leaders in Washington will be able to get forward momentum.
Barack Obama is our leader. It is dangerous for the President of the United States to be seen as being, as Lorenz Hart wrote in the 1940 Broadway musical Pal Joey, "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered."
We need better.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Lots of Links today: Obama's approval rating, the current uninsured rate, the 2008 insured rate, Christiane Amanpour, the etymology of Dog Days of Summer, and to Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered. Also a Mullfoto of the Mullings editor-in-chief - our cat, Missy.