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Middle East Mess
Approval Ratings Plummet for Obama's Foreign Policy

That whooshing sound you hear is President Obama’s political capital flying out the window: In a new New York Times/CBS News poll, 58 percent of the respondents said they disapprove of his handling of foreign policy—the worst poll numbers he has had on this issue since taking office.

Interestingly, 51 percent of the respondents support his particular decision to send 300 advisors to Iraq. This suggests that the spike in disapproval numbers is linked more to a general sense of failure than to disagreement with the latest steps he has taken. Americans might not follow all the ins and outs of foreign policy, but they seem to intuit the truth of what WRM said in his latest essay: The world has gotten a lot more dangerous under Obama’s watch.

We’ve seen this kind of sudden drop in support before, regarding Obamacare. In both health care and foreign policy, President Obama started out with a deep reservoir of public goodwill. For many years before his first term the public trusted Democrats more than Republicans on health care, and a widespread rejection of President Bush’s foreign policy approach helped propel Obama to the presidency. Whether or not these approval ratings continue their downward slide, Obama has largely burned through that political capital.

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  • Bruce

    WRM savaged Obama in his essay, rightfully so. It will always be amazing that WRM couldn’t see that this was what we would get with Obama when he voted for him. He is to be commended for his course reversal and for pointing out the partisanship of the MSM. But he’s a smart guy (some would say brilliant). How do people this smart miss what is so obvious to those of us who aren’t nearly as book smart?

    • Andrew Allison

      Love has everything to do with it!

      • Bruce

        Yes, we should give him credit for that. The problem is that this was a terrible, terrible mistake that has had huge implications for the country. People going along to get along and be loved in the academy contributed to the downfall of the country. To later say, “I messed up,” tends to lead you to believe they won’t do it again. But the damage has been enormous and an electorate that fell for this Community Organizer has to take responsibility. It’s not my intention to flog WRM. He’s an honorable man and has reported honestly on Obama. However, the country will take a long time to recover, if it can. It reminds me of the column that was written about the collapse of Detroit where the author said essentially that the people of Detroit aren’t responsible for the collapse except for the fact that they voted for the pols that collapsed it.

    • gabrielsyme

      As much as I respect John McCain, it’s not as if his brand of aggressive interventionism had much appeal following Bush’s missteps. Even granting him a tonne of credit for getting the surge right, at the time I think an intelligent observer wouldn’t have thought there was a good option in terms of foreign policy.

    • Jacksonian_Libertarian

      It really is a mystery that so many people fell for Obama’s lies, when the rest of us could clearly see that he was just another hustler who’s only skill was reading high minded speeches off a teleprompter. In retrospect the Republicans really put up 2 of the worst candidates ever in John “Amnesty” McCain, and Mitt “Romneycare” Romney to oppose him. I think most people voted for him not because of the “Content of his Character” but because of the “Color of his Skin”. And only now are they coming to realize how incredibly stupid it was to chose a President based on nothing but the “Color of his Skin”. Had he been white, a community organizer, who hadn’t earned in 10 years of teaching a professorship, and whose election wins were the result of scandals in the opposing camps, and hadn’t even served a full term in the senate or sponsored any legislation, who’s voting record was made up of indecisive waffling “Present” votes, would never have been even considered.

      • Corlyss

        “It really is a mystery that so many people fell for Obama’s lies”

        Not really if you’ve follow politics in DC up close and personal for decades. The American public does not like policy debates, they aren’t going to get smart enough on public policy to play their assigned role in our system, and for the last 40 years, the liberals/Progs/Dems have been systematically undermining civics and history education in the schools in most states precisely to arrive at this juncture: a population that cares more about what the government can give it in terms of transfer payments than anything else about governance. Detroit is our future.

  • Anthony

    WRM is correct the world certainly has become a lot more dangerous on Obama’s watch. Frankly, poll reflects general public recognition of how little is there and MSM can no longer gloss over that. To quote Shelby Steele: “a force for mediocrity”.

    • Andrew Allison

      Mendacity would be a better word.

  • gabrielsyme

    In short, at least 42% of the electorate is either oblivious to world events or blinded by partisan loyalty. Lots of things are debatable; but there is no respectable defence of Obama’s foreign policy. The real discussion is over just how bad it has been.

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