Obama: Worst. Approval. Rating. Ever.

Gallup reports that President Obama's approval rating is at its lowest point yet, with just 39 percent saying hail to the chief these days.

Is it any wonder, given the larger situation and, as important, the way in which Obama has performed? The bailout economics he embraced with gusto are unpopular, as is his version of health-care reform. The stimulus didn't deliver the benefits he and his mostly departed team of economic Super Friends promised. Etc.

The main upside to the Gallup news? People also dislike Congress, especially generic Republicans. As a Fox News write up puts it:

A deeply unsettled political landscape, with voters in a fiercely anti-incumbent mood, is framing the 2012 presidential race 15 months before Americans decide whether to give Obama a second term or hand power to the Republicans. Trying to ride out what seems to be an unrelenting storm of economic anxiety, people in the United States increasingly are voicing disgust with most all of the men and women, Obama included, they sent to Washington to govern them.

A poll Gallup released Friday on congressional approval showed that Democrats hold an edge over Republicans in the 2012 elections; 51 percent of registered voters favored Democrats, while 44 percent favored GOP lawmakers "if the elections for Congress were being held today."

More here.

Is it any wonder, given the larger situation and, as important, the way in which generic Republicans have performed?...

Such polls aren't exactly useless in predicting the outcomes of the 2012 elections, but they are pretty close to that.

But then again, the 2012 elections aren't what these polls actually are about. They are about the here and now, which is indeed grim when it comes to political responses to problems either caused or certainly exacerbated by previous political responses. The housing bubble at the center of the financial crisis wasn't caused exclusively by government policies - there's always a role for market hysteria in those things - but its size and fallout have a lot to do with programs designed to keep interest rates low, preferential treatment of owners over renters in all sorts of ways, and politicians' unwillingness to let market losers (banks and individuals both) take their lumps and losses quickly. The debate over the debt ceiling was instructive too, mostly in showing how unprepared either side is to come to terms with a decade-long-plus spending binge that has got to stop, and now.

The lack of leadership on either side of the aisle was genuine and appalling, with Democrats led by Obama spending months calling for a no-strings-attached increase and then pushing a patently phoney-baloney gambit to raise taxes in the near-term and cut spending when we find the end of the rainbow. GOP leaders such as Sen. Mitch McConnell and Speaker John Boehner had to be strapped to PVC piping to form any sort of backbone and then managed to push a deal that is effectively a rounding error in the next decade's tab.

Who doesn't want new blood, rather than the tired batch that has been stinking up the joint for years now? And the next time that somebody posits that voters are fickle or stupid, suggest instead that we may just be desperate.

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  • Fluffy||

    This shouldn't be surprising, since Obama has a foreign policy as bad as W's in 2005 and an economic policy as bad as W's in 2008. Plus Obamacare.

  • ||

    Obama: Worst. Approval. Rating. Ever.

    So far.

  • Chupacabra||

    There's always hope. And change.

  • Amakudari||

    Yo Nick, you may not know this, but "by any objective standard, Obama has plenty of achievements. He approved a daring raid that killed Osama bin Laden."

  • BakedPenguin||

    Hell, he approved raids to kill American citizens his administration calls terrorists. Nothing scary about that, nope.

  • ||

    Name 3 more.

  • Obama Supporter||

    Um...well, he, uh....RACIST!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Like I want to hear what the idiots who put Obama in office think. 100% of poll-takers are morons.

    Also, Gillespie accidentally put extra periods in his title.

  • Bee Tagger||

    100% of poll-takers are morons.

    Yeah! Get back in the kitchen where you belong! Right?

  • ||

    Back in the 80's and 90's, TV news stations would put up unscientific polls where people would have to call a 900 number and pay about a dollar for the privilege.

    When they would report the poll on the evening telecast they would invariably have a certain number that would be undecided.

    Who in the hell would pay a dollar to call someone just to say, "I'm not sure which way to vote."

  • ||

    GOP leaders such as Sen. Mitch McConnell and Speaker John Boehner had to be strapped to PVC piping to form any sort of backbone and then managed to push a deal that is effectively a rounding error in the next decade's tab.

    ^^^^^^^+420^^^^^^

  • ||

    Yes, but you do realize that the message that will be taken from this poll is that even that tiny amount of budget cutting was too much for the median voter, because of all the nasty yelling and process concerns, right?

  • Tolly||

    The part that gives me a headache though, is that when you read most left-mainstream media accounts of the debt-ceiling showdown, it was mean Tea Party crazies (and ONLY them) who made Obama cave in and agree to an insane deal that is gonna have seniors eating dogfood in months. And most people I know buy in to the story that Obama tacked on all these spending cuts that will save us from economic disaster. When, in reality, neither party had a good solution and nothing is being done about the larger debt issues.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Santelli explains "leadership".

    http://www.popmodal.com/video/.....-Tea-Party

  • ||

    The lack of leadership on either side of the aisle was genuine and appalling

    If Obama believes that Kruganomics is the solution to all our ills, then how is his stance a lack of leadership?

    It seems pretty arrogant to equate Leadership to "Support for a position that I would sign on to".

  • ||

    Obama didn't actually take a position, make a proposal, take any risks, exert any influence on his party, or otherwise do anything that might be confused with leadership.

    Believing =/= Leading.

  • some guy||

    Exactly. Did you see Obama's last budget? That came right out of PixieUnicornLand. It wasn't even close to serious. And it got exactly the amount of attention in Congress that it deserved. Then when the debt ceiling reared its ugly head he just made a few speeches, looked around in comtempt and demanded a bill by Aug. 2.

  • sevo||

    "Then when the debt ceiling reared its ugly head he just made a few speeches, looked around in comtempt and demanded a bill by Aug. 2."

    And decided a round of golf was a good idea.

  • ||

    RC's point is sounder. Yours is not. If his budget was legitimate in his eyes, how is presenting it an example of non-leadership?

  • nancy||

    "If his budget was legitimate in his eyes, how is presenting it an example of non-leadership?"

    You're presuming it wasn't cynically offered as a stalking horse.
    Everything I've seen says you're entirely too generous.

  • ||

    "Presenting" a document isn't ipso facto leadership. It takes more than that.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Whoever wants "leadership" from their president gets EXACTLY what they deserve.

  • Barack O'Bama||

    Present!

  • Paulie "The Psycho" K.||

    If we invent a fake planetary invasion by space aliens, his approval ratings will go back up in no time!

  • Mr Whipple||

  • MNG||

    He has a Nobel Prize. Therefore, I accept Krugmann's fiscal My Favorite Martian scenario uncritically.

    Additionally: Derp.

  • ||

    I am sure Obama will have a speech ready to throw at it, its what he does best.

    www.real-privacy.au.tc

  • Carol||

    Yes, if Obama would only give one more speech people would understand just how truly brilliant he is.

  • ||

    Privacy-bot always says the right thing.

  • some guy||

    His comments are much more apropos than anonbot's.

  • Number 2||

    It took GW Bush two terms to get to approval numbers this low, if I recall correctly.

  • ||

    Well, yeah, but he cheated. Be brought down the twin towers because he knew his approval ratings would hit the 90s during the ensuing crisis.

  • Hollywood||

    But .... but ... but ... he killed Osama bin Laden. I mean ... he personally went to Pakistan and shot Osama bin Laden in the head! He was wearing a cool uniform when he did it too! Just watch our movie when it comes out!!!!

  • ||

    All the things Obama's claiming credit for were extensions of Bush's policies.

    All the things that he's getting blamed for were his or the Dems ideas.

  • GSL||

    For those who care about such things, my guess is that the Tea Party Republicans will actually gain strength in 2012, as the election will be more cruel to DC's "insider" crowd. For all the ire Obama, Congressional Dems, and the media have sent their way in recent weeks, I don't think the average American dislikes those folks more than their supporters love them. And ultimately, it's tough to blame "gridlock" on a small group of freshman Congressfolk when the White House and the insiders (Dems and Repubs) bear so much responsibility.

  • PIRS||

    "And ultimately, it's tough to blame "gridlock" on a small group of freshman Congressfolk when the White House and the insiders (Dems and Repubs) bear so much responsibility."

    I agree with your analysis but personally, if the alternative is more debt and / or less freedom I LOVE gridlock.

  • JD||

    And ultimately, it's tough to blame "gridlock" on a small group of freshman Congressfolk when the White House and the insiders (Dems and Repubs) bear so much responsibility.

    Having the press to do all the heavy lifting for you makes it a lot easier.

  • ||

    What Obama needs now is a populist candidate to rescue him by drawing more votes off of his eventual opponent than off of Obama himself.

    But how we he recruit his own personal Ross Perot?

    And what happens to us when said populist has a strong authoritarian streak (yes, I mean stronger than likely candidates from either Team Red or Blue) and he eventually wins?

    As bad as our economic situation is, I'm more worried about the political fallout of our economic troubles. When it all finally comes crashing down, the People are not going to for safety into the arms of a libertarian.

  • ||

    Who doesn't want new blood, rather than the tired batch that has been stinking up the joint for years now?

    The voters, considering that "None of the Above" didn't really make gains in the Congressional ballot cited.

  • PR||

    Don't worry Obama. I'm going to hire some people as soon as I get a chance to read your 3000 page health care law and make sure you didn't leave any turds in the employer punchbowl. You didn't did you?

  • nancy||

    Uh, well,......

  • some guy||

    And the next time that somebody posits that voters are fickle or stupid, suggest instead that we may just be desperate.

    Voters being "desperate" doesn't explain why they keep electing the same type of person into office. Voters being "stupid" does explain this.

    Unless, of course, voters actually expect Washington to change while they continue to vote the same type of person into office. In that case, voters are just "insane".

    Personally, I think people are really just trying to use politicians to live at other people's expense. In this case, voters are just "assholes".

  • MNG||

    Ho-hum. Obama's strategy is going to be clear imo:

    1. Argue he "inherited a mess" and is trying to "right the ship", if that doesn't work
    2. Kulture War! (and it looks like the GOP is going to nominate someone who will oblige him here).

    Get ready for months of discussions about whether you would go jogging with a firearm and shoot a coyote.

  • ||

    Get ready for months of discussions about whether you would go jogging with a firearm and shoot a coyote.

    Especially amusing when the same article contains complaints that politicians are avoiding "real issues" like the Euro bailouts... but then spends the whole time talking about how the GOPers are rednecks.

  • MNG||

    I don't know what to tell you, if Perry is the nominee we are going to have endless debates about shooting coyote's on your morning jog and having national revivals. If it's Bachman it will be about crouching in bushes to spy on gay rights parades and submission to your husband.

  • Gibby||

    "and submission to your husband."

    Keee-rist you are one tiresome fuck.

  • ||

    Eh, he's only saying what the media is going to talk about, and I think he's quite right.

    The media will talk about how awful the Culture War is while insisting upon fighting it and ignoring economic issues.

  • Fluffy||

    Why don't we get to talk about that?

  • MnG||

    I submit to my husband.

  • Barack Obama||

    Fucking well better, bitch!

  • R||

    Maybe it's because I'm a knuckle-dragging gun nut, but I really don't see how Perry shooting a coyote is going to be a problem. The coyote was attacking his dog, he shot it. It doesn't seem all that controversial to me, at least to anyone who has half a brain (which excludes the bunny huggers who would have had a fit if he'd acccidentally stepped on an ant). It's far better than Jimmy Carter killing a rabbit out of fear for his life, or shooting his sister's cat with a shotgun.

  • Paul||

    It's far better than Jimmy Carter killing a rabbit out of fear for his life, or shooting his sister's cat with a shotgun.

    The cat was a secret racist.

  • MNG||

    if Perry is the nominee we are going to have endless debates about shooting coyote's on your morning jog and having national revivals. If it's Bachman it will be about crouching in bushes to spy on gay rights parades and submission to your husband.

    At least, if I have anything to say about it, I mean.

  • Pedantic||

    I would rather go jogging with a coyote and shoot a firearm.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    No doubt you're right. Chapman is right about one thing, though. None of it is going to mean a thing if the economy is still in the crapper next year.

  • ||

    (and it looks like the GOP is going to nominate someone who will oblige him here).

    By nominating anyone with a pulse. It is going to be all hate all the time. It is all he has left.

  • Mr. Soul||

    you couldnt be more right John. You cant outsmart the Ds by picking anyone even slightly to their liking.

    Its called Team Red because Republican candidates are like Star Trek "Redshirts". Beam down and get blowed-up.

  • Mike M.||

    I can't wait to hear what the main line from the Obamabots is going to be if the moderate Romney, former governor of the most democratic state in America, should happen to win the nomination.

    I hope it's not going to be all "Mormon Mormon Mormon Mormon Mormon". That's going to get old very quickly.

  • MNG||

    They can just point to Romney v. 2.0's far right stances and, KultureWar!

  • Paul||

    I can't wait to hear what the main line from the Obamabots is going to be if the moderate Romney, former governor of the most democratic state in America, should happen to win the nomination.

    We've already got his healthcare plan. Frankly, would we notice?

  • MNG||

    Yeah, no hate driving the right these days. Just genuine concern about our Keynian anti-colonialist not-born-in-America secret Muslim racist-against-white-people's President's policies...

    Sheesh.

  • sevo||

    "Just genuine concern about our Keynian anti-colonialist not-born-in-America secret Muslim racist-against-white-people's President's policies..."

    Do you have to go to Lowes to find a brush that wide?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Only specialty paint shops carry brushes those size.

  • MnG||

    I found it on Huffpo

  • Gibby||

    Chronically tiresome.

  • ||

    What will be fun about Perry is that they'll assume that his deficiencies for the job (funny accent, state school, he's from hicksville) are enough, not realizing that they're often actually advantages. The lamentation when he wins will be as hilarious as in 2004.

  • Manbearpig||

    But not up to 2000 standards? Racism gives you a big advantage.

  • ||

    Voters being "desperate" doesn't explain why they keep electing the same type of person into office. Voters being "stupid" does explain this.

    "Sane" people don't run for office; all we get are power-hungry lunatics with marginally different agendas. When all your options are bad, you don't get good results.

  • ||

    This bandwagon that so many on both the right and left like to ride so that they may bash Bush is misplaced. Bush's increased spending was in response to an emergency and was not intended to remain in place forever.

    The dot com bust - primarily caused by the market - in 2000 would just have been a hiccup had it not been compounded by the 9/11 attacks. Bush's handling of that crisis, including the spending that it caused, allowed the U.S. to recover quickly.

    If Bush had compounded that emergency with tax increases and corporate uncertainty as the Democrats did with the housing bubble in 2009-2010, the debt today would be significantly higher than it is now.

    The government using the tax code for social engineering was the primary basis for both the housing bubble crash and the s&l crisis of the late 80's early 90's.

    If we had a similar terrorist attack today our economic situation would be very dire considering the democratic leadership we have.

    To blame the housing market, as the cause of the situation we are in now is wrong. We are still in this recession because of the spending policies; corporate uncertainty; and increased taxes that the Democrats have pushed for their run-of-the-mill social programs.

    There are always boom-and-bust cycles in market based economies. European tulips is one example from a long time ago. When companies set up business models as a result of social engineering through the tax code, the results are much more devastating as shown by the s&l crisis; the housing bubble collapse; and the current higher education situation, which is now teetering on the brink.

  • DK||

    Bush's increased spending was in response to an emergency and was not intended to remain in place forever.

    Uh huh. So establishing a new Cabinet Department (DHS) was a temporary action? Two 10 year long wars were temporary actions? The so-far permanent massive increase in DoD spending was temporary? Sorry, you fail on this point. Also, these programs are estimated to have contributed at least $2 trillion to the national debt. Just sayin'...

    When companies set up business models as a result of social engineering through the tax code, the results are much more devastating as shown by the s&l crisis; the housing bubble collapse; and the current higher education situation, which is now teetering on the brink.

    Let's not forget that the Bush administration also placed massive emphasis on HUD policies and wanted to put people who couldn't afford to buy homes in mortgages they couldn't afford. Education is another area where the right fucked up. No Child Left Behind is a massive extension of federal power and pretty much universally reviled.

    Don't get me wrong. Obama is fucking things up pretty well - maybe even better than Bush before him. But this attempt to whitewash the previous administration's sins is disgusting.

  • Chupacabra||

    WAAAH!!!! LEAVE BUSH ALONE!!!!!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Yeah, temporary, that's the ticket. They were temporary....

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Let's just ignore the Fed in all of this as well. Holding interest rates at near zero levels in a blistering hot housing market had nothing to do with it at all

  • ||

    Who doesn't want new blood, rather than the tired batch that has been stinking up the joint for years now?

    I dunno. I think a little bloodshed by the current batch wouldn't be so bad.

  • ||

    Bush's increased spending was in response to an emergency and was not intended to remain in place forever.

    Yeah, right.

  • Gibby||

    I think Justin is correct on this. When Bush increased spending I didn't get the sense that he would have done so forever.

  • DK||

    So the establishment of DHS, two 10 year wars, No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, etc all seem temporary to you? I have a bridge to sell you...

  • ||

    Yeah, the "the Democrats made him do it/ those things were popular with the voters/ they were compromises from the extreme versions the Democrats wanted / they were the result of GWB's obsession with bipartisanship" argument is far more plausible than the "it was all temporary" argument.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Perhaps you forgot that whole compassionate conservatism BS.

  • ||

    When Bush increased spending I didn't get the sense that he would have done so forever.

    I don't get the sense you were actually paying attention.

  • ||

    And I'll say it again:

    WITHOUT GEORGE W BUSH, THERE COULD NEVER HAVE BEEN THE DISASTROUS ECONOMIC CLUSTERFUCK WE CURRENTLY HAVE

    Fuck him, and anybody who defends him.

  • ||

    Now, now, it was a team effort. The disastrous economic clusterfuck has been a truly bipartisan project.

  • ||

    Really? You're terribly optimistic. I think that plenty of politicians could have contributed to the disastrous economic clusterfuck-- and a good chance that most of it would have happened under any politician.

  • Dick Cheney||

    Perhaps you didn't hear me the first time.

    Deficits don't matter anymore.

  • Barack Obama||

    You misunderestimate me, sir.

  • ||

    You call a group of people hostage taking terrorists enough times, eventually polls will show negative opinions of them.

  • ||

    The disastrous economic clusterfuck has been a truly bipartisan project.

  • ||

    DRAT!

    The disastrous economic clusterfuck has been a truly bipartisan project.

    George W Compassionate Conservatism was like some sort of super-catalyst for that bipartisan shit soup.

  • Liberal Pundit||

    Why I'm Voting for Obama [Working draft]

    There's no one else to vote for.

    The End.

  • Typical Voter||

    They are about the here and now, which is indeed grim when it comes to political responses to problems either caused or certainly exacerbated by previous political responses.

    It's because they're not doing enough.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    ^^THIS^^

    People have been duped in to believing that the government can actually DO SOMETHING about jobs. People actually seem to believe that if a government official waves his magic want, jobs will be created.

    It's that someone hasn't yet done it, in their estimation, that is making them mad.

  • ||

    How did you NOT work a plug for your book into this post about hate for Dems and Repubs alike?

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