Watching the polls over the past six months, I can’t help but to wonder whether presidential terms should be limited to one six-year term. Frankly, in the internet age, I don’t think voters have the patience or an attention span long enough to carry through two four-year terms. We’ve re-elected all but three presidents in the last 40 years, which is a relatively new trend unique to the late-20th Century and the early 21st (FDR aside). So, we don’t really care for changing horses mid-stream any more. Yet with the rise of social media and the internet enabling us to self-flagellate with misinformation, confirmation bias, conspiracy theories and just plain nonsense from the world of politics, perhaps two terms is too much.
Take President Obama for example. The latest New York Times/CBS News poll shows Obama’s overall approval remains in the crapper, while, generally, the Republican Party has a slight edge over the Democrats. Obama’s job approval overall and in key areas such as the economy, terrorism and foreign policy is hovering around 40 percent, and the GOP holds a six point edge over the Democrats. None of it makes sense if you look at the record. Regarding terrorism and foreign policy, the president is generally taking actions that are popular in the polls. On the economy, nearly all indicators are besting pre-Great Recession levels, especially the stock market and the budget deficit. Maybe there’s something else, and maybe that something else is TMI — too much information. The bombardment is relentless, creating anger and fatigue.
But it’s not all bad news for the president and his supporters. If we scan further down the poll results and take a look at specifics, the congressional Republicans are ridiculously unpopular with a 19 percent approval rating next to the congressional Democrats’ 30 percent. Voters are growing tired of the president, but they appear to viscerally despise the congressional GOP with the fire of a thousand suns. As the midterm season throttles into high gear, these numbers are the only ones that really count. No, the president isn’t the most beloved man in the universe right now, but the congressional Republicans — put it this way, Nixon’s approval rating during the height of Watergate was 24 percent, while banks during the recession had an approval rating of 18 percent.
Not too long ago… CONTINUE READING