On Obama Losing Moderates

Note: I wrote this the day before the release of the Brooks column and the latest ABC/Washington Post poll that support the text.

Moderates appreciate both the political left and right because while each promotes the extreme, each also serves as guideposts for moderates to pull the power toward the center, thus not letting one side get too much political clout. On the other hand, keep in mind that sometimes this takes time; which also means moderates are in a dilemma most of the time.

Regardless of one’s voting preference, there’s no doubt that President Obama and the Democratic operatives had a much more effective campaign than Senator McCain and the Republicans. Not only was President Obama successful establishing a larger base, he attracted more independent moderates. While attracting independent moderates is one thing, keeping them is entirely a different matter.

Although President Obama remains popular, the waning support of his policies is much due to independent moderates jumping off the bandwagon. Although Republicans may be jumping for joy, they should also note who hasn’t jumped onto their wagon. By the way, independent moderates generally don’t buy into partisan “I told you so” messages.

Here are a few reasons for declining support of independent moderates.

  • President Obama campaigned on a bipartisan approach, but is relying on a partisan Congress to drive legislation. (Independent moderates desire bipartisanship)
  • President Obama has signed (thus owns) and advocated much spending with too much pork. (Independent moderates are typically fiscally prudent)
  • President Obama seems to be more concerned with passing legislation than passing effective legislation. (Independent moderates prefer effective legislation)
  • Saving General Motors may have been noble and needed, but failing to thoroughly explain the meaning of “too big to fail” has either given the wrong impression or served as an illusion. (Independent moderates prefer thorough rationale)
  • Democratic operatives are taking the opportunity to maximize their unquestionable majority to get it while they can; thus ignoring independent moderates

Many voters believed or hoped President Obama was the one having the leadership skills and desire to reach across the partisanship divide to bridge bipartisan bridge for the country’s best interest as a whole. Although it clearly takes two to tango, his reliance on Pelosi-Reid leadership and party-led committee chairs has demonstrated the building of a one-way bridge to their self-serving Land of Special Interest – but a different land than the previous one-party rule.

The White House itself is taking advantage of budgets and special projects by appointmenting over 30 special-project czars.  President-appointed czars don’t require Senate approval or oversight. President GW Bush had 10 or so and each of the preceding presidents had only a few.

As stated in an earlier post, independent moderates will rely on the Democratic Blue Dogs and the moderate Republicans to keep the left in check, who at least are starting to raise their voice.

Since some political observers believe that the 1994 election was an important key to the Clinton presidency, 2010 is shaping to be interesting. Here’s the 2010-2012 question I ponder: Will voters dump the Congress and keep the president or moderate the Congress and dump the president?

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