This article was originally published at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on May 22nd, 2013:
Last week's poll by the Washington Post and ABC News showing the president's rating remaining constant despite increasing public unhappiness with White House cover-ups over Benghazi and the irs targeting scandals noted that his rating was tenuous at best:
The president's approval rating, at 51 percent positive and 44 percent negative, has remained steady in the face of fresh disclosures about the IRS, the Benghazi attack and the Justice Department's secret collection of telephone records of Associated Press journalists as part of a leak investigation…
But the stability of those ratings comes with an obvious caveat. Information continues to emerge about the administration's role in the IRS case, as well as new details about the Benghazi attack and the circumstances under which the Justice Department acted to secure records from the AP.
The poll indicated enormous unhappiness over the IRS scandal in particular, with nearly 3 out of 4 of those polled calling the targeting “inappropriate” and most of them calling it “wrong.” That included Democrats as well as Republicans and Independents.
As for Benghazi, 55 percent of those polled think the White House is doing a cover-up, while half are suspicious about the Justice Department's invasion of private emails of Associated Press journalists.
Rush Limbaugh has tried to explain why, until very recently, the president's numbers have remained high: it's his “Limbaugh Theorem” which describes obama's uncanny ability to “oppose everything that's happening, even the things that he is causing to happen.” Said Limbaugh:
[Obama] gets away with everything precisely by appearing to have no involvement with it … he gets away with not being tied to the IRS scandal like he's not tied to the jobs numbers, he's not tied to the debt, he's not tied to the economy. He's not tied to anything going wrong.
For a while that strategy has worked well. The White House has banked on the argument that the IRS targeting campaign was just limited to a single office with just a couple of rogue agents responsible for the “misjudgments.” He has stalled and dithered over fully disclosing the time line and details behind the Benghazi murders, and has essentially ignored the AP email controversy.
But with Lois Lerner's announcement that she is going to plead the Fifth Amendment, the IRS case has taken on a much more serious and potentially damaging risk to the president. Lerner is no entry-level employee at the IRS but instead is the head of the department that grants – or denies – tax exempt status to charities. Her Fifth Amendment claim shows there's much more to this than initially excused away by Jay Carney.
And the more that is learned about Benghazi the more it is clear that the order to “stand down” came from the highest levels – at least from Hillary and probably from Obama himself.
These revelations are finally beginning to have an effect on the public's perception of Obama as “Mr. Clean.” rasmussen did a poll that reflects what the investigations in Washington are turning up and it's not good for the president. Said Rasmussen:
Today's figures include 26% who Strongly Approve of the way Obama is performing as president and 40% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -14.
This is only the third day in the past six months that Strong Disapproval of the president has reached 40%. The other two days were May 2 and 3.
Another indication that things are unraveling for the president comes from the low regard citizens are holding the lap-dog media, most notably MSNBC. According to Deadline.com, a poll taken last week “saw the progressive-aligned MSNBC hit new lows as the IRS scandal erupted and revelations that the Justice Department secretly obtained AP records become public.” The cable news channel recorded “the lowest total-day demographic result the network [has] experienced in the past seven years.” MSNBC is the home of a long list of highly acerbic far-left liberals, most notably perhaps being Rachel Maddow.
The mask of dissociation from current events by the president is beginning to slip. And that might explain part of the stock market's seemingly inexorable rise to new highs: perhaps the market is predicting some reversion to sanity in 2014 and a reduction of the pressure of oppression on the country and the economy. Perhaps it is sensing the possibility of a coming breath of fresh air as Obama's links to these scandals irreversibly tarnish the image of a president so far untouched by them.
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