Moderate Voters: We’ve Been Punked by Obama

August 10th, 2009 at 11:29 pm | 117 Comments |

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Yikes, it looks like the bloom is withering off the Obama fairytale of change. Many Americans are starting to feel “punked” by this president and want their vote back. That’s what Chris Ann Cleland, a real estate agent living in Prince William recently told the Washington Post in the article “Is Race for Governor More About Obama?”

“He’s just not as advertised,” she said. “Nothing’s changed for the common guy. I feel like I’ve been punked.”

Cleland said instead of helping regular Americans, Obama spent billions of dollars bailing out the banks and General Motors, and she believes the country, particularly the middle class, will be worse off because of his policies. As a real estate agent handling short sales for Long & Foster, Cleland viewed the foreclosure prevention program, Hope for Homeowners, as the president’s biggest failure. Cleland said she’s not seeing anything different coming from the president and is very open to voting for a Republican in this year’s Virginia governor’s race.


Cleland isn’t alone in her frustration with Obama’s agenda. The president’s polls are down all over the place. Americans aren’t happy with the economy and lack of jobs. Obama’s audacious costly agenda has actually shocked and awed people into an unhappy reality. Public support for a government run healthcare system is evaporating by the day. Reporters describe angry mobs of Americans crowding town hall meetings on healthcare reform, shouting: No Obamacare! Americans also can’t fathom how the president wants to keep on spending with the deficit growing dangerously out of control and expected to reach $1.8 trillion this year.

An increasing number of independents, moderate Democrats and Republicans who voted for Obama, are very uncomfortable with his radical left of center agenda.

In a letter to the editor published August 2, 2009 in the Greensboro News & Record, David Pulliam wrote:

If I knew then what I know now, President Obama and Gov. Perdue would not have gotten my vote. Since Perdue has taken office, it is nothing but taxes just about every day. And Obama, what can I say that everyone else isn’t finding out about him?

I will never vote Democrat again. Never.

Even among die-hard Obama supporters confidence is waning. This weekend a friend who is a Democrat told me she felt like Obama is still in campaign mode and she was sick of seeing him on TV all the time. Enough already,” she commented, he needs to stop with all the television appearances and work on getting the country together. She then referenced healthcare reform, rolled her eyes and said the president “should just give up.”

President Obama misinterpreted his historic election. Swing voters and moderate Republicans alike voted for Obama not only because of his charisma and promise of change even though they didn’t fully embrace his policies but also because the McCain/Palin ticket was so pathetic. In electing Obama the nation’s first black president, voters weren’t giving him a license to spend out of control or re-design America. It appears the president didn’t fully understand that the election wasn’t a complete denunciation of conservative policies.

A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found that 31% of people surveyed thought Republicans could do a better job managing the deficit compared to 25% who believed Democrats could. As Americans get more agitated with the president’s out of tune agenda, perhaps a perfect storm is brewing for Republicans to rebuild their relevancy with voters and resurrect a new “Contract with America.” The question is what will the Republican strategy be?

Trying to make a comeback is clearly on the party’s mind. This weekend the Wall Street Journal ran a very intriguing article about the Republican Governors Association meeting in Idaho for a three-day pow-wow to plot for winning state races in 2010. In the article, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said the party will be more focused on addressing the concerns of the average American and offering practical solutions on issues such as jobs and healthcare. He also seemed to suggest that “social wedge issues” like abortion and gay marriage wouldn’t be a part of the GOP’s new and improved agenda for 2010.

I think that is a positive step forward because making these two issues cornerstones of conservative campaigns doesn’t sit well with today’s moderate voters, whom the party needs to win elections. In July, a couple in their 70’s who are life-long Republicans from Richmond told me they wished the party would remove abortion and gay marriage from their agenda. The wife said that while she doesn’t believe in abortion, she thinks a woman should have the right to make her own choice.

I was also quite surprised to hear her angrily explain to me that “if two gay people want to get married then we should let them. Why does it matter?”  In referencing both these issues, she said “they just need to give it up!” This woman also told me she and her husband receive calls and information from the Young Republicans all the time but she was unimpressed with their message.

Voters from both sides of the political aisle are trying to tell the Republican party something. They are tired of Obama’s skillful oratory and charm offensive and want to see things change in Washington and their states. Anxious voters are drawing Republicans a roadmap on how to regain their support but the party must listen to what Americans are saying. The presidential election also made it clear voters want to see fresh faces in the GOP.

Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association, commented in the Wall Street Journal article that the problem with many of the Republican candidates running for governor in 2010 is that they are OLD relics of the past. “This is not a reflection of a youthful and vibrant Republican party.”

There is a growing opportunity for the GOP to seize upon and make some political gains but as I’ve said once, twice and I’ll say again: the messengers of the Republican agenda have got to change. The old white guys just aren’t going to get the GOP back into the majority in the governors’ mansions, Congress or the White House. The Republican Party should be seeking more youth, more color, better messages.

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117 Comments so far ↓

  • ottovbvs

    ireign // Aug 12, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    “Otto once again you prove your ignorance. There is the “remotest” chance that Roe v. Wade gets overturned.”

    …………..Only according to you……in fact most commentators I’ve read believe the pro life faction has essentially given up on overturning Roe hence the resort to state ballot initiatives which as both Chek and I have pointed out have all failed miserably (the one in SD was the third attempt in a few years I believe)……not all the right are as sure of Roberts as you are ……if you can source me one reasonable legal commentator who think overturning Roe likely I’d most interested to read it…….Actually overturning Roe would be an enormous boost to Democrats…..I can’t imagine anything more likely to enrage the female vote than Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, Alito and Kennedy throwing out this long time precedent

    “Calling someone repeatedly and falsely a religious fanatic ”

    ……….Perhaps you’d like to one single place where I have called you a “religious fanatic”……I said you were a jingoistic, fundamentalist. movement conservative……which others beside me seem to have noticed …….but deny away… I said I look forward to the future verbal contortions…….in the meantime thank you again for spreading enlightenment amongst the dumb and ignorant…..we really appreciate your solicitude

  • ottovbvs

    ireign // Aug 12, 2009 at 12:59 pm
    ““The thought that I’m part of the G.O.P.’s fan base just gave me an unexpected cold blast, though it’s complicated. At the moment, I feel politically closer to Barack Obama than to House Minority Leader John Boehner (and that’s even while being greatly exercised about the current health care bills).”

    …….Just because he thinks his own party has currently lost its mind doesn’t necessarily mean he’s ceased to be a conservative…….Did Ernie Bevin cease to be a socialist when he joined Churchill’s wartime admin……however this rather superficial interpretation is not out of character with your usual analysis

  • barker13

    Re: Balconesfault // Aug 12, 2009 at 12:11 pm (#113) -

    “…complex thought.”

    Ahh… so THAT’S what you call them! (*GRIN*) (*LOL*)

    “I did not equate…”

    Could have fooled me! (Hey… in fact… YOU DID!)


    “I drew a parallel…”

    Of COURSE you did, Balc. (*WINK*)

    You might wanna stick to “coloring” from now on; I don’t think you’ve quite reached the “ready to draw” point.

    “As I noted, natural processes routinely slough off fertilized eggs. Are they mourned? Not hardly.”

    It depends! Hell… a woman who has been trying to get pregnant “mourns” each and every period!

    Balc. Are you frigg’n KIDDING me…??? Let’s get back to the point: There is no “parallel” between a spontaneous miscarriage and abortion. Wise up.

    “…if a woman decides to use Plan B the ejection of the fertilized egg…”



    “Plan B One-Step isn’t RU-486 (the abortion pill); it won’t work if you’re already pregnant, and it won’t affect an existing pregnancy.”

    Balc. You idiot. Plan B is for use when the egg HASN’T been fertilized!

    My God… how do people like you stand living with yourselves? I mean the sheer stupidity…


    Why would you HUMILIATE yourself like this in a public forum…?!?!

    “I’ll ask again, if you’d like to take it up – do you believe that IUDs should be legal?”

    What do you mean you’ll “ask again…???”

    Again… WHAT IS YOUR MALFUNCTION…??? Since I personally favor legal (and pretty much unrestricted) abortion as long as we’re talking First Trimester WHY would I object to IUDs…???

    Balc. Again. Wise up.



  • balconesfault

    Bill, I’ll make it simple for your smirking, sighing, simple soul.

    Plan B is effective up to 120 hours post intercourse, according to its manufacturers.

    Human sperm lives potentially up to 48 hours after ejaculation within the woman’s body.

    Now, pray tell … what do you think is happening in that 72 hours between the last possible moment when a sperm could have fertilized an egg … and the Plan B is still effective?

    I could tell you, but you clearly wouldn’t actually learn anything unless you look it up yourself. So I’ll leave that to you.

    But feel free to feel abject shame in the phrase “Balc. You idiot. Plan B is for use when the egg HASN’T been fertilized!: … if you’re capable of feeling shame.

  • ottovbvs

    ireign // Aug 12, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    ”Ottobs-Do you enjoy being uninformed? If McCain had won, at least two notable journalists who study the Supreme Court think Roe v. Wade would have been overturned.”

    ………Er…. but he didn’t win therefore, these are pure speculation…..leaving aside btw McCain’s own ambivalence on Roe ……and it remains likely Obama will be re-elected and therefore the likelihood of it being overturned in the next eight year is next to none
    existent….. who knows one of the conservative justices could fall off his perch

    “Clearly religious fundamentalist and religious fanatic are one in the same. ”

    ……..Ohhh are they……I’m sure Dr Land and all these other right wing religious leaders would be very interested to learn that they are “religious fanatics”……..Since Palin is a religious fundamentalist this would make her a religious fanatic also…yes?….. in fact according to you pretty much the entire christian right are “religious fanatics.”…. comparable with Khomeini or the Mahdi perhaps……..Glad we got that cleared up

    ” You really are stupid and uninformed.”

    ……….Thank you again for the compliments which are such a feature of your intelligent debating style…’s really admirable…..your mother must be proud she brought you up so well

  • ottovbvs

    balconesfault // Aug 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    ” intercourse”

    …….perhaps a subject with which Barking is not very well acquainted?

  • ottovbvs

    ireign // Aug 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm
    “Wow– parse words much”

    …….No confusion or parsing in my mind… seemed pretty clear what you said

    ““Clearly religious fundamentalist and religious fanatic are one in the same. ”

    ……..No amount of desperate flailing around could hide your meaning because actually there’s a huge difference between the terms “fundamentalist” and “fanatic” although you don’t seem to understand that…..however, I did enjoy the spectacle and look forward to future performances

    “The justices most likely to retire in the next four or eight years are liberal.”

    ……….And Obama is very likely to appoint justices that would overturn Roe….yes very likely….

    “Clearly, I am right and you are wrong and uninformed per usual.”

    ……..Why would anyone ever dream of suggesting otherwise when we clearly are in the presence of such a massive intellect as yours …..I’m almost ashamed to point out weakness in definitional skills…..but I’ll probably get over it

  • barker13

    Re: Balconesfault // Aug 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm (#123) –


    Balc. Remind me… are you a chick? If so… are you fertile?

    Because I gotta say… you’re definitely the type who would misuse (or perhaps not bother with) contraceptives.

    One more time…

    “Plan B One Step isn’t an abortion pill – it can’t terminate an existing pregnancy.

    Now… must I also define “pregnancy” for you…???

    QUOTING BALC (#113) –

    As I noted, natural processes routinely slough off FERTILIZED eggs. Are they mourned? Not hardly. But if a woman decides to use Plan B the ejection of the FERTILIZED egg at the exact same stage of development is considered a tragedy by certain members of the right.

    Jeez… (*GRIN*)… you know normally I’d just shrug and let it lay (get it…? LAY?) (*GRIN*) but I’m having so much fun demonstrating what a weasel you are… what a downright dummy you are… I just can’t help myself from continuing to beat the dead horse.


    You really SHOULD follow the links I provide, Balc; it would save you so much embarrassment.



    P.S. – re: Ireign // Aug 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm (#126) –

    Obviously you’re not a religious zealot, fanatic, or fundamentalist.

    Ireign. It’s depressing, isn’t it… (*SIGH*) And these people can vote… and drive… and have kids…



  • balconesfault

    Bill, you should quit shaking your head so much … you might actually be able to learn something when the hardware up there quits rattling around.

    If you’re just going to keep quoting the Plan B site – you’re tacitly accepting their definition that a fertilized egg, pre-implantation, does not constitute “pregnancy”.

    That’s fine. I have no problem with that. It still doesn’t make you any less wrong when you declare that Plan B has no impact on a fertilized egg.

    Shrug away. I’m pretty much convinced at this stage that your science comprehension is at an embryonic stage anyway.

  • DFL

    Listening to the CSPAN call-in program in the morning should disabuse anyone that the average voter has much intelligence or even common sense. Many are paranoid or self-delusional. Woe democracy!

  • balconesfault

    There is most certainly a reason why our founding fathers chose representative government. And the current inability of California to deal with their economic crisis in face of the contradictory charges given to government via the ballot initiative process is testimony to the wisdom of that decision.

  • ottovbvs

    ireign // Aug 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm
    ” Churchill said it best (clearly Otto proves it), “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

    ….Preferably one who knows the difference between a fundamentalist and a fanatic

    ……..irreign you really are such a deliciously pompous twit

  • balconesfault

    “Preferably one who knows the difference between a fundamentalist and a fanatic

    And hopefully, one who will take the effort to understand basic scientific definitions before excoriating others for not sharing his ignorance.

    A little more humility (like asking questions when one isn’t sure?) and a little less bellicosity would be significant improvements to the process.

  • ottovbvs

    balconesfault // Aug 12, 2009 at 5:48 pm
    ” A little more humility (like asking questions when one isn’t sure?) and a little less bellicosity would be significant improvements to the process.”

    ………I’m the first to fess up to a propensity for bellicosity and acerbic humor when faced with bizarre demos of ignorance or condescension…… If someone proves me wrong I’ll turn on a dime…..I’m just not into denying reality but these last ditch defenses of it by some people like irreign who obviously isn’t a dope (the other guy is a somewhat different matter) are just an affront to the reasoning process…….denying gravity is never going to work out

  • ottovbvs

    130 ireign // Aug 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    “That’s correct Bill. I knew there was a reason why I hadn’t posted on this blog for months or read the comments until a few days ago.”

    ………I can understand that you wouldn’t want to spend too much time amongst the ignorant, dumb and stupid of NM (Bill excepted of course)….it must have been very stressful for someone of your high intelligence and sensibility…….you really need to spend more time amongst the intense intellectuality at Redstate or Free Republic…..both are very challenging I’m told

  • Jim Pier

    Holy mackerel! This thread went off the rails nasty since the last time I checked in! I hope this is the exception and not the rule. If I wanted to wipe the floor with simpletons and endure a barrage of slurs and insults, I would go on Yahoo or something.

  • barker13

    Re: Jim Pier // Aug 13, 2009 at 2:00 am (#137) –

    Don’t despair, Jimbo! (*GRIN*)

    You’ll get the hang of browsing the threads. Basically skipping over Otto’s posts is the key.

    Balc. He (she?) is challenging to deal with but not a total nutter.

    Staying on the “Left” I’d recommend paying attention to Spartacus. He’s not exactly “Left” in the “Otto” sense of Left, but he’s definitely one to criticize and counter c0nservative conventional wisdom. That said, he’s very intelligent and has a sense of humor. His links are always worth clicking on; you may not agree with their info, but it’s always worth considering within the context of the debate.

    Chekote… again, not “Left” in the sense Otto is Left… but anti-Palin… more of a “wet” Republican. Smarter and more instinctively willing to come down on the “right side” of issues than Balc, but not as broadly knowledgeable (history, nuts and bolts of “social issues,” etc.) as some of us.

    (*WINK*) (Yeah… I know… but it’s TRUE!) (*CHUCKLE*)

    Sinz? Kinda schizo at times. Knee-jerk “Right” on defense and foreign policy but knee-jerk “Left” on issues like climate change. Still… overall… VERY knowledgeable, well-educated, knows his history pretty well, “seasoned” in the sense of he’s lived through a lot… stubborn as hell though when he has his heels dug in.

    As to those on the “Right” (give or take)… I’ll leave you to make your own judgments.

    Basically – as sites such as this go – this is a fairly civil and sophisticated “mainstream” blog.