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Opinion

As Obama's fortunes sink, his media admirers panic

Barack Obama is looking more and more like a one-term president. The latest poll numbers are quite clear on that, with the president's approval rating at an all-time low. According to Gallup's daily tracking poll, as of Tuesday, only 40 percent approve of the job being done by Mr. Obama.

The Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll, as of Wednesday, showed only 19 percent of respondents strongly approve of the job the president is doing, and it had the president losing to a generic Republican candidate by 8 percent.

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Mr. Obama's weakness has his devoted champions in the Big Media sweating bullets. Their big hope is that the actual GOP nominee can be damaged by negative coverage enough to allow their man to win another four years at the helm of the damaged ship-of-state.

Since Texas Gov. Rick Perry has swept to a commanding lead over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Rep. Michele Bachmann and other White House hopefuls, it's hard not to notice that pundits and "reporters" have rushed to sow doubts about his abilities (the liberals think he's "dumb") and his beliefs (devout Christians are an ever-present danger to the republic).

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Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post read through Mr. Perry's book, "Fed Up!" and concludes that his "2010 Tea Party-steeped manifesto … makes George Bush look like George McGovern." She notes that the subtitle of his book is "Our Fight to Save America From Washington" and that reading it "summons the image of another, urgent fight: saving America from Rick Perry."

Polls show whites, independents, college-educated people and even Latinos are moving away from supporting Mr. Obama, and the mood in the nation is one of pessimism and disgust with Washington, all its works and all its ways.

Other liberal columnists have weighed in against Rick Perry, but the prize for wooden-headed commentary on the matter goes to Bill Keller of The New York Times, who in a Sunday column, "Asking Candidates Tougher Questions About Faith," mocks the Mormonism of Mitt Romney and Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, and mistakenly identifies former senator Rick Santorum as an "evangelical Christian," when he is actually a Roman Catholic.

Mr. Keller and other liberals huffed and puffed in 2008 about how Mr. Obama's 20-year membership in the congregation of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, noted for his hateful anti-white sermons, mustn't be questioned.

These "Tougher Questions" are only for Republican candidates, never for Democrats. That Mr. Wright officiated at the Obamas' wedding, baptized their children and quite apparently exercised considerable influence in their religious life could not be legitimately questioned. To do so was "racist."

Maryland's own Kathleen Kennedy Townsend wrote a piece for The Atlantic asking, "Is Rick Perry as American as He Thinks He Is?" Guess what her answer is? OK, don't bother. Point is, one must never question the patriotism — or indeed the birthplace — of a Democrat, like the current president; but when it comes to Republicans, it's perfectly OK, indeed laudable, to do so. What hypocrisy.

I don't envy the defenders of the Washington status quo, because their god, what Professor Robert Weissberg has dubbed "Fedgov," isn't doing very well these days. And, yes, the liberals are as fervent about Fedgov as any true believer is in his or her god.

An ever-expanding, all-controlling federal government is blindly worshiped by its followers, and they are panicked about the increasing disgust with it shown by more and more Americans. How dare these apostates question Fedgov, which is, in Mr. Weissberg's words, "all-knowing, all-powerful, and combines the best features of the God of the Old Testament with a Santa Claus on steroids."

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This newspaper says the president is being "cagey" in not leaking the specifics of his much-hyped and soon-to-be announced jobs plan, when chances are the details are still being hammered out. I doubt there is yet an agreed-upon set of specifics. With 15 million to 20 million Americans unemployed, it's hard to imagine any kind of presidential plan that would put a significant dent in this depressing situation. Look for an extension of the break on withholding taxes and on the time during which one can collect unemployment subsidies.

Mr. Obama is also rumored to be considering a $5,000 tax credit for each new employee hired by a business, which would have limited value to employers unless they discern better business lies ahead — and so far there aren't many such signs.

The world financial system isn't any better off than it was in the months leading up to the disastrous events of 2008. It is still a massive mountain of debt, hugely leveraged and teetering on the brink of another collapse.

Pray to your god or to Fedgov, and hope for the best.

Ron Smith's column appears on Fridays. His email is rsmith@wbal.com.


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