Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Post No. 147: This Above All: To Thine Own Self Be True
We recently read an article about how President Obama became so unpopular in the short time since his election.
The Senior Fellow of the Institute, Laughingman, operates a couple of blogs. One focuses on marketing and advertising issues. We issued this challenge to his readers:
“What would ad professionals do to assist the President to improve his image / approval rating just before mid-term elections, considering he really can not do much about the economy?”
One of the participants responded with the following, which we decided to share.
© 2010, the Institute for Applied Common Sense
Simply put, President Obama has been poorly served by his political advisers. Some heads should roll, including that belonging to his Chief of Staff.
When newly elected President Clinton presented his first spending proposals, his economic advisers told him they were unaffordable, and that Wall Street would not put up with them.
This led to Clinton's famous lament, "Are you telling me that the future of my presidency is in the hands of a bunch of bond traders?"
Rahm Emmanuel's advice on the original melt down in Detroit is reported in Steve Rattner's book as, "[Muck] the UAW."
Considering the history of the Clinton administration's conflicts with Republicans in Congress, this was a strange and veracity-challenged approach to begin with. Considering that President Obama had represented himself as an individual capable of building bi-partisan coalitions with the opposition, his selection of Emmanuel boggles the mind.
From the beginning of the Clinton administration to the end of the Bush era, the share of national income trousered by the top 1% of earners increased from 9% to 28%.
To prevent a self-inflicted melt down of our banks, we are
lending the banks our money at less than 1%, and allowing them to lend it back to us at up to 15%, when they feel the urge to lend to us, if at all.
Housing prices, the engine behind the last recovery, are down by 30%, and are likely to fall even further while wages continue to fall, as corporations take advantage of a 9.5% unemployment rate, and a 16%+ underemployment rate.
In the mean time, CEO compensation for the 50% of companies which have dismissed the most workers has increased by better than 40%.
With two months left until the next election, and the President's approval numbers sinking faster than the Titanic (and about to explode a la Hindenburg), what is the best strategy to reverse the impending?
Simply let Obama be Obama.
And thus the title of this piece, which reflects the ultimate in personal responsibility.
A couple of years ago, the majority of voters elected a newcomer with some undefined, intangible quality which led them to say, “He’s our guy.”
It is his responsibility to lead using that same intangible which got him elected.
There is no way to change the opinions, however flaky and factless, of Rush Limbaugh's audience, or Glenn Beck’s parishioners. In this polarized society, the only path to Democrat survival is to get the Democrat faithful up off their asses and into voting booths.
Trying to defuse all of the disinformation floating around out there just
plays into the hands of the opposition, and the nation will be the loser in the long term.
On the announcement of the (equally ridiculed by Wall Street) $5/day wage,
Henry Ford explained he was trying to build a mass market product. "If my workers can't buy them, who will?"
That is not exactly the attitude "[Muck] the UAW" conveys.
Expanding Medicare and Medicaid to ensure that our citizens are protected
from health-borne economic disaster is not an extravagance - it is arguably part of the “unalienable right…” to the “pursuit of happiness.”
Last year, Humana, one of the nation’s largest health care providers, dismissed 700 health care professionals and replaced them with newly-hired accountants....
Can you spell "gaming the system?"
Our economy will continue to suffer until we find a way to rebuild consumer confidence which translates into buying power, which represents 70% of our GDP, and that’s not going to take place prior to the elections.
Giving members of Congress (the only class of criminals native to the
United States of America) something to be proud of may be beyond the powers of any president, but giving the voters a choice they can be proud of is part and
parcel of the president's Bully Pulpit.
At least that’s what I would do.
But in the next election, I’d rather be working for the Republicans. At least I would have a better chance of getting paid....
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