If the congenitally big-hearted American people were to fixate upon a moderately competent administrative assistant and make that man president of the United States, what would happen?

They’d wake up and catch a clue, that’s what. From the Wall Street Journal:

It is simply wrong for commentators to continue to focus on President Barack Obama’s high levels of popularity, and to conclude that these are indicative of high levels of public confidence in the work of his administration. Indeed, a detailed look at recent survey data shows that the opposite is most likely true. The American people are coming to express increasingly significant doubts about his initiatives, and most likely support a different agenda and different policies from those that the Obama administration has advanced.

Polling data show that Mr. Obama’s approval rating is dropping and is below where George W. Bush was in an analogous period in 2001. Rasmussen Reports data shows that Mr. Obama’s net presidential approval rating — which is calculated by subtracting the number who strongly disapprove from the number who strongly approve — is just six, his lowest rating to date.

Overall, Rasmussen Reports shows a 56%-43% approval, with a third strongly disapproving of the president’s performance. This is a substantial degree of polarization so early in the administration. Mr. Obama has lost virtually all of his Republican support and a good part of his Independent support, and the trend is decidedly negative.

A detailed examination of presidential popularity after 50 days on the job similarly demonstrates a substantial drop in presidential approval relative to other elected presidents in the 20th and 21st centuries. The reason for this decline most likely has to do with doubts about the administration’s policies and their impact on peoples’ lives.

There is also a clear sense in the polling that taxes will increase for all Americans because of the stimulus, notwithstanding what the president has said about taxes going down for 95% of Americans. Close to three-quarters expect that government spending will grow under this administration.

Recent Gallup data echo these concerns. That polling shows that there are deep-seated, underlying economic concerns. Eighty-three percent say they are worried that the steps Mr. Obama is taking to fix the economy may not work and the economy will get worse. Eighty-two percent say they are worried about the amount of money being added to the deficit. Seventy-eight percent are worried about inflation growing, and 69% say they are worried about the increasing role of the government in the U.S. economy.

The rallying cry around my desk is “Lame duck by Q2!” Obama is resignation- and assassination-proof, given that Biden is an even worse idiot — and now we understand why he was chosen, don’t we? But we can’t wait for the mid-term elections to neutralize this disaster of a president.

I’m not a Republican. I’m not a Democrat. I want no government, by which I mean enormously less than you ever imagined possible. But it is not fitting for me to chortle about this incredible cluster-frolic. I’m screwed, too, after all. Even so, the American people asked a question — “What could be worse than Bush?” — and now they know the answer.

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