WASHINGTON - It is common knowledge that Barack Obama's presidency is becoming increasingly unpopular. But did you know that much of the criticism is now starting to come from his own supporters?
It's one thing for Obama to see his job approval polls slumping into the low 40s and his job disapproval scores climbing to 54 percent, according to the latest Gallup Poll surveys. It's quite another thing entirely when his longtime allies and most ardent cheerleaders are criticizing the way he's governed, or not governed, for that matter.
CBS News reported Wednesday that nearly 60 percent of Americans it polled "say they are disappointed" in his presidency. Notably, 40 percent of independents said they were "very disappointed" and a stunning one-fourth of the Democrats that were surveyed "express at least some disappointment."
You really know that things are going from bad to worse when your friends begin deserting you.
Some of the criticism and distancing is coming from embattled Democrats on Capitol Hill who are no longer embracing Obamacare the way they used to, or damning it with faint praise. Others are running away from the health care law altogether, and do not want to appear with him out on the campaign trail in what may be shaping up to be a blow-out election year for his party.
Even some of his many allies in the major news media have been pounding Obama for his wimpy, risk-adverse, over-politicized presidency. The complaints range from his failed economic policies to Obamacare to his incompetent handling of foreign affairs.
Washington Post columnist Fred Hiatt took Obama to task this week in a column whose headline asked, "What change does Obama believe in?"
For example, take Social Security's shaky finances, he says. One of fixes would require a recalculation of its cost-of-living formula, and Obama spoke boldly in 2009 that "we must also address the growing costs in Medicare and Social Security."
"I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans," Obama said in 2010. Yeah, sure.
But instead of grappling with a thorny problem that now threatens America's solvency, he has decided "to drop the [COLA] reform from his proposed budget," Hiatt said.
That decision to back away from his bluff and bluster promise, Hiatt said, raised "a bigger question: What does he believe in enough to really fight for?"