Erika Johnsen

I can't pin down exactly when this started, but these days I always carry with me a peculiar sense of angst that everything that has made America so fantastic over the past two hundred plus years - innovation, entrepreneurship, prosperity, the desire for wealth, robust independence and personal responsibility - is slowly grinding to a screeching halt, primarily due to rent-seeking. Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."

Well, TJ's wise words pretty much sum up the multiple scandals (Solyndra, CLASS Act, LightSquared) we saw coming out of the White House in what I thought set the new standard for their Worst Week Evah, even though they're keeping pretty mum about it all. While President Obama certainly didn't start the snowball of crony capitalism, 'virtue' legislation, and political hijincks that is gradually ruining us, he has aided and abetted that snowball's exponential transformation into an avalanche, and the mainstream media and establishment liberals have been all too content to stand back and let him. Still, however, there's always hope, and I don't mean the kind our slick president promised us the last time around.

In a new New York Times/CBS News poll, the president's job disapproval rating has hit 50 percent, and 42 percent view him as personally unfavorable.

The president’s support has fallen to its lowest levels across parts of the diverse coalition of voters who elected him, from women to suburbanites to college graduates. And a persistent effort over the past year to reclaim his appeal to independent voters has shown few signs of bearing fruit, with 59 percent of this critical electoral group voicing their disapproval.

While Mr. Obama has not yet succeeded in winning over independent voters, who comprise the most influential piece of the electorate, neither have Republicans. The field is largely unknown to independents, and few have a favorable opinion of any of the candidates.

It's a loooooong way 'til Election 2012, of course, but I'm going to choose to see this as an encouraging sign of life from the glassy-eyed zombie electorate of 2008. Support of President Obama's handling of the economy has been diving for some time now, but these numbers are a new low and may be an indicator that Americans are just about ready to give up on The Dream That Was Barack Obama.

Erika Johnsen

Erika Johnsen is a Web Editor for and Townhall Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @erikajohnsen.