Obama’s Daunting Challenge: Regaining Trust

Posted: Aug 19, 2009 7:42 PM
Obama’s Daunting Challenge: Regaining Trust

The President campaigned on a promise of “hope and change.” We got plenty of change, but hope is dwindling fast.

Obama is focusing on improving the economy and health care. Thus far, he is 0 for 2. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecasts a national debt of over $17 trillion by 2019. Americans at town hall meetings all across the nation are loudly opposed to a government takeover of health care. No wonder the President’s approval ratings are tanking. Even his core supporters in the election — the 18-29 year olds — are losing hope. According to Gallup polls, Obama’s approval rating among young adults has dropped more than 10 points since January. That same poll reports all adults are dissatisfied with how the President is handling things — approval ratings have dropped nearly 20 percentage points (from 30 percent in February to nearly 50 percent in July). Even some folks that were the President’s strongest supporters are questioning policies that are bankrupting the nation and driving us toward socialism.

The President’s community-organizer approach to governance is beginning to wear thin. Blaming so-called “right-wing conspirators” for his failing policies is working no better for Obama than it did when Hillary used the same accusation to deflect criticism from her husband’s womanizing. The plain truth is more and more Americans are troubled about the direction that Obama is moving the country. They especially don’t like to see the expansion of wasteful, profligate spending that mortgages their children’s futures. By wide margins, Americans don’t trust the government to run things as well as private enterprise; we especially don’t like government takeovers and bailouts of industries and corporations.

More and more people are distrustful of the double speak that is coming out of the White House. Those who analyze such things declare that the President’s figures about the number of people who are “uninsured” are “false and deceptive.” The President claims that number to be 47 million Americans. In their analysis of reports from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Congressional Budget Office, the Liberty Counsel found that the number of uninsured actually dropped by over 1 million in 2007. Further, a significant number of those uninsured are not citizens, others are earning high incomes, and still others are uninsured for only brief periods of time.

The President is also muddying the waters when it comes to same-sex “marriages.” While defending marriage publicly, his administration is working behind the scenes to undermine the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) through legal action — filing court papers complaining that the bill discriminates against same-sex couples. While his Administration is taking heat for their health care reform proposals, they are hesitant to generate more flak over same-sex “marriage.” Court action on the issue could protect the White House and allow the President to appear above the fray of the controversial ideological and political battle. If DOMA is overturned by White House maneuvering or a federal court, every state law protecting marriage could be at risk, and states could be forced to recognize same-sex “marriages” that are legal in states like Massachusetts. With activist judges trying to rewrite the Constitution at every turn, it is not clear that even those 30 state constitutional amendments protecting marriage, voted in by the people, would be safe.

Right now, the Democrats are scrambling to put all the broken pieces of the President’s health care package back together again. Proponents of government-run health care are floating various “compromise solutions” around in the media. We must make it clear that no amount of rhetorical camouflage can hide government takeover of health care in the United States. No citizen should be blinded by attempts to fool the public or to sneak provisions in at the last minute.

At this point, the President is compelled to come up with something to patch things up regarding the health care package in order to salvage his presidency. He has to find a way to reconcile his rhetoric supporting marriage with his actions behind the scenes trying to repeal DOMA. Those are daunting challenges. Growing numbers of Americans question the reliability of his public remarks and are suspicious about what he is doing. A loss of trust is hard to regain.