Photo of the day

Apparently the Tour de France has started in England this year.  Great gallery of images from Buzzfeed:

Stage two departed from York. Here the peloton passes Bettys.

Anthony Chappel-Ross/PA Wire

What exactly does the public disapprove of?

A while back I meant to blog on this Gallup poll and didn’t.  The public is quite unhappy with Obama’s performance on immigration:

Trend: Americans' Views of President Obama's Handling of Immigration

So, what exactly is the public so unhappy about?  For many Republicans, the fact that Obama has not managed to deport all the illegal immigrants and wants some common-sense reforms to immigration policy are surely enough.  But what’s with the tepid support from independents and Democrats?

Trend: Approval of President Obama's Handling of Immigration, by Party

Presumably, the fact that Obama cannot actually pass any immigration reform legislation.  And is this  because he is a weak, ineffective president?  Possibly.  However, the simple fact is Republicans have created a policy of opposing Obama on every piece of substantive legislation there is.  Just what exactly is Obama supposed to be doing here?

Likewise, in commenting on Obama’s poor public opinion on handling Iraq, I think Drum nailed it with his headline:

America Unhappy Over Obama’s Lack of Magic Iraq Wand

And the text:

 If you read through theindividual questions, you’ll see that substantial majorities approve of nearly everything Obama has done related to Iraq…

And yet, the public disapproves of Obama’s handling of Iraq by 52-37 percent.

In other words, Iraq is like the economy: it doesn’t really matter what the president is doing. If the economy is good, the public approves of his performance. It it’s bad, they disapprove. Likewise, if the world is peaceful, they think the president is doing a great job. If it’s not, they don’t—even if he’s pretty much doing everything they think he should be doing. Basically, we all want the president to wave a magic wand and make everything better. No wand, no approval.

Clearly, the lack of this wand likewise is harming Obama on immigration.

The really important point is that the Republican leadership completely understands this point and is completely taking advantage of it to Obama’s detriment.  Drum again:

Today President Obama asked Congress to approve $3.7 billion in emergency funding to help deal with the surge of minors crossing the border. You may color me unsurprised over theRepublican response:

The proposal was quickly met with broad skepticism among Republican lawmakers, who were doubtful that the package would be approved quickly — if at all…. [emphasis in original] GOP leaders, who have called on Obama to take stronger action, said they were reluctant to give the administration a “blank check” without ­more-detailed plans to ensure that the money would help stem the crisis at the border.

As long as Obama is president, chaos is good for Republicans. After all, most voters don’t really know who’s at fault when things go wrong, they just know there’s a crisis and Obama doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it. [emphasis mine] Exploiting that may be cynical and revolting, but hey, politics ain’t beanbag. And in case you haven’t heard, there’s an election coming up.

As long as you don’t care about good policy or the good of the country (i.e., the seeming position of Republicans in Congress) you’ve basically got a heads I win, tails you lose thing going on here.  When nothing happens to solve our nations problems, Obma loses and they win.  No matter the fact that the failure to solve problems, in reality, rests heavily on Republican shoulders.  The ultimate losers here?  The American people.

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