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Obama's self-pitying vanishing act


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obamas-self-pitying-vanishing-actThe Week:

Democrats are flailing in their hunt for a new narrative to reverse the story of their sixth-year midterm blues. Like Republicans who had the same problem in 2006 with George W. Bush, members of Barack Obama's party find themselves tied to a president with plummeting approval ratings, a series of scandals and bungled priorities, and crises unfolding at America's southern border and at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Obama has grown so unpopular, The Hill reports, that some Democratic incumbents consider him a "pariah," and have already begun ducking out of presidential visits in their states and districts.


The White House has thus tried to shift attention from Obama and onto Republicans, even though midterm elections normally act as votes of confidence (or lack thereof) in the president. First the administration attempted to make income inequality, which Democrats laid at the feet of Republicans, the overarching theme of the 2014 midterms. Then Hillary Clinton's gaffes in June about the family's "struggle" while earning more than $100 million in speaking fees since leaving the White House stepped all over that narrative. Democrats fell all over themselves trying to draw a distinction between the Clintons' wealth and that of Mitt Romney, and ended up arguing that personal wealth wasn't really an issue after all.


Next up was a revival of the "war on women" trope, thanks to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision. Democrats went on a media blitz to convince America that the court somehow just enabled employers to dictate that employees couldn't use birth control at all, that the justices wanted to outlaw contraception, that religion opposes all health care, and that the decision somehow took away the religious freedom of employees because, er, religious freedom somehow relies on having your boss supply contraception for free.


All of these arguments are nonsensical ignorance at best, and demagoguery at worst. But they're also bad news for the White House, because they aren't working. Despite a week of liberals screaming falsehoods about the Hobby Lobby decision into any open microphone, an Economist/YouGov poll shows that the public tends to favor the ruling. A plurality supports it — 47/41 — and a majority of independent voters back it by a wide margin, 53/36. Women only narrowly oppose the decision — 43/46, a virtual tie — and those women strongly opposed to the outcome (34 percent) barely outstrips those strongly in favor (32 percent).




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