American public, you have been officially, thoroughly chastised by the Associated Press. It’s a good thing 54 percent of you – in a poll that surely oversamples Democrats – still proclaim your support for President Obama. It’s your one saving grace.
In a new poll from the AP and GfK Roper Public Affairs, the AP reports that the American people are “grouchy” about the economy and about Obama’s performance as commander in chief in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The AP even declares the country to be in a malaise, without the slightest hint of irony. Isn’t it awesome that Jimmy Carter is still alive to see this happening again? He must be jonesin’ to bust out the yellow cardigan, go on TV and excoriate us all.
Check out this summary paragraph (emphasis and parenthetical comments mine):
This comes at a time when he is trying to revive a struggling economy, weighing more troops (as opposed to making a decision) for the 8-year-old (aren’t you tired of it?) Afghanistan war, muscling a health care reform overhaul through Congress and hoping to push through other ambitious measures like legislation focused on climate change.
Note the words the AP uses to describe what Obama does. He is “trying to revive” the economy, like an EMT. He is “weighing” more troops for Afghanistan, like a seriously, scholarly genius. He is “muscling” the government takeover of medicine through Congress, like Superman! And his other measures? Ambitious!
(And oh, by the way, you know that war in Afghanistan is eight years old. About time to wrap that sucker up, don’t you think?)
I actually think the AP uses language like this without even realizing it. It’s just second nature to a writer like Liz Sidoti, whose preconceived notion of the world tells her everything Obama is trying to do is heroic and awesome. Her storyline does not concern whether these things are good. She presumes they are good and reports on how much success Obama is having achieving them.
As for 54 percent of the public approving of Obama, that’s not impressive historically for this stage in a presidency, and you will find buried in the story that it’s way down from the 74 percent he enjoyed on Inauguration Day, before he had actually governed anything.
By the way, one of the challenges of news writing is to write comprehensible transition sentences. Ms. Sidoti apparently needs to work on this, because instead of something that makes a whit of sense, she offers this:
Hope and change were in vogue back then. But change didn’t happen overnight, as the rhetoric of campaigning crashed headlong into the realities of governing. And hope slipped in a country that always has clung to it.
What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Ah well. It doesn’t matter. Just because unemployment is over 10 percent, we’re forecasting record debt as far as the eye can see and the government is ignoring all this in a mad dash to socialize health care, you people have no business being so grouchy!
Not when you have a muscular, ambitious president who’s calmly weighing how to save you all from your grouchy selves.