Over the past two weeks, conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has been advancing a theory about why President Obama’s approval ratings remain above average, despite the fact that most Americans say they are dissatisfied with the direction the country is taking.
Limbaugh has hypothesized that many Americans, perhaps the “low-information voters,” are not connecting Obama’s policies to what is actually happening in the country, because the president never actually governs. Obama’s is a non-governing presidency, one that is built on an eternal campaign, a never-ending community organization effort.
Aided by a relatively weak Republican Party, Obama travels around the country, appearing to be fighting against the horrific consequences of his own policies. Consequently, the president has remained fairly popular without having to own any of his destructive strategies and programs. It’s all about perception.
The situation with the sequester is a perfect example. The White House came up with the idea of sequestration as a punishment/enforcer during the debt ceiling debate of 2011. The sequestration–an across-the-board spending cut, or a slowing in the growth of spending–was the compulsory “trigger” designed to appear to cut spending. The White House believed it would never happen because Republicans allegedly would do anything to avoid cuts to defense spending in particular.
Fast forward to the present day, however, where we have Barack Obama traveling around the country denying he came up with the sequester idea as he warns Americans of the apocalypse that is upon them because of the compulsory cuts the Republicans want them to endure.
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