President Obama's biggest worry should not be that his approval ratings hit a new low in July (says Gallup). Or that nearly forty percent rate him as worse than average as a president. That's just a paper figure and it can change at any time. The big worry should be that more people disapprove of his performance on the following issues than approve: the federal budget deficit, unemployment, health care, taxes and immigration. The blame for this is not Obama's, it's the Democrats. They have blown the mandate that they had to make the changes that voters hungered for in November 2008.
It wasn't just the Democrats abysmal cave in on Afghanistan, or their even more abysmal failure to plow taxpayer dollars Congress ladled out to Wall Street and the big banks into a direct jobs and home foreclosure relief program. These two failures stoked public frustration, impatience, and fury at the Democrats. The day after Obama won his electoral college landslide victory, the GOP was reeling. President Bush was both discredited and loathed. The public blamed him and the GOP for two failed, flawed, costly wars, for making a shambles of an economy, the endless chain of sex and corruption scandals, and an unprecedented giveaway to Wall Street.
The day after their victory and near sweep of Congress Democrats could have announced that they would forcefully push for an FDR style jobs and relief program, clamp a tight ceiling on executive compensation for all banks and financial houses that got taxpayer bailout dollars, prohibit all stock speculation, swaps and manipulation by the same banks and financial houses that got bailout money, require that they fully open the lending spigot to distressed home owners, businesses and industry.
They would have been widely hailed for acting like Democrats in more than just name. The public would have applauded Obama as the true second coming of FDR, and the party as a genuine reform party. The Democrats did none of these things. They dithered, retreated, and plopped down half measures to jumpstart the economy, health care reform, and continued to shell out billions more to escalate the no-win Afghan war.