Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Summer Of Discontent? 

According to the latest CNN poll, President Obama's approval rating has fallen eight points in the past month. Forty-five percent of the country approves of Obama's job performance, while 54% disapproves. Last month the numbers were essentially reversed with 54% approving and 45% disapproving. And it's hard to find much good news for the president based on this survey. For example: 

  • Americans disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy by a 15-point margin (42% to 57%). 
  • They disapprove of his handling of foreign affairs by a 10-point margin (44% to 54%). 
  • On immigration, Obama is down 16 points (40% to 56%).
  • On his handling of the deficit, he's down a whopping 30 points (34% to 64%).
  • And just 35% of Americans approve of the way Obama has handled the government's surveillance of U.S. citizens, while 61% disapprove.

When asked whether they felt President Obama was "honest and trustworthy," Americans were divided with 49% saying yes and 50% saying no. That's a big change from one month ago, when the numbers were overwhelmingly in his favor -- 58% to 41%.

A month ago Americans were divided -- 48% to 50% -- on whether Obama shared their views on the "size and power of government." But now, 57% of Americans do not believe Obama shares their views on the size and power of government. 

Moreover, 62% of Americans agreed with the statement "the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens." 

Here's one more point to consider: CNN found that among Americans 30 years old and younger, Obama experienced a massive 17-point drop in support. Are we to conclude that America's youth, who had been among Obama's most loyal supporters, suddenly became racist? Of course not. But it exposes the left's hypocrisy when it cries "RACISM!" anytime someone questions Obama's ideas. 

CBS: Tea Party Just Like Radical Iranians 

Iranians elected a new president this weekend, Hassan Rowhani. Virtually every media report describes Rowhani as a "moderate." Just to be clear, the real "power" in Iran is held by Ayatollah Khamenei, who is known as the "Supreme Leader." 

Khamenei controls everything, including Iran's nuclear policy. And in case there was any confusion, Rowhani pledged his allegiance to Iran's nuclear program, adding, "The Iranian nation has done nothing to deserve sanctions." 

Rowhani may be less prone to making incendiary comments about "wiping Israel off the map." But he is no moderate. In fact, he was once part of Ayatollah Khomeini's inner circle during the latter's exile in France prior to the 1979 Islamic revolution in Tehran. 

If that grossly misleading description wasn't bad enough, one CBS reporter compared the Iranian presidential candidates to members of the Tea Party. Here's how Elizabeth Palmer described the Iranian election: 

"Well, [Hassan Rowhani] was seen as the most reform-minded of all the candidates who ran this time. That being said, they were all very conservative. In U.S. terms, it was as if all the candidates for the presidency came from the Tea Party."

Talk about media bias! In the minds of America's left-wing media, Iran's Shiite radicals are the equivalent of the Tea Party. On Fox & Friends this morning, Sarah Palin said, "Okay, Elizabeth, you just put the BS in CBS.

GOP's Fissures On Display 

The fissures within the Republican Party were on display at last week's Faith & Freedom Coalition conference. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie chose not to attend the conference, opting instead to spend the day with Bill Clinton. 

Before I spoke, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush took the podium and made headlines for his rather unusual argument in support of the quasi-amnesty bill now before Congress. According to Bush, conservatives should support the Senate's immigration reform bill because, "Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families…"

I commend Bush for implying that intact families are something this country needs more of. On that point we agree. 

I often get emails from readers insisting that conservatives can appeal to Hispanics based on pro-family, values-based issues. Unfortunately, many Beltway elites are demanding that conservatives stop talking about those very issues! How can you appeal to minority voters on life and marriage if you don't talk about life and marriage? 

Moreover, Hispanics are overwhelmingly supportive of Big Government, especially Obamacare. Trying to sell immigration reform to conservatives by suggesting we need to welcome liberals who are likely to make even more liberals seems bizarre to me. 

But Bush's claim that Hispanics have more intact families is arguable. Compared to what? A majority of Hispanic children (53%) are born out of wedlock. And government data has linked poverty to out-of-wedlock births. More out-of-wedlock births and higher poverty generally leads to more demands for government benefits. 

"A Salute To Dad" 

I hope all you dads had a great Father's Day weekend. I certainly did. It is a poignant holiday, because homes with children are increasingly fatherless. Yesterday I had a column in Politico, and today in the Washington Times, on the importance of fathers and strong families. 

I got a chance this weekend to offer a brief tribute to my father. The opportunity came about when CNN's Candy Crowley decided to highlight the fathers of some leading political figures, including Colin Powell and Nancy Pelosi, and invited me to be part of her "A Salute To Dad" segment. You can watch the brief video here.