At 1/20/13 08:49 PM, Warforger wrote:
You said he wasn't considering the public interests at heart, it's quite clear the majority of people want more gun control. Now whether or not that's a good policy is one thing, but its' quite clear he has the public's interests in his proposals.
The founding fathers set-up our government with the idea of balancing the power of five different parts of a political society: the three branches of the federal government, the states, and the people en masse. They understood that people's passions can be inflamed and therefore the passions of the masses must be tempered with wisdom.
This is why we have a republic instead of a democracy.
What does this have to do with guns? One of the paradoxes of a free society is sometimes the people don't get what they want...but get what they need.
Furthermore, if Obama had any sort of nuance understanding of this issue he could lead the country away from vengance rituals (ie: calls for death penalties if the perp survives or calls for gun control if he dies)...instead of further inflaming ignorant, fear-based public passions in order to satisfy one of the bases of his party.
To be fair though you did go back a bit of time, Pre-Civil war? Try Grover Cleveland (3rd party again) and FDR. But like I said that's largely meaningless because well for one 2008 was special, the Republicans were just so unpopular that a bus driver probably could have beat them. Bush had lower approval ratings than Nixon and that wasn't because of a scandal he was just an unpopular President, Nixon just got caught doing what Kennedy started and everyone caught him going to unprecedented corruption.
* I ignored FDR's third and fourth terms since he is the only president to serve more than two terms.
* Cleveland served two terms...but these were nonconsecutive. He is also the only president to serve two terms nonconsecutively therefore he is a special case like FDR so I treated him as two-one term presidents.
And your reason concerning 2008 does not hold water. In 1980 Carter was unpopular; the economy was crashing and there was a major foreign relations crisis going on with Iran. Carter was deemed to be very inept. So by your logic, Reagan would've decreased in popularity...where in face he had a +8 increase in the popular vote.
Also, this is a trend that is actually very steady. In order to find the next president who won with a shrinking popular vote you have to go back to 1832 with the election of Jackson (I made a mistake attributing the 1840 win to Van Buren). You go back this far and the average spread between first and second term popular vote is +4.8%.
A more valid criticism would be that we've had increased sufferage since then. Adjusting for this according to increases in voting rights:
The black vote: +4.5
The women vote: +5.4
Civil rights: +6.5
18 yo vote: +6.5
Now looking at the modern/post-WWII political landscape this number is +5.8. So this trend is rather stead for such major upheavals as expanding suffrage, civil rights movements, wars popular and unpopular. Furthermore, this is rooted in something solid: election results. Public opinion polls change. At the outset of Vietnam public support was rather pretty high, then with perceived defeat as well as civil unrest at home it became our most unpopular war and doomed the Johnson administration. Public opinion shifted so much that at the end, when we actually began winning our victories (such as the failed Tet Offensive) were viewed as losses.
So no...public opinion polls are a very shakey foundation to build any argument on! But something like election results are a very solid indicator! :)
Probably downhill from here on out, happened to Eisenhower, Reagan, Johnson and most importantly Clinton.
Happens to all second term presidents. Plus he has (or has had since re-election) the following issues to deal with:
* Fiscal cliff
* Gun control/mass killings
* Debt ceiling
* Promised spending cuts
* Implementation of ACA/Obamacare
He has a ton of governing to do, and I wonder just how much political capital he has. Doubtful he has enough to get his way on all of these issues. Especially considering his signature domestic policy issue is going into effect.