Obama,  Stateside


First there were the anti-Obama “tea parties” last April heavily promoted by Fox News personalities and conservative talk-radio hosts.

Then there were the organized disruptions and protests at town hall meetings last summer by opponents of the Obama administration’s alleged plan for a government takeover of health care.

Then there were the people (somewhere between 70,000 and 2 million) who gathered in Washington to call Obama a socialist and/or a Nazi, mostly because of his health care reform plans.

So what has been the result of all the sound and fury? According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll this week, large majorities of Americans favor two of the most controversial and “socialistic” aspects of Obama’s health care reform– a government insurance plan to compete with private insurers and a mandate that every American have health insurance. In fact support for the public option increased from 52 percent to 57 percent since the town halls of August. (Perhaps endorsements from Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly and Shepard Smith had something to do with it.)

And you’d think the massive public outrage against the Obama administration that we’ve been hearing and reading about from the Right would have spilled over into an increase in support for the Republicans in Congress who are doing their best to thwart his nefarious plans. But no; only 20 percent of those polled by The Post-ABC consider themselves Republicans, down six points since last November’s election (and five points since August). That compares to the 33 percent who consider themselves Democrats, down only two points since the election.

Only 19 percent of those surveyed trust Republicans in Congress to make the right decisions for the country’s future — compared to 49 percent trust for Obama.