When only a third of the American people trust the government and half think the government is listening to their phone calls and reading their emails, there is a problem.
Fox News released a poll today with plenty of alarming information for the Obama Administration: 71% believe the federal government is too powerful, 66% think the IRS should be abolished or massively reorganized, only 43% approve of the job the President is doing, and my personal favorite: 82% believe the Founding Fathers would disapprove of the current goings-on in Washington, DC. Ya think?
But a particularly striking revelation of the poll is that now a majority of Americans disapprove of Obama himself. That's the "likeability" factor and it's important. Particularly to this President. Currently, only 47% of the American people view the President favorably. Those who view him unfavorably: 51%. A majority. That's a first.
That "likeablity" enabled Obama to rest on the goodwill of the American people when he was pushing measures they either weren't too sure of, or just downright didn't like. Now, in the wake of the numerous scandals and as the effects of Obamacare are being felt, that goodwill is evaporating. The President is going to have a tougher time pushing aspects of his agenda the public find questionable or objectionable. That's one reason we'll see more of the executive fiats, such as the regulation into oblivion of the coal industry.
Not only do the American people distrust government (a very big deal given that Obama's entire agenda banks on the belief that government is good), but they are beginning not to trust him--or what he says. They used to trust him, as they did when he said Obamacare would lower health care premiums, that the deficit was under control, that middle class taxes would go down, or that a video was responsible for the murder of our Libyan ambassador. But then they realized he just wasn't being straight with them. In fact, it appears he was taking them for fools. Now, when Obama says things such as, "Ignore voices warning of government tyranny," that actually alarms more people than it placates. Particularly when days later it is revealed that the IRS targeted the President's ideological opponents.
It has been Obama's practice to say one thing even though the facts say quite the opposite. To get away with it, he has relied on the goodwill of the American people, and on his own previously powerful "likeability." Up until now, most folks have just gone along with whatever he says--because they trust him and like him. But it appears that the scales are falling away. We can only be mocked so many times before even we profoundly busy and distracted (and perhaps gullible) Americans take heed. The continued scandals, the refusal of the President to handle them forthrightly, and the great awakening of a weary nation are going to take a heavy toll. Declining "likeability" is an important indicator of just how heavy it will be.