I just knew the combination of Piers Morgan and Barbara Walters would produce something special. It did. Barbara admitted to what we all have suspected:
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: You have interviewed every president of my lifetime. Why is Obama facing so much opposition now? Why is he struggling so much to really fulfill the great flame of ambition and excitement that he was elected on originally in 2009?
BARBARA WALTERS: Well, you’ve touched on it to a degree. He made so many promises. We thought that he was going to be – I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime, but – the next messiah. And the whole ObamaCare, or whatever you want to call it, the Affordable Health Act, it just hasn’t worked for him, and he’s stumbled around on it, and people feel very disappointed because they expected more.
It’s very difficult when the expectations for you are very high. You’re almost better off when they are low and then they rise and rise. His were very high and they’ve dropped. But you know, he still has several years to go. What does he have, three years, Piers? And, you know, there will be a lot of changes, one thinks in that time.
Who is this “we” you speak of, Ms. Walters?
This is the latest in the long series of excuses being made for the President’s plunging approval ratings. The problem is never Obama. The problem is Republican obstruction. The problem is the unworkable system. The problem is the Constitution. The problem is the lofty expectations of the American people.
This excuse is pretty easy to dismiss. First, if there were huge expectations out there, it was because Obama himself built them up. Remember this?
Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.
That was just the high tide of a sea of soaring rhetoric that promised the world. And all of this was to the hosannahs of media types who got thrills up their legs every time the man spoke.
But more importantly, the American people aren’t completely stupid. We knew that every President promises a paradise. But we’ll usually settle for less than that. Competence is what we really ask for. When Obama was elected, his approval numbers were in the mid-60’s. Americans were willing to give him a chance. And we understood he was walking into one of the all time shit sandwiches of a situation. We even re-elected him with a weak economy and soaring debt because at least the place wasn’t on fire anymore.
But he hasn’t even delivered on some of the most basic promises. Obamacare has been a fiasco. Maybe it will work at some point, but it was a flop out of the box. I would be generous if I described our foreign policy as muddled. The budget is a wreck, fundamental reforms haven’t even been proposed and the economy isn’t even breathing hard right now.
The media thought Obama was the Messiah. Some of his most partisan supporters did. And maybe he did as well. But we didn’t. We don’t disapprove of him because we expected too much; we disapprove because he has delivered so little.