A Pew survey released Friday shows Americans are increasingly frustrated not only by President Barack Obama’s overall performance, but by his handling of almost every matter of policy that has confronted his Administration throughout the ineffectual, scandal-plagued first year of his second term.
Surprisingly, few Americans are fans of Obama’s stance on immigration reform.
According to Pew:
Only about a third of the public (32%) approves of the job Obama is doing on immigration policy; 60% disapprove. Obama’s ratings for this issue among Democrats are mixed: About half (53%) approve of his handling of the issue while 42% disapprove.
Interpreting the reason for that kind of lopsided disapproval among all Americans, as well as for the lack of clear consensus among Obama’s Democratic supporters, is a murky exercise. It’s possible that some who are dissatisfied think Obama’s not being progressive enough; that he shouldn’t wait for Congress to open a path to amnesty when the President could just bypass the rule of law by issuing an executive order.
But the fact that Democrats aren’t closing ranks with Obama suggests an alternate explanation: people don’t like what Obama and the Congressional Gang of Eight are selling.
Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle made exactly that point over the weekend, writing that “Obama’s immigration disapproval rating has skyrocketed as he has ramped up his efforts to lobby Congress for the passage of an amnesty — particularly the Senate’s ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill.”
As the American people have learned more and more about the Gang of Eight bill and the effects which amnesty and a drastic influx of millions of new workers would have on the hurting economy, they have grown more and more outraged with what Washington, D.C., is doing regarding immigration reform. In February — before Obama and lawmakers like Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and DIck Durbin (D-ll.L) began their push for immigration reform — the President’s immigration policy approval rating among the American people, according to Pew, was higher than his disapproval rating. His approval rating on immigration then was 44 percent, whereas his disapproval rating was 43 percent.
Over the next several months, the Obama administration worked with the Senate Democrats and a handful of Senate Republicans to develop the more-than-thousand-page-long Gang of Eight bill. The administration helped Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rush the bill to the floor with hardly any substantive review from members, staffers, the media, and the American people.
In mid-June, before the Senate bill passed and as its ultimate passage became questionable, Obama’s Pew Research disapproval rating on immigration spiked up to 47 percent, and his approval rating on the issue dropped to 43 percent.
That’s a big swing in public opinion over a brief period of time. But it mimics the President’s freefall in most other policy arenas.
“The new survey finds that majorities disapprove of the way Obama is handling four of five issues tested, with terrorism the lone exception (51% approve, 44% disapprove),” the Pew study observes. “For every issue, including terrorism, his ratings are lower than they were earlier this year.”
Indeed. George Will riffed on the Pew study Sunday on Fox News, saying Obama’s fifth year in office – highlighted by the poor reception Americans have given the launch of the Affordable Care Act – is more disastrous than any other President’s except for Richard Nixon.
“Well, it is one thing for Bill Clinton to say ‘I feel your pain.’ It is another thing for Barack Obama to say ‘I feel your pain that I have caused,’” said Will. “And for him to say it was caused by a situation – that’s the word he used in the operative sentence – we, this week, marked the one-year anniversary of his reelection.
“Has there ever, with the exception of Richard Nixon in 1973, been a worst first year of a second term?”