If there’s a poll out there with the words “President Barack Obama” in it, there’s a good chance it’s attended by words like “only,” “plummets,” “dips,” “sinks,” “dives” and “free fall.”
A poll released late Monday by FOX News shows Americans’ regard for Obama has reached an all-time low, with only (see? there’s that word) 40 percent of those surveyed expressing approval for the President in his still-young second term. Meanwhile, 54 percent of 900 registered American voters who responded to the phone poll, conducted from Sept. 6-8, said they disapprove of Obama.
The polling period occurred at a time of fresh, new embarrassments for the President, whose determination to find a pretense for a military strike against Syria has heightened Americans’ incredulity toward the commander in chief and diminished their esteem of America’s international reputation.
If publications outside the United States offer any reliable insight, that reputation has indeed taken a massive hit under Obama.
Newspapers in the free-press part of the world had already been hammering the Obama Administration for hypocritically propagating the very same Big Brother machine that Obama, as a Senator and Presidential candidate, once castigated. But British papers like The Guardian and The Telegraph have seized on Obama’s myopic, unpopular and mercenary positioning of America as the world’s moral arbiter, condemning the Obama White House — once hailed by liberals and optimists as a do-over for reviled American interventionist policy — for admirably living up to the misdeeds of its former occupants.
“Obama’s failure to be honest about his nation’s record of destroying international norms and undermining international law, his myth-making about the role of the US in world affairs, and his one-sided interventions in the Middle East, all render the crisis in Syria even harder to resolve,” The Guardian’s George Monbiot wrote Monday.
“Until there is some candour about past crimes and current injustices, until there is an effort to address the inequalities over which the US presides, everything it attempts — even if it doesn’t involve guns and bombs — will stoke the cynicism and anger the president says he wants to quench… During his first inauguration speech Barack Obama promised to ‘set aside childish things’. We all knew what he meant. He hasn’t done it.”
Washington-based foreign affairs analyst Nile Gardiner was more colorful, if less elegant, in reacting to the FOX News poll on a blog post for The Telegraph:
Having casually drawn a red line in the sand on the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, Obama’s own credibility — not that of the United States — is on the line.
… Against a backdrop of plummeting public approval, and surging Congressional opposition, it is hard to see how the president is going to turn his Syria debacle around. The American people increasingly see him as a weak leader, one that has actually lowered America’s standing in the world instead of raising it. Frankly, President Bush’s record is looking better by the day, as a flailing Obama struggles to stand tall on the world stage while tripping over his own shoelaces at home. At least, with Obama’s predecessor in the White House, the United States was backed by its allies and feared by its enemies. The same cannot be said today.
See the full FOX News poll here.