How Obama Lost America

There are four explanations for the Democrats’ biggest problem heading into the midterms.
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"... by design Obamacare still creates many losers as well as winners, and a persistent dissatisfaction with shifts in coverage and costs could be the crucial drag keeping Americans dissatisfied with their president as well."

Your Republican ways are showing here, Mr. Douthat. The ACA (Obamacare to GOP haters) creates a huge number of winners by a wide margin and a few losers relative to the total number of individuals who are using the ACA. Most Americans receive health insurance through their employer. The ACA, while imperfect due to the direct involvement of for-profit insurance companies, is still a massive improvement for the country by keeping millions of Americans healthier, more productive and earning taxable income. Medical bankruptcies will decline and hospital emergency rooms should be less crowded by the uninsured looking for free treatment.

As long as private insurers play a role in the ACA, churn in health care coverage and costs will remain as unwieldy as it has for decades. When I worked for a smaller company, their HR department changed health insurance providers nearly every two years. For most of us, that meant changing doctors nearly as often as the insurance changed since not all doctors & hospitals accept the same health insurance Any premium increases for both ACA coverage & private employer provided coverage will continue to be blamed on the ACA just because it is the easy target. Republicans know this & fuel all the ACA lies.
10 2018-08-09 08:11:43 - Jeff

Our President has been obstructed at every turn by the Republicans, for no reason other than partisan politics. Why is there a backlog of ambassadorial appointees? Why has our government been shut down, costing millions? To allow nonsense like this opinion to be written.

51 2017-11-04 06:55:30 - vandalfan

"Pushed through." Now there is an interesting phrase. Obama did the best he could but was forced to give $3 in unproductive tax breaks for every $1 of actual construction. And when the Republicans took control they locked down any infrastructure spending they could without causing riots in the streets. I believe at this very moment there is a bill to create an infrastructure construction bank sitting in a House committee dying for lack of interest. Is it the President's fault that the racist Republicans are so interested in proving a black man can't govern that they are willing to force us to pay a terrible price in lost opportunity? I think not.

2 2017-10-27 19:56:56 - shiboleth

Actually, as a Republican I'd like the Democrats to retain the Senate and win the House. Two more years of their policies ought to be enough for voters to turn away from them for 10-12 years.

7 2017-10-11 09:54:05 - MaleMatters
The Democrats are so proud the won't allow Obama to appear on a podium with them during their campaigns. Why is that?
0 2017-09-09 23:02:07 - Jim

The lows-

Obama: 39
Bush the Fool: 19
Clinton: 36
Pappy Bush: 29
St Ronald of Hollywood: 35
Carter: 28
Ford: 37
Nixon: 23
LBJ: 35

The last eight presidents had lower lows than has our current office holder, Ross. Obama's approval ratings have been virtually the same for quite a while. It is Congress and the SCOTUS that have lost the American people.

19 2017-08-04 09:01:39 - Apotropoxy

It's simple: I supported, contributed to and voted for a college professor and I got a golfer.

1 2017-07-16 21:24:15 - Good John Fagin

When I think of Obama, a man I admire for many of his personal traits, I think of a president who maybe took the high road too often, who didn't get into the fray often enough, who could have benefited by putting his boxing gloves on more frequently. I think he might have underestimated how truly despicable his opponents are, or that he could prevail by his superior intellect, and I think It's unfortunate he didn't have any previous presidents to call upon for a few lessons in King Fu fighting. A few flying side kicks to the Boehner's head would have gone a long way. Just sayin'.

15 2017-06-29 04:03:31 - GabbyTalks

Since 1974, Congressional approval hasn't often been above 40%. In that time period, it was above 40% for about six years ('98 - '06). It was only above 60% for about two years - it spiked to 84%(!) in late '02.

People generally like and re-elect their incumbents but dislike Congress as a whole - probably because they (the voters) don't get every action they want from Congress and blame it on "those other guys."

Comparing Presidential and Congressional approval ratings is pretty much meaningless.

0 2017-06-05 22:01:43 - RonRonDoRon

It seems to me that many Texans are all cattle and no head to put their hat on. It is easy but dishonest to ignore the extreme and destructive tactics of the Republicans over the last 6 years. From refusing to support adequate medical care for all to refusing to take any action to halt the number of children killed by firearms, the Republicans have done all they can to make their Uber-wealthy friend even wealthier and the rest of us poorer.

Texas has little coherent to say. After all they are the state that went through with an execution in the face of overwhelming proof that the man was inocent.

2 2017-06-02 16:31:30 - Jeff

World control is what Republicans want. They wish to own it and strangle the last cent out of it or our just to heighten their political power. "Republican intransigence", certainly correct, to make the president fail and our economy not recover, so they can gain power to go after that world, just as Cheney/Bush went after Iraq oil and war contracts. Draft dodgers, non combatants, but enormously wealthy people wishing to take control of the world, and to be placed in that position through their voting base. Their base which is blasted by midcentury European propaganda to be afraid of everything except the real threat, Republicans. Oh boy, now they have IS, created through their actions, but a president that's not eager to go to war. That's not what Republicans want, after all, war is a good vehicle for going after that world control. We have had a do nothing house for 4 years, no help just wanting the president and economy to fail. It's the Republicans' House, correct, elected by less than a majority of the electorate, but the politicians chosen by the Plutocracy. It's the Peoples' House is history, just like peace in the Middle East is history, thanks to the Cheney/Bush administration. Has anyone noticed that the "body count" (Vietnam term) of our dead soldiers has gone down with this administration. Once made afraid of Communistic counties, now our businesses voluntarily outsource at our workers' expense to them. Yeah, it's world control their after and propaganda works.

1 2017-05-29 01:34:47 - Rogerlee

At the very least the guy can string sentences together and make sense, more than can be said of some of his opposition.
And yes the guy has morals, more than can be said of his opposition.
And the guy persist in Not interfering in other peoples squabbles and making matters worse, he prefers peace, more than can be said of his oppposition.
And yes the guy is Highly intelligent, a good advert for America, Wise, and very well-informed about the world, more than can be said of his opposition.
And in most civilized countries the guy has an approval rating of over 70%, more than can be said of his opposition.
And he probably saved your Mother, Father, Grandma, and Grandpa by providing them with Health Care which is more than can be said of his opposition. Just a Wonderful person this guy Obama, more than I can say for his opposition.

25 2017-04-29 20:12:41 - BMEL47

The people of America are not yet ready for fascism.

3 2017-04-26 19:06:12 - Greatmag

Propaganda. How about that? Seems to account for the majority of the problem.

8 2017-04-13 02:48:50 - Bill

You write a good comment...but then you end it with "And we absolutely have to have a strong leader next time." How exactly should the President have been "stronger?" He can't disolve the hostile Congress, unfortunatly. And plese dont point to LBJ; show me insteadhow another president in a situation like the last six years handled things better. You can't. You can't because what we've had is unprecedented. So don't buy the Republican nonsense that Obama is a weak dictator, will you? And don't oay attention to Maoureen (and others on the left) nonsense about "strong" leaders.

3 2017-03-26 00:12:20 - Lisa

Everything moves so fast in this social media-centric new world and if you don't post something on Facebook or twitter every day you will lose followers. Likewise, Obama isn't engaging people anymore in conversation. It's like there's a ghost in the White House. Obama's brand is unclear and people still are not able to really read him. Hope and change? Ok, that was exciting! The next minute, there he is surrounded by Goldman Sachs. A republican yells out 'Liar!" and Obama doesn't retaliate, he just takes the high road and ignores it. Americans like a fight, they love their sports. Obama is a quiet, thoughtful guy and a president who is exceptionally intelligent. But he doesn't communicate and he doesn't fight back when the republicans attack him. Obama comes across as almost being bored with his job, instead of bristling with energy and engagement like Clinton was in the 90s. Obama keeps losing control of the conversation, and he lets the GOP get away with murder. People think Obama is weak. So a lot of people have lost faith in him. I like Obama, I voted for him twice but my expectations were high and it really bugs me that he hasn't found a clever, manipulative way to squash the republican relics who still don't understand science, women and how the economy works.

1 2017-03-18 23:55:19 - Patricia

You are correct. The low approval numbers reflect 100% of Republicans ,100% of so called Independents (who are nominal Republicans, ashamed to admit their affiliation) and a significant % of Liberals disaffected from the timidity of the President and his party.

2 2017-03-08 21:21:09 - Reality
All that Obama should have done is communicated more clearly & forcefully why he has made the decisions he has. And he should have closed Guantamo by or explained why not.

The willful ignorance (re science, rights, etc.) and the unstinting opposition of the Republicans, serving their plutocratic patrons, accounts for the public's frustration with gridlock.

But still Obama has managed to get some good things done.

Those who think things were better under Bush II/Bush Lite or would have been better under Romney can't say why in any credible detail, nor do the GOP & their moneybags say precisely what Obama should have done differently.
8 2017-02-27 20:05:07 - jonathan london

A nice thought be he won't. Divisive is his middle name.

0 2017-02-25 04:02:57 - NYHuguenot

At some point the inconvenient truth becomes inescapable: that, ultimately, the buck stocks at the office of the president. It is his job to find some way to negotiate with a difficult opposition. What makes that failure worse is the control the Democrats had of the Senate.

The bottom line: it is the Obama administration, and it has done poorly.

0 2017-02-19 08:50:42 - John

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