Calamities can affect approval ratings
August 28, 2011
COLUMBUS: President Obama’s approval rating has dropped lower than ever. He’s probably just as smart now as he was 3 or 4 years ago. The problem is, a candidate has to promise a lot of things he knows will never get done, just to get elected. Mr. Obama promised everyone a job, a house, and a chicken in every pot. That got him a lot of cheers. And votes.
But reality set in. The only new jobs are with the government, the house is worth less than the mortgage, and the chicken was bought with food stamps. Of course I’m exaggerating. But a President gets more credit than deserved when things go right, and more blame when they don’t.
A week ago, the President blamed bad luck for part of his poor showing. And that was BEFORE he was hit with an earthquake and a hurricane. The Virginia earthquake was fairly minor (there was no tsunami after) and Hurricane Irene probably caused less damage from wind than from flooding. Vermont floods might cause more damage than the wind did in New York City. Philadelphia was dealt a blow with about 20 inches of rain in the last two weeks.
Katrina hit New Orleans six years ago this week, and it was a few days later when we found out how bad it was. Like in that hurricane, sometimes people in charge deserve more blame for the resulting destruction than the hurricane.
We have to admit that sometimes we make dumb decisions. Now, getting flooded out by a 250-year storm in Pennsylvania can’t be blamed on the homeowner. But if you live on "Sand Dune Lane", in a house built on a sand dune at the edge of an ocean, when it gets swept away in a storm you should not blame the President. And the rest of us should not have to pay for rebuilding it either.
Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
"(Herbert) Hoover, (didn’t) go out, like the other Cabinet Members, to play Golf when they finished reading their weekly reports... Hoover, being a great Red Cross man, he picked up a few Tornadoes and Hurricanes to kinder help fill in his spare time, and now and again a flood to sorter keep his hand in feeding the destitute. The first thing you know he had made himself so valuable at it that it looked like we couldent have a Calamity till he could get there to handle it. A lot of Calamitys that would have happened, we had to hold 'em off just on that account, for the man was booked up." How To Be Funny, Jan. 19, 1929