Category Archives: Barack Obama

President Obama Scores Victory in US House 2014 Election

Yes, I know, that headline sounds wrong. But I worded it carefully and I assure you it is far more correct than many other headlines we are seeing, about the “historic loss in Congress” with the 2014 election.

The truth is, the party in the White House tends to lose house seats with every midterm election. Over the last half century there have been only two exceptions to that. Also, the second midterm for an 8 year presidency tends to do a bit worse than the first.

In addition to that for the most part, a president’s popularity rating drops from the first day of the first term through the subsequent years in office. George Bush’s popularity rating probably had the largest and steepest drop. Bill Clinton managed to increase is popularity rating (and his 1998 midterm was one of the only exceptions to the rule of loss as well).

The following graph shows the relationship between presidential approval rating and House loss (data from Gallup). There are two things to note.

First, despite the misleading headlines, President Obama’s approval rating was not abysmal compared to the spread across presidents. On the low side, yes, but not the lowest by any stretch of the imagination. Second, and even more interesting, the number of House seats lost during this midterm is far less than predicted using all the other races as a guide.

2014_election_Obama_House

By political standards, that’s actually a victory.

What about the Senate? See this.

A Trail of Shame: Racism and the Anti-Obama Movement

A couple of weeks ago, I published a very controversial post titled “Maybe We Should Have Elected a White President After All” about the ongoing, possibly growing racism in connection with Obama’s presidency. The idea that a lot of the anti-Obama, including anti-health care reform, rhetoric and action was racially motivated was understood by some and rejected by others who seem to not want to see any significant racism in the mix. This was parallel to the head in the sand reaction to my earlier post on the the arrest of Skip Gates in Cambridge Massachusetts last July.

There are those of us who have been saying all along that racism has played a role in anti-Obama sentiment. Does this mean that we think people who supported Hillary instead were all racists? No. Hell, they were Democrats. The vast majority were not orienting their politics in an overtly racist manner, choosing Clinton over Obama because Obama is black (though some were, as you will see below). Does it mean that we think that every objection to an Obama policy is racist? No. There are many valid objections, depending on one’s point of view, to various policies by Obama. Hell, Obama is a smart guy. He probably objects to some of his own policies! Does it mean that we think that every utterly unprecedented outburst of “You Lie!!!!!” in congress by a known racist from South Carolina during a Presidential address to the Joint Session of the House and Senate is a racist act? Well, duh…

Over the last few days the left of center and centrist/moderate wings of the mainstream press have gotten on board with this and have begun to discuss issues of racism in the current health care debate. As usual, the liberal blogosphere leads!!!

Anyway, I thought it would be fun (in a “this whole thing makes me kind of nauseated” kind of way) to compile a random grab bag, ordered in time, of racist bits and pieces from way back before the election up to recent times. Even more recent bits and pieces on this important discussion can be found by just paging back through this blog over the last two days or so.

The reason for doing this is to have a post to point to when people say “Oh yeah? What racism!!!11!!”

Here we go:
Continue reading A Trail of Shame: Racism and the Anti-Obama Movement