Obama's Poll Slide Undermines His Sequestration Political Strategy

Hot Air notes that President Obama’s approval rating has slid into the 40 percent territory in a number of polls. There are a number of reasons for this, including the president’s ham-handed approach to sequestration.

After all, when emails come to light that suggest an administration policy to make the sequestration cuts as painful to the public as possible, that tends to undermine Obama’s gambit to blame the Republicans for the turmoil. Cancelling White House tours is especially brazen, considering all of the other things that could be cut. Hot Air reports on a cheeky suggestion that Obama cut down on his golf outings instead.

Obama’s strategy seems to be to spend the next two years not so much governing as campaigning, flogging the Republicans in advance of the 2014 midterms. The idea is that the Democrats, defying historical precedence, would take back the House, make Nancy Pelosi speaker once again, and then ram through a far left agenda for the final two years of the Obama administration.

The problem is that if Obama harms his own standing as well, that strategy is undermined. Obama doesn’t have to worry about being re-elected, but red-state Democrats in the Senate do. The president’s mediocre poll numbers would translate to a degradation of support for Democrats. That in turn may, perversely, result in a Republican takeover of the Senate in 2014 instead of a Democratic takeover of the House. That would make Obama’s final two years entertaining indeed.

Obama would be well advised to drop his current strategy and start trying to make deals with House Republicans to place the fiscal mess the government has been in behind him. He could enact real tax reform that would eliminate loopholes and lower rates, much as Reagan did in 1986. He could finally reform entitlements, where runaway spending has proven to be the engine of persistent trillion dollar deficits. That includes Obamacare, which has become a slow moving train wreck.

Of course, Obama will do none of these things because a combination of ideology and pride prevents him. And we all know what goeth before the fall. Obama’s legacy may well be an example of the wages of hubris.