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American disapproval on the rise

The state of the union is obstreperous. Dyspepsia is the new equilibrium. All the passion in American politics is oppositional. The Americans know what they don’t like, which is: everything.

world Updated: Jan 28, 2010 00:12 IST

The state of the union is obstreperous. Dyspepsia is the new equilibrium. All the passion in American politics is oppositional. The Americans know what they don’t like, which is: everything.

That sounds like nihilism, but they’re against that, too.

Consider the poll last week by The Washington Post and ABC News. People were asked a standard question about how much confidence they had in President Obama to “make the right decisions” for the nation’s future. A majority — 53 percent — gave the two most dismal of the four possible responses: “just some” and “none at all.” The same question had been asked a year earlier; in just 12 months, the “none at all” camp had tripled, from 9 per cent to 27 per cent.

Obama, who will take over prime-time TV on Wednesday night for his annual address to Congress, has seen such a drastic erosion of popularity that he may get only about 35 or 40 standing ovations instead of the usual 50 or so.

According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, 55 per cent Americans want Congress to suspend work on the current health-care bills and start over.