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.