The decline in the public’s assessment of Barack Obama has been one of the remarkable political stories of recent history. Which leads one to wonder, has Obama bottomed out? Or could he get more unpopular still?
Yes, he certainly could. The easiest way would be by advocating “comprehensive immigration reform,” which is to say, beating down the wages of American workers and increasing unemployment by legalizing the onslaught of Mexicans who are, understandably, fleeing their own dysfunctional country. That’s what brought George W. Bush to his nadir of popularity, and, sure enough, Obama took the bait yesterday.
I’m not sure what it is about “comprehensive immigration reform” that causes our political leaders to go off the rails, but Obama did so in even more comprehensive fashion than Bush. This excerpt has no doubt been captured on YouTube, and we will be seeing it a lot between now and 2012:
But our borders are just too vast for us to be able to solve the problem only with fences and border patrols. It won’t work. Our borders will not be secure as long as our limited resources are devoted to not only stopping gangs and potential terrorists, but also the hundreds of thousands who attempt to cross each year simply to find work.
In other words: No, we can’t! Victor Davis Hanson comments:
For most of our history, illegal immigration was not a problem of the present magnitude, and the country had confidence that it could enforce its borders when it wished to. What has changed is not the terrain, or the reality that many wish to enter illegally, but our attitudes about such fundamental issues as the rule of law, national sovereignty, and assimilation. Indeed, the president ordered a halt to the building of the border fence, suggesting an absence of will rather than a hopeless task.
It is no doubt true that even if we try, we can’t stop every illegal at the border. But so what? The Highway Patrol can’t catch every speeder, either, but does that mean we should abandon all efforts at law enforcement?
It is ironic that yesterday, Obama praised the Bush administration publicly for the first time: “Despite the courageous leadership in the past shown by many Democrats and some Republicans — including, by the way, my predecessor, President Bush — this has been the custom.” Obama doesn’t seem to realize that this is the one issue on which he should least want to be identified with President Bush.
To compound Obama’s woes, today’s job numbers are bad–a 125,000 net decline in non-farm payroll jobs, and unemployment at 9.5%. The wire services are beginning to notice:
U.S. employment fell for the first time this year in June as thousands of temporary census jobs ended and private hiring grew less than expected, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama who has identified job creation as a key priority.
So I suspect that Obama has not yet hit bottom.