The end of bipartisanship

Apr 7 08:55 2009 Michael Stine Print This Article

The gap between Democratic and Republican presidential approval ratings is the largest in 40 years.  This isn't politics as usual.

President Bush had plenty of detractors during his time in office. He left with dismal approval ratings. And even Republicans have to understand why his ratings were so low. I'm confused on the disparity between Democrats and Republicans on Barrack Obama's approval ratings. The Cafferty File discusses the gap. Obama's approval rating is 88% among Democrats and only 27% among Republicans.
Now no one is the least bit surprised that Democrats would like the Democratic president and Republicans would dislike him. However,Guest Posting this is a 61% difference. No president in 40 years has seen a gap this large between the two parties.
There are a few things that confuse me about these approval ratings. First is a matter of math. Everything I've read recently leads me to believe that over 60% of people approve of the the way the president has been handling things. If I add up the two parties polled and divide by 2, I get only a 57.5% approval rating. Either there have been more democrats polled in the favorable polls, independents (not in this poll) are largely in favor of the president, the president's approval has dropped, or these polls just aren't that accurate. I can actually believe any of those four.
Some of the politically blind have pointed at the difference as proof that the Republicans are obstructionists, bitter, not willing to work with the president, etc. I don't believe that this is the case. The president has made attempts to include the Republicans in talks on the budget and stimulus package. What happened was that those bills changed once they reached Congress and Democrats knew that they could essentially pass whatever they wanted.
I believe that this poll is less a reflection on the president as it is the congress. President Bush had bad approval ratings last year, but the Democratically controlled congress had even worse ratings. People tend to forget this and lay all the problems at the foot of the former president. The bills that were so terrible were passed with Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate.
Now that Democrats control all three sections with the presidency, it appears that congress no longer wants to play fair. Bills have passed strictly along party lines. The 2010 budget proposal of $3.5 trillion or whatever the final tally will be, did not gain a single Republican vote.
I believe that the president has tried to be inclusive and reach out the Republicans. Congress has driven a rift between the two parties and has essentially castrated Republicans who are now powerless.

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Michael Stine
Michael Stine

Mike has been ranting for years.  You can read his rants at his site  He also operates

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