Mixed signals: is Obama alienating himself from America?

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UYGUR: If our involvement in Libya has taught us anything, it‘s that there‘s a major disconnect between people who approve of President Obama‘s policies and those who approve of the president himself.

Now, look. Take a look at this CBS News poll.

A majority, 68 percent, think that the use of military air strikes in Libya was the right decision. OK. If you‘re the administration, that‘s fantastic. They agree with the administration‘s position.

But look what happens when people are asked how the president is handling Libya. Now, keep in mind, this is the same guy who approved those air strikes that Americans overwhelmingly support. Only 50 percent think that he‘s handling the Libyan crisis properly. That‘s an 18-point drop.

That‘s crazy. It‘s the same exact policy. But there‘s 18 percent of the country who refuse to agree with Obama even if he has the same exact position of them.

Oh, I love that position. That position? Oh, Obama has it? Well, hell, no, he‘s doing a terrible job.

That doesn‘t make any kind of sense.

So what‘s causing the disconnect? Some can be explained by the poor messaging of the Democrats, which is perpetual. All the time, poor messaging. And part can be attributed to the GOP propaganda machine.

And that machine includes people like Newt Gingrich, of course, who won‘t back the president no matter what he does.

Now, here‘s Gingrich just a few weeks ago, hammering the president for not intervening in Libya.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS: What would you do about Libya?

NEWT GINGRICH ®, FMR. HOUSE SPEAKER: Exercise a no-fly zone this evening. The United States doesn‘t need anybody‘s permission. We don‘t need to have NATO, who frankly won‘t bring much to the fight. We don‘t need to have the United Nations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UYGUR: So, Gingrich definitely on board for a no-fly zone. And he‘ll do it even without the support of the U.N. or NATO. Clearly, he thinks it‘s the right move now. Right?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: I would not have intervened. I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Gadhafi. I think there are a lot of allies in the region that we could have worked with. I would not have used American and European forces.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UYGUR: Unreal! That‘s the same guy! He just totally flip-flopped on it.

Why? Because Obama was on the other side. That‘s Obama derangement syndrome, to borrow a phrase, where you‘ll even disagree with your own stated position if Obama agrees with you.

Oh, I‘ll tell you what, no-fly zone, that‘s the way—wait, Obama said that? Oh, no. Hell, no, no, no. I‘ve got to get out.

Come on. That‘s mental.

All right. You can see I‘m worked up about it.

Joining me now is Sam Seder. He‘s host of both “The Majority Report” and “Ring of Fire.”

Jesus. You‘re busy, Sam.

SAM SEDER, HOST, “THE MAJORITY REPORT”: I try to be.

UYGUR: All right.

So, Sam, which one is it, or is it all of the above? What is causing that 18-point enormous difference?

SEDER: Well, I think it‘s both. I mean, I think, to a certain extent, the country doesn‘t know exactly what our policy is.

I mean, it‘s one thing to say I agree with air strikes, I want to protect the people in Benghazi. It‘s another thing to say, where does this go? Where is the—what is the end game and where do we draw the line?

And then on the flip side—and I do mean flip—you look at what Newt Gingrich is doing. You look at guys like John McCain, who, a couple of years ago, was having dinner with Gadhafi, saying he‘s a great guy. He was even arguing that we should send weapons to Gadhafi, we found out through WikiLeaks.

So, I think it‘s a combination of the president hasn‘t gone out and really explained this policy to the American public.

UYGUR: Now, but you see this throughout. I don‘t think it‘s just about Libya. I mean, with the president, he‘s constantly getting hammered on things even when people agree with him. So, is he doing something wrong here in reaching the American people and explaining his position?

SEDER: I mean, look, I don‘t think he‘s been aggressive enough in coming out and, at the beginning of this, saying to the American public, this is where I draw the line, because I still don‘t know. I mean, you know, I think I tend to agree with you and your prior guests.

I mean, here‘s a guy, he‘s gone to the U.N., the U.N. has sanctioned this action, as opposed to Iraq, where you had an illegal war stated by the U.N. It was an illegal war. And in this situation, if there was no Iraq, if we didn‘t have this protracted mission in Afghanistan, I think most people would be completely on board with this.

You‘re protecting citizens. The question is, where do you draw the line? And we need reassurance from the president that we can draw the line at a certain point and we‘re not going to go in for something like regime change militarily.

UYGUR: Now, outside of Libya, look, I think the president has got to draw the line and say, look, they say I‘m divisive, right? That‘s exactly what they said with the Clintons, because they keep attacking me. If I was the president, I would almost play those Gingrich clips and go, you see these guys? You see, they‘re frauds.

But he seems to never fight back.

SEDER: Well, look, I mean, I think that the president shouldn‘t be commenting on Newt Gingrich‘s TV tour, frankly. But I do think he needs to come out and leave no oxygen for a guy like Gingrich to dance around like this, because we need to be able to sit here, and you and I would both have a tough time saying, where does this end?

Where are we willing to go and where are we willing to stop? And I think that‘s a problem that Obama has got to communicate. And frankly, the media should not be taking—I don‘t know why Newt Gingrich is even on TV at this point. I mean, that‘s not even a pivot, that‘s like a teleportation. You know, he‘s teleporting into another position.

UYGUR: Right. I hear you on that.

Sam Seder, thanks for joining me tonight. I appreciate it.

About William Brighenti

William Brighenti is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified Business Valuation Analyst. Bill began his career in public accounting in 1979. Since then he has worked at various public accounting firms throughout Connecticut. Bill received a Master of Science in Professional Accounting degree from the University of Hartford, after attending the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University for his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. He subsequently attended Purdue University for doctoral studies in Accounting and Quantitative Methods in Business. Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky, and is certified to teach trade-related subjects at Connecticut Vocational Technical Schools. His articles on tax and accounting have been published in several professional journals throughout the country as well as on several accounting websites. William was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and served on the City's Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission. In addition to the blog, Accounting and Taxes Simplified, Bill writes a blog, "The Barefoot Accountant", for the Accounting Web, a Sift Media publication.
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