Cost of Dithering

The President is suffering some trouble in the polls after months of considering the options in Afghanistan.
His extended deliberations may be taking a toll: 55% disapprove of the way he is handling Afghanistan and 35% approve, a reversal of his 56% approval rating four months ago.
A reversal in four months. Wow. But the White House likes to stick to its guns, believing that patience pays off - an unlikely proposition with liberals now pushing a war tax.
"He's being held responsible for a deteriorating situation and relentlessly bad news," says political scientist Richard Eichenberg of Tufts University. "But Americans continue to believe doing something about al-Qaeda in Afghanistan was the right thing to do."
Okay - we'll just ignore the fact that we ran al Qaeda out of Afghanistan years ago. The real trouble is, Obama needs popular support to hold together his fragile coalition on health care, the first, and perhaps the last, item on his leftist agenda that he will have a shot at passing. Three polls now show his approval rating in the forties, and once 2010 arrives, fellow Democrats will start taking voters more seriously than they will the president's wishes.
On a series of fronts, Obama is moving against headwinds: • By more than 2-1, Americans say the United States shouldn't close the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, as Obama has promised. • By 49%-44%, they oppose passing a health care bill in Congress this year, which he calls critical.
The big danger for Democrats is long term - Americans are having the chance to realize that liberalism, the PC movement and the Democratic Party are a single entity. Most who vote for Dems have a leftover image of JFK guiding them, not the reality of what the party stands for today.
• A majority are against holding the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York, and nearly six in 10 say the self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind should be tried in a military rather than a civilian court. That's at odds with the decision announced this month by Attorney General Eric Holder.
The New York terror tour is likely to be a poison pill that puts Obama's bizarre political outlook on permanent display to grate on the American people.
When it comes to seven specific areas, Obama no longer commands majority support on any. On only two — energy policy and global warming — does he have a net positive rating. On the economy, health care, jobs and Afghanistan, a majority disapprove of how he's doing. There's an almost even divide on his handling of terrorism: 45% approve, 47% disapprove.
Just wait until his energy policy and global warming become the focus of conversation. Then voters will oppose him fully on those, as well.