Skip to main content

Obama hasn't hit rock bottom yet

By Alex Castellanos
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1147 GMT (1947 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Alex Castellanos looks at Obama's recent approval ratings; his prognosis: not good
  • Castellanos: Everywhere you walk, Mr. President, the world unravels
  • He says that if Obama were a car manufactured by GM, he'd be recalled for defects

Editor's note: Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist, is the founder of Purple Strategies and NewRepublican.org. You can follow him on Twitter @alexcast. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) -- Ordinarily, being ranked as the worst modern president of the United States would be considered unfortunate. For you Mr. President, that's the good news.

As painful as it is to note, your presidency has not yet hit bottom. You've got a long way to go in your descent.

Everywhere you walk, Mr. President, the world unravels. Americans are whispering that each political missile you fire seems to hit not its target but our own house.

You have undone the core idea you've advanced, that a larger public sector can save us. You are becoming the one-man Keystone Cops of an experiment in weakness and incompetent government.

Alex Castellanos
Alex Castellanos

Your Veterans Administration is a dysfunctional mess. Some veterans who have lived through war have not survived contact with your VA.

Your immigration agents are changing diapers and crying for fresh underwear for detained immigrants awaiting deportation. Your IRS has been accused of targeting political opponents, and your best defense is their ineptitude: They lose their e-mails and files.

Your own signature initiative, the Affordable Care Act, has turned on you. You've repeatedly delayed and altered the law, gluing and taping together, on the fly, the health care of an anxious nation.

Begala: What's behind Boehner's nutty lawsuit threat

Your Supreme Court is telling you to read the manual that came with your office: You are not allowed to run a Nixonian presidency. In three years, you've suffered numerous humiliating and unanimous reversals of your executive authority.

You are protected by the thinly manned barricades of an attorney general who refuses to investigate misconduct in your executive offices. Four out of five Americans believe the government you would like to expand is corrupt, a view that is a 7-point increase from the last year of the Bush administration.

Obama agrees to meet with Gov. Perry
Boehner: Why we must sue the President
Cutter: Suing Obama a waste of tax money

You are fortunate you cannot be impeached because of the cost to our exhausted, divided country. If you were a car manufactured by GM, not the president who bailed it out, you would be recalled for your defects.

In foreign affairs, you have undone one of the great accomplishments of the 20th century: You have resuscitated the Soviet Union. A two-bit KGB thug named Putin has been kicking sand in the face of your country. In the absence of American leadership, the Middle East has devolved into chaos, and you are reduced to unpalatable choices: Either you negotiate with our Iranian enemies or abandon our allies, if we still have any, to jihadist wildfires that threaten Israel's borders and set desert sands aflame.

Boehner: Why we must sue the President

Young people who voted for you to earn a better life than their parents are now living with their parents. Our nation has the lost the hope you promised us. We fear our freedom is in decline: A 48% plurality feel our best days are in the past.

Even the one thing you have been good at, Mr. President -- politics -- has abandoned you. You have now been reduced to pathetically small political "listening tours." Even on such an inconsequential stage, you are tone-deaf, incapable of striking the right chords: You tell your audiences you are there to tell them that you are listening.

You have always been more popular than your policies.

Despite your stumbling, we have loved your bright smile and intellectual aura. But now, we are beginning to notice; you laugh too hard at your own jokes.

Behind the smile, we see an ego inflated beyond merit. Your intellectual detachment, we now find, was merely cluelessness. The distance between what you've promised and done has grown too large for us to blame anyone else.

Kohn: Boehner, do your job instead

Is this as bad as it can get? Actually, no, Mr. President. The road ahead is worse for you.

Even your supporters will soon say publicly what we are all thinking privately. In days to come, it will become increasingly cool to snicker and then laugh at your presidency.

Disagreement is not the cruelest cut in politics; it is ridicule.

Politicians who have survived everything else are done in ultimately by laughter. The gristliest moment for an incumbent is not when voters express their anger. There is respect, even in those dark days. What an incumbent never wants to hear from a voter is pity. Your worst day will be when a voter says, "Poor President Obama. He's done the best he can."

When that day comes, Mr. President, your favorable rating will crash another 10 points into the basement. Democratic candidates will not only ignore you, as they now do, they will turn on you.

Hillary Clinton will betray you. That will start a war within your party as candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Jerry Brown rush to defend you. If they depose the Clintons, mere anarchy will be loosed upon the Democratic world.

At this moment, our emperor is naked, but no one has yet said it publicly. That will change soon.

When it is too sad to cry about our presidents, America laughs. That's what will really hurt.

Read CNNOpinion's new Flipboard magazine

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.

Join us on Facebook.com/CNNOpinion.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Conservatives know easing the trade embargo with Cuba is good for America. They should just admit it, says Fareed Zakaria.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 0112 GMT (0912 HKT)
We're a world away from Pakistan in geography, but not in sentiment, writes Donna Brazile.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1709 GMT (0109 HKT)
How about a world where we have murderers but no murders? The police still chase down criminals who commit murder, we have trials and justice is handed out...but no one dies.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 2345 GMT (0745 HKT)
The U.S. must respond to North Korea's alleged hacking of Sony, says Christian Whiton. Failing to do so will only embolden it.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 2134 GMT (0534 HKT)
President Obama has been flexing his executive muscles lately despite Democrat's losses, writes Gloria Borger
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1951 GMT (0351 HKT)
Jeff Yang says the film industry's surrender will have lasting implications.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 2113 GMT (0513 HKT)
Newt Gingrich: No one should underestimate the historic importance of the collapse of American defenses in the Sony Pictures attack.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 1255 GMT (2055 HKT)
Dean Obeidallah asks how the genuine Stephen Colbert will do, compared to "Stephen Colbert"
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1734 GMT (0134 HKT)
Some GOP politicians want drug tests for welfare recipients; Eric Liu says bailed-out execs should get equal treatment
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Louis Perez: Obama introduced a long-absent element of lucidity into U.S. policy on Cuba.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1740 GMT (0140 HKT)
The slaughter of more than 130 children by the Pakistani Taliban may prove as pivotal to Pakistan's security policy as the 9/11 attacks were for the U.S., says Peter Bergen.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 1600 GMT (0000 HKT)
The Internet is an online extension of our own neighborhoods. It's time for us to take their protection just as seriously, says Arun Vishwanath.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2154 GMT (0554 HKT)
Gayle Lemmon says we must speak out for the right of children to education -- and peace
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 1023 GMT (1823 HKT)
Russia's economic woes just seem to be getting worse. How will President Vladimir Putin respond? Frida Ghitis gives her take.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 0639 GMT (1439 HKT)
Australia has generally seen itself as detached from the threat of terrorism. The hostage incident this week may change that, writes Max Barry.
December 12, 2014 -- Updated 2020 GMT (0420 HKT)
Thomas Maier says the trove of letters the Kennedy family has tried to guard from public view gives insight into the Kennedy legacy and the history of era.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1456 GMT (2256 HKT)
Will Congress reform the CIA? It's probably best not to expect much from Washington. This is not the 1970s, and the chances for substantive reform are not good.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 2101 GMT (0501 HKT)
From superstorms to droughts, not a week goes by without a major disruption somewhere in the U.S. But with the right planning, natural disasters don't have to be devastating.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Would you rather be sexy or smart? Carol Costello says she hates this dumb question.
December 14, 2014 -- Updated 2253 GMT (0653 HKT)
A story about Pope Francis allegedly saying animals can go to heaven went viral late last week. The problem is that it wasn't true. Heidi Schlumpf looks at the discussion.
December 14, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Democratic leaders should wake up to the reality that the party's path to electoral power runs through the streets, where part of the party's base has been marching for months, says Errol Louis
December 13, 2014 -- Updated 2123 GMT (0523 HKT)
David Gergen: John Brennan deserves a national salute for his efforts to put the report about the CIA in perspective
December 12, 2014 -- Updated 1426 GMT (2226 HKT)
Anwar Sanders says that in some ways, cops and protesters are on the same side
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1439 GMT (2239 HKT)
A view by Samir Naji, a Yemeni who was accused of serving in Osama bin Laden's security detail and imprisoned for nearly 13 years without charge in Guantanamo Bay
December 14, 2014 -- Updated 1738 GMT (0138 HKT)
S.E. Cupp asks: How much reality do you really want in your escapist TV fare?
ADVERTISEMENT