That’s the astute analysis of National Journal’s Charlie Cook, in a piece subtly titled, “Republicans’ Hatred of Obama Blinds Them to Public Disinterest in Scandals”:
Red-faced Republicans, circling and preparing to pounce on a second-term Democratic president they loathe, do not respect, and certainly do not fear. Sound familiar? Perhaps reminiscent of Bill Clinton’s second term, after the Monica Lewinsky story broke? During that time, Republicans became so consumed by their hatred of Clinton and their conviction that this event would bring him down that they convinced themselves the rest of the country was just as outraged by his behavior as they were…
As opposed to, say, the Bush years. No blind hatred of that guy.
The simple fact is that although the Republican sharks are circling, at least so far, there isn’t a trace of blood in the water. A new CNN/ORC survey of 923 Americans this past Friday and Saturday, May 17-18, pegged Obama’s job-approval rating at 53 percent, up a statistically insignificant 2 points since their last poll, April 5-7, which was taken before the Benghazi, IRS, and AP-wiretap stories came to dominate the news and congressional hearing rooms. His disapproval rating was down 2 points since that last survey.
In Gallup’s tracking poll, Obama’s average job-approval rating so far this year is 50 percent. For this past week, May 13-19, his average was 49 percent, the same as the week before. The most recent three-day moving average, through Sunday, May 19, was also 49 percent. Over the past two weeks, even as these three stories/scandals have dominated the news, they have had precisely zero effect on the president’s job-approval numbers. His ratings are still bouncing around in the same narrow range they have been for weeks.
So, regardless of the constant cascade of facts about the Obama administration’s lawlessness, corruption, and brazen disregard for the privacy and First Amendment rights of their political opponents, none of it matters because Obama still has a nice smile.
Richard Nixon once said, “It’s not illegal if the president does it.” According to Charlie Cook and people who are just as smart as him, it’s not illegal if the president can get away with it.
Charlie’s closing argument:
Republicans and conservatives who are so consumed by these “scandals” should ask themselves why, despite wall-to-wall media attention and the constant focus inside the Beltway—some are even talking about grounds for impeachment—Obama’s job-approval needle hasn’t moved.
Rules are rules. Laws are laws. Except when breaking them doesn’t move the president’s job-approval needle. Why do I get the feeling this same standard won’t be applied the next time a Republican is elected president?
Because it’s not a standard. It’s an absolute rejection of standards.