Dems in Distress
The state of relations between congressional Democrats and the administration has been deteriorating every week, but now it’s hitting a new bottom — and not only with the extraordinary open feud between the C.I.A. and the Senate intelligence committee. Hill Democrats are seething at Obama, fearing that the onetime messiah is putting them in a slough that will last until — or through — 2016. Top Democrats who were fans of the president and prone to giving him the benefit of the doubt now say they’ve completely lost confidence in the White House’s ability to advance an agenda and work with them in a way that’s going to give Democrats a fighting chance in November.
Obama’s approval ratings will shape the midterms, and some Hill observers compare
his crumpling numbers to an illness. The president didn’t do the basic things to take care of himself, and now he’s gone terminal and contagious. The closest the president came to getting a leg up on mounting a defense was on Friday when he told Ryan Seacrest in a radio interview that he had been unfairly maligned for his mom jeans: “Generally, I look very sharp in jeans.”
Due to the inability of the president and congressional Democrats to move their agenda through Congress, the president is having to govern through executive order and revising federal regulations. Republicans have latched on to this to make the case around the country that Obama is a dictator and an imperial president. But governing through executive order isn’t a sign of strength. It’s a sign of weakness.
And it’s that weakness that has Democrats scared to death.