Stanford University produced a study that showed that voters are repulsed by politicians who don't deliver what they promised. According to Stanford, "flip flop," mealy-mouthed candidates always lose their voter base. David Axelrod should force Obama to read that report, titled "Candidate Inconsistency and Voter Choice." Voters dislike inconsistency. They are infuriated by bait and switch political policy.
Obama's situation can be explained with easy math. The Stanford study says if a politician is perceived as inconsistent in his commitment, he will lose 14% of his support. But Obama was only elected by a margin of 8%. Uh oh!
The engine driving the impending train wreck for Obama and his spineless advisors is that he made promises that turned out millions of supporters. That promise was that we were going to see "change." Almost immediately we began to see "Bush Lite." The village idiot leaves, and Obama begins trying on his clothes.
It begins with the "change" appointments of Tim Geithner and Larry Summers. Everyone who followed their careers in the financial industry started asking "Aren't these the same guys who helped Alan Greenspan engineer the greed-driven deregulated destruction of banks, brokerage houses, and mom and pop's pension programs?" The accurate answer is "Yes, absolutely."
Then there was the Eric Holder "change" appointment as Attorney General. Holder is a perfect product of the mega corporate defense firm of Covington & Burling. Those are the guys who everyday show up as lobbyists and lawyers to champion the voice of the Exxons, Pfizers, Halliburtons, Goldman Sachs and AIGs as they roll over the pleas of abused consumers.
And we can't forget the "change" appointment of Ken Salazar to Secretary of the Interior. There was never a Bush anti-environmental policy that Salazar did not embrace.
Or how about the Blackwater story. That's the story where our "change" president, while he was running for office, seemed to recognize how dangerous "money loyal" mercenaries with SAM missiles are to national security. But today our "Bush Lite" leader has allowed them to become more armed and dangerous than ever.
More Obama-styled "change" emerges this week as we hear that the same military industrial machine that owned Bush is now calling the shots for Obama. What was that promise about Bush's Iraq? Oh yeah, it was that we would stop the billions in deficit bleeding by getting out. And how about that promise of "change" in Afghanistan? My memory was that we would avoid the same quagmire that Great Britain and Russia experienced in Afghanistan when stupid pride overwhelmed good sense. Not only did their soldiers bleed to death, so did their economies.
Honest observers would admit that Obama was left with a Bush mess uglier than New Orleans after Katrina. His ability to fix those disastrous GOP years can't be judged by ten months of efforts. But we can judge his commitment to those catchy phrases like "yes we can" and "change we can believe in." In 2008, America was hungry for an innovative, believable president with a brain. We believed change was coming. We weren't looking for "Republican Lite." Axelrod needs to remind Obama about that at the same time he shows him that Stanford University study.