Polls are reporting a steep slide in President Obama's approval ratings, especially among white voters. I doubt that this is about the health care debate, which obviously remains unresolved at the time the polls were taken. I think it is about Mr. Obama's shoveling of huge sums into Wall Street, and the unabated obscene money-grubbing by the executives there -- while millions of ordinary people get thrown out of their houses, lose jobs that they'll never get back, and slip-slide permanently out of the middle class. His relations with Wall Street are destroying his legitimacy. His failure to demonstrably clean house at the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators, or to direct the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute misdeeds stemming from the swindles and frauds in securitized debt, make him look like a stooge to the bankers.
The point. Obama daily looks more and more like the typical pol . . . beholden to the big money fat cats and a captive to their agenda and their interests. Nothing will lose you points with people faster than looking like somebody who's played them for fools. All that reformist, transparency, honesty, can-the-lobbies talk during the campaign. It's beginning to look like exactly that. Talk.
*The whole column is excellent. Another taste:
A large part of Mr. Obama's appeal as a candidate last year had to with presenting himself as an intelligent adult -- as opposed to a parent figure (or a crazy old uncle in the case of John McCain). But so far, apart from his personal charm and good looks, his adult persona is that of an actuary -- someone who can read charts, parse figures, and report them down the line for other people to draw conclusions . What he lacks at the moment is the very thing that history might foist on him: a sense that life is tragic and history is merciless and that sometimes we have to do the hard things that times require of us.