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David Brooks: I'm Really Struck By Obama's Low Poll Numbers And The Anti-Washington Sentiment

DAVID BROOKS: Well, he's unpopular.

It turns out if you sell a health care plan on the basis that we won't increase the debt and nobody will be a loser, then, when there are losers, they get really mad. And there were bound to be losers. And so that's part of it.

But part of it is just the weakening of the law, the weakening of support for the law, and the weakening of the own president's authority to say, trust me, trust me. I'm really struck by the downward slide that he's doing.

I'm a little surprised by it, frankly. And what's interesting is, compared to Reagan and Clinton in their second terms, had very similar popular approval ratings, which were going up at this point. George W. Bush and Barack Obama have extremely similar downward slopes. Bush's went all the way through, caused by Iraq and Katrina, and, in Obama's case, health care and other things.

And one of the things that strikes me is the country has changed, much more cynical, much more anti-Washington and, as a result of that, much less likely to come in a big collective effort to help some uninsured off, so much more skeptical of the law, and, second, when it is not implemented properly, much more punishing on the government. And so that makes it very fragile to me.

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