Writing in The Wall Street Journal Thursday, Karl Rove points out that President Obama's job approval rating among independents has dropped 9 points in a month to 52 percent. Also, the president has polarized Americans: 88 percent of Democrats approve, but only 27 percent of Republicans like the job he's doing. That gap is 10 points larger than the one President Bush had coming off the controversial election of 2000.
Now, the problem for those Americans disapproving of President Obama is where do they go? At this point, the Republican Party does not have a high profile leader and the campaign that Senator McCain ran was woefully ineffective. The Obama machine laced him on almost every front.
A few years ago, former Secretary of State General Colin Powell was often mentioned as a potential GOP leader. Looks like Powell is taking a sharp turn to the left. General Powell last appeared here on the FOX News Channel four years ago, even though this network has tried very hard to book him. However last week, Powell showed up on a far-left NBC program:
(BEGIN MSNBC VIDEO CLIP)
FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE GENERAL COLIN POWELL: I, for one, have advocated the closing of Guantanamo not only since I left the position of secretary, but while I was secretary. Because I thought there were other ways to handle this. So we did not eliminate the Taliban. Could we have if we had more forces? That will be discussed and debated for years to come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now, the general's Guantanamo position is standard issue left. His Taliban posture ignores his reluctance as secretary of state; Powell didn't want to use ground troops abroad. In deference to that position, President Bush allowed the CIA, not the military to take the lead in removing the Taliban after the 9/11 attack. So he's being a bit disingenuous there.
Now, that's why there were few American troops on the ground to stop the fleeing terrorists. That's an old left wing canard: We could have gotten them in Afghanistan. Powell also called the U.S. educational system "a moral failure" and pointed to China and India as examples of countries investing in education. Again, that's the liberal point of view.
But it isn't true. The USA spends more on education than China and India do. Somebody tell the general.
The point is that a once promising Republican leader has now changed sides, which is good news for the Democrats as General Powell is rightfully well respected, even though I believe he's wrong on a number of issues.
Talking Points believes President Obama understands the Republican Party is divided and lacking charismatic leadership. So the president can afford to take more risks and govern from the left, knowing that forceful challenges to him will basically have to come from the conservative media, not from the Republican Party.
Until the GOP reorganizes and begins to deliver a powerful message, Mr. Obama will not feel much heat.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
On Wednesday night's "American Idol," one of the original teen idols was featured.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANKIE AVALON, SINGER: (SINGING "VENUS")
SIMON COWELL, 'AMERICAN IDOL': But you know what the odd thing is? You two look like twins.
AVALON: It's the hair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well, here's the deal: Frankie Avalon will turn 70 years old this coming September, 70. So whatever he's doing, we should be doing. Mr. Avalon is a patriot and a good guy to boot. Seventy! Whoa.
On the pinhead front, actor Patrick Duffy, also a good guy, but lately he's been doing some stuff on the Net that is, well, dubious.
(BEGIN INTERNET VIDEO CLIP)
CRAB PUPPET: I dare you to eat a donut.
PATRICK DUFFY, ACTOR: Do you have any idea how many people have touched that?
CRAB PUPPET: That's part of the mystery. The excitement.
DUFFY: For who?
CRAB PUPPET: Me.
DUFFY: Well, then you eat it.
CRAB PUPPET: Come on. I do so much for you, and you never do anything for me. I'm asking for one thing, one little thing that would make me happy. If you really cared about me, if you were really my friend, you'd...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Pinhead? You make the call.