Obama Approval Ratings Dip on Stimulus; Healthcare Moves Center Stage

Bloggers on healthcare, Obama's approval ratings, the stimulus, and the outing of anonymous bloggers.

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The Not-So-Stimulating Stimulus

...Not-so-stimulating to conservative bloggers, at least. And it's the conservatives who are touting the sliding public opinion of Obama's fiscal policies. Conservative Doug Bandow notes the latest Gallup poll, concluding that, "People increasingly will watch what the man behind the curtain is actually doing. Then it will be up to the Republican Party to provide a credible alternative." Johanna Neuman talks stimulus spending, focusing as well on the Larry-Summers-pisses-people-off controversy. Liberal Steve Benen thinks Republican arguments are just moronic. OK, well, maybe not this argument from Philip Klein. Conservative Ed Morrissey takes a look at the Gallup polling numbers himself, and thinks Obama should be worried. He writes: "The spending and deficit numbers matter a great deal. Obama has put most of his focus on these two areas, and the future of his presidency and his grand plans to reorganize the American economy depend on steady support in these precise areas. He's not getting it." Jenifer Rubin concurs. Conservative Erick Erickson thinks we would have been better off if Obama had just sat on his hands. But Ramesh Ponnuru warns against precisely this type of GOP pessimism: "If Republicans keep up this approach and the economy does begin to recover ... Obama and the Democrats will not merely get the political credit the party in power normally gets for good conditions. They will also be able to say that their take on the economy was superior."

The Healthcare Push

As Obama moves his healthcare agenda closer and closer toward center stage, bloggers are paying closer attention to his plans. Conservative Mary Kate Cary's wary of broadening the government's role. Jazz Shaw pulls the libertarian card on other conservative opponents of Obamacare. He addresses them directly: "It almost seems as if there's no problem with such activity so long as it's a Republican president and he's doing it in the vague and ambiguous name of the 'war on terror.'" Conservative Warner Todd Huston gets points for asking the question of the day: "Do you want your government to know that you have bowel troubles?" John Kenagy argues the solutions to our healthcare problems are easier than you think. Never mind the right's opposition to Obama's plans, this liberal blogger fights off attacks on universal healthcare from the left. And Karen Tumulty thinks the single-payer healthcare system is a stupid pipedream.

The Anonymity Debate

What are your thoughts on the namelessness of bloggers? You know, the ones who publish under weird, avatar-like nicknames? We've never really given the thought much time, but a particularly nasty blogo-fight ended with the public "outing" of formerly anonymous blogger Publius by conservative blogger Ed Whelan. The anonymous blogger Anonymous Liberal—it's not just a clever name—sums up the fight here. "Jeopardizing a man's career and family relationships over something so petty is simply shameful," reacts James Joyner. Andrew Sullivan echoes the sentiment. Jonah Goldberg and his readers get all historical with the controversy, bringing in, and then dismissing, comparisons to the anonymous authors of the Federalist Papers. In another post, conservative Goldberg debates the good and the bad sides to anonymous blogging. For Whelan's take on the outing, go here.


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