At this writing, President Barack Obama is just leaving Los Angeles after a couple of fund-raisers.
Air Force One is airborne back to Washington, after resting on the tarmac at LAX. It means dinner, and lodging, and somebody is paying for this stuff. The political stuff is not supposed to tax the taxpayers, but it strains credulity. It smells of hitting the links in order to avoid hitting the briefing books and making a few decisions.
Fund-raisers? Really? Jimmy Carter, mired in the Iran hostage crisis, stayed at the White House, the so-called "Rose Garden Strategy." Obama's detached view of governing has had the signal effect of making Carter shine by comparison. Or, consider, when you are as liberal as President Obama, and even the New York Times is chortling, things are not good.
This from NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd:
"The White House likes to use a phrase of tingling adventure to describe the president's recent penchant for wandering the country talking to people: 'The bear is loose.'
"There are three problems with this unbearable metaphor: Barack Obama is not in captivity, he's not a bear, and he's not loose. As Voltaire said of the Holy Roman Empire, it was "neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an empire."
"When our whippetlike president travels on Air Force One from staged photo-op to staged photo-op and then to coinciding fund-raiser to coinciding fund-raiser, encased by the White House travel behemoth and press centipede, that's kind of the opposite of breaking loose."
Meanwhile, where are we, the great United States, in the wide world, at home, and abroad? In Russia, the other bear broke loose with a couple of surface-to-air missiles, snuffing nearly 300 innocent travelers.
We are in a face-off with Russia, a face-off in which our president averts his gaze. The bloody-handed Russians and their stooge insurgents in Ukraine yawn at Obama.
The Israelis are plowing through Gaza with ground troops, to root out Hamas antagonists who shower rockets over the border. We, the United States, would appreciate a cease-fire. So, what? We get that from both sides.
The president wants $5 billion to ensure that nobody of any age whatever who crosses the border ever has to go back where they came from. See Congress on that.
A group of whack jobs called "The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria" is poised to take all the armored vehicles we gave them courtesy of the feckless dictator in Baghdad. Next, ISIS will head for the Saudi oil fields.
To think that we had trust issues with the Saudis. If you liked 9/11, you will love ISIS astride the Middle East. Gives Iran something to do.
Remember the "Bring Back Our Girls" Twitter feed to nowhere? The Jihadis have the girls, and the run of North Africa, with the loons from Boko Haran tweeting to please bring back the Nigerian army, so they can behead it.
Meanwhile, over at the IRS, Lois Lerner's cubicle mates make the Nixon White House look like reformers for Common Cause.
Oh, the VA and all the veterans who died while waiting to get their pulse checked? That's old news.
So, here's the straight numbers, from the Washington Post, CNN and Gallup:
A CNN/Opinion Research poll that ended Sunday found 42% approving of Obama one point below June, May and March; 55% have disapproved in each of the last three polls.
Gallup's daily tracking poll released Wednesday found 42% approved and 51% disapproved - similar to his 43-52 average since late May.
According to the Post, fully 58% disapproved of Obama's handling of young undocumented immigrants at the border in a Washington Post-ABC News poll last week, two weeks after 52% disapproved of his performance on Iraq, where much of the country has been overrun by ISIS and its black flag cohort.
Asked about his foreign policy more generally, 55% disapproved in a Pew Research Center poll released last week, while just 36% approved.
Only 19% of the public rated the economy as "excellent" or "good" in the Pew poll, even amid some of the best jobs numbers in years. If they are to be believed. Who would be skeptical about government numbers after the IRS, the VA, the Justice Department on "Fast and Furious," the Benghazi reports. You get the picture.
As Post columnist Scott Clement observes in his column, "The Fix," Obama's "persistent negative marks continue to be a dead weight for Democrats in congressional contests in November.
"A slight majority of Americans continue to disapprove of the president, and a much larger share of the public 'strongly disapproves' of Obama than strongly supports him, according to Post-ABC polling.
So, are we going to see some decisions? Will we see positions adjust for current circumstances? Will the United States gain the upper hand in any of these crises, which have been popping up like crabgrass from the Texas border to Ukraine? Will we see a president who is going to take charge of and assume responsibility for anything?
Get ready for more fund-raisers. Because the bear is loose.