Despite the increasingly undeniable evidence of his failures across the board, President Obama's overall approval rating remains relatively high. Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations.
The latest IBD/TIPP Poll finds that the public overwhelmingly gives Obama lousy grades on almost every aspect of his performance in the White House.
Just 31% give him an "A" or "B" for his handling of the economy, 29% good marks for his management of the federal budget and 32% on how he's doing on creating jobs and growth. Among independents, the numbers are 19%, 17% and 23%, respectively.
After five years of Obama's economic "growth" policies, almost half the country still thinks we're in a recession, and 52% say the economy isn't getting better.
Just 31% approve of the way Obama has handled the growing Islamic State crisis. Nearly two-thirds (63%) oppose his plans to grant unilateral amnesty to millions of illegals. And 53% oppose his signature health care law.
The previous month's IBD/TIPP Poll found that only 25% approve of the way Obama has handled the influx of minors across the Mexican border, while 56% blame his policies for encouraging the flood. Just 26% approve of his handling of the conflict in Gaza.
And yet, despite Obama's glaring ineptitude on these and other matters, the public remains unwilling to declare his a failing presidency. His approval numbers are low, to be sure, but nowhere near as low as the above numbers would suggest.
In fact, the IBD/TIPP job approval index for Obama actually rose 3.4 points this month to 43.1, and his leadership index climbed 1.8 points.
Our poll isn't the only one to find Obama's overall numbers oddly buoyant. Rasmussen has his approval rating at 46%, and only 49% disapprove of Obama's job performance in the latest Fox News poll.
And like our own survey, Gallup found the public giving Obama a much higher overall approval rating than it does for his handling of the economy and foreign affairs.
What can explain this gap?
It could be that Americans generally give presidents higher marks overall than when asked about specifics. Except that wasn't true for President George W. Bush, who saw his average approval ratings at or below 40% across the board in his second term, Gallup found.
And President Clinton's average approval rating was lower in his second term than his score for handling the economy.
It's also possible that the public is — understandably — reluctant to acknowledge that the nation's first black president is failing at the job.
But one big, important reason for Obama's approval gap is the mainstream media's seemingly inexhaustible bias in favor of him.
Immediately after Obama won the election in 2008, MSNBC's Chris Matthews promised "to do everything I can to make this ... new presidency work." Matthews meant this pledge to apply only to himself, but he might as well have been speaking on behalf of the rest of the press.
After spending eight years relentlessly attacking Bush, journalists have devoted the past six to attacking Obama's critics.
There's no doubt that, absent his media praetorian guard, Obama's ratings would be much, much lower, all down the line.