Wow. Just Wow.

Michael Goodwin in the New York Post absolutely lambastes President Obama today.

Goodwin’s piece is entitled “End Of O’s Cowardly Lyin’,” and it pulls no punches…

We the people of the United States owe Scott Brown’s supporters a huge debt of gratitude. They didn’t merely elect a senator. They ripped the façade off the Obama presidency.

Just as Dorothy and Toto exposed the ordinary man behind the curtain in “The Wizard of Oz,” the voters in Massachusetts revealed that, in this White House, there is no there there.

It’s all smoke and mirrors, bells and whistles, held together with glib talk, Chicago politics and an audacious sense of entitlement.

Goodwin says Obama “never advances a practical idea. Every proposal overreaches and comes wrapped in ideology and a claim of moral superiority. He doesn’t listen to anybody who doesn’t agree with him.” He also says either Hillary Clinton or John McCain would have been a better president than the current occupant of the White House.

Goodwin also echoes a sentiment many other pundits have recently, in that he identifies the motive behind Obama’s bank tax plan as political desperation. And he points out that the president’s foreign policy has been counterproductive, to say the least.

The Post isn’t the New York Times. It’s not even the mainstream-lefty New York Daily News. But to see such a brutal repudiation of the president, even from Goodwin, who is no wallflower when it comes to taking shots at Obama, in a major American daily is strong coffee.

Obama’s current Gallup approval rating stands at 48 percent, with 47 percent opposed. He’s also now the most divisive and polarizing president in the history of their polling, with 88 percent of Democrats approving of him and 23 percent of Republicans giving a thumbs-up. Rasmussen finds something similar; Obama’s total approval rating is 47 percent, with 53 percent disapproval, and Rasmussen’s current Approval Index is minus-16, with 25 percent voicng strong approval of the president and 41 percent voicing strong disapproval.

These are daunting numbers for a president coming out of his first year in office, and it’s clear that Obama’s first year has not been a success. He has to change course if he wants to avoid continuing an alarming string of electoral defeats leading up to what Rich Lowry says could be a repeat of the 1994 blowout in the mid-term Congressional elections.

As we’ve mentioned a number of times on the Hayride, though, there doesn’t seem to be a course change in the works. Obama’s political guru David Axelrod said on CNN’s State of the Union yesterday that staff changes at the White House aren’t in the offing, and Axelrod has said repeatedly that the president’s agenda will not and cannot be changed. He’s committed to trying to pass a healthcare bill, Cap and Trade legislation, Card Check and immigration reform in this term, and those four items together with his bank tax/financial regulatory reform legislation will dominate the domestic agenda for another year. Meanwhile, Democrat guru James Carville was on ABC’s Good Morning America this morning advocating a fresh round of “Blame Bush” as a panacea for what ails Obama, all the while conceding that Democrat majorities in both the House and Senate are at risk this fall.

Republicans are rightly thrilled at this prospect, as it takes a great deal of pressure off the GOP to make the necessary and difficult reforms that effective governance requires. Standing at the river while the bodies of Obama’s Democrat House and Senate victims float by might be a reasonable electoral tactic this year; it certainly was a winner in 2006 and 2008 for the Democrats when Republican governance imploded. But the public is asking for more than just waiting for another chance in between failures to lead out of its two political parties, and the time for a third party will come if the GOP doesn’t do the hard work of identifying solutions based on its core principles, forcefully advocating those solutions and conducting itself sincerely in the public sphere.

Toward that end, Matt Lewis has an interesting take on a 2.0 version of the Contract With America that the GOP used to such great electoral success in 1994. Lewis suggests 10 legislative initiatives, from transparency to an “e-Congress” format allowing votes from home to a policy of getting tough with Iran to promotion of domestic energy to free-market education reforms and more, that would install a vision for Republican governance. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday that some kind of formulation for this fall’s elections is in the works, so perhaps the Republicans are willing to answer the criticism of the Left that the GOP is the “Party of No.”

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