Over at Slate, David Weigel found something interesting in the polling about President Obama’s handling of Libya:
Sixty-three percent of Republicans disapprove of Obama’s handling of Libya, to 27 percent who approve. Seventy-six percent of Tea Party “supporters” disapprove of Obama’s handling of it. But 73 percent of Tea Partiers and 78 percent of Republicans support the NFZ — they’re by far the biggest supporters of the strategy.
I take this as some of the strongest proof yet that, no matter how conservative the positions President Obama chooses to take, the bulk of self-identified Republicans are still going to disapprove. It doesn’t matter if it is very neo-conservative foreign policy actions toward Libya or pushing for what was originally a Republican health care bill, the Republican base is just going to keep disapproving of this Democratic president.
Whether it is the result of Fox News, talk radio, the political strategy pursued by Republican leaders or just an inherent byproduct of partisanship in a two-party system, it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is that Obama’s team needs to accept that no matter how right-leaning their actions, there is probably no way of pleasing the Republican base.