Opinion: Morning Examiner

Dems' 2014 challenge: How to win when Americans see a liar in the White House

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Congress,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Barack Obama,Republican Party,Democratic Party,2014 Elections,Ethics

Timing is everything in politics and the latest Fox News poll suggests the timing of the 2014 midterm election could not be worse for President Obama and his fellow Democrats.

With public approval of Congress in the single digits, senators and representatives in both parties may face the most challenging political environment of their careers.

But the Fox survey makes clear that things aren't breaking well for Obama, either, and his popularity rating may be the most important factor in determining how Democrats fare in November.

Liar, liar, pants on fire

Presidents have been unpopular before. Harry Truman's approval rating sank to 23 percent at one point and Richard Nixon was so unpopular that he became the first chief executive ever to resign.

But when was the last time an American president was thought by half of his countryman to be a routine liar? According to Fox, 61 percent say Obama lies on important public issues all or some of the time.

Thirty-seven percent say Obama lies "most of the time," while 24 percent say he lies "some of the time." Only 15 percent say Obama "never lies."

Keep digging on IRS

As troubling as the public perception of Obama's honesty likely is for Democratic strategists, another result of the Fox survey may ultimately prove just as politically damaging.

Forty-nine percent of the Fox respondents believe Obama intentionally had the IRS target and harass his Tea Party and conservative critics in the 2010 and 2012 elections.

And 67 percent say Congress should continue investigating the IRS scandal, including 77 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of independents and 57 percent of Democrats.

If these trends continue through Election Day, the results may make the 2010 Republican sweep look like a close contest.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: The "soft despotism" of bureaucracy imposes immense costs on Americans.

Watchdog/Richard Pollock: Six small shopkeepers are the big losers in CFPB's lavish headquarters renovation.

Columnist/Shikha Dalmia: Detroit bailout plan just papers over the real problem with more money.

Columnist/Byron York: Midterm may hinge on whether Obamacare losers outvote winners.

Columnist/Larry Elder: Al Sharpton is still lying about his role in Snitchgate.

Beltway Confidential/Michael Barone: The (so far very limited) move against no-fault divorce.

Beltway Confidential/Sean Higgins: House Dems demand Tennessee governor turn over UAW docs.

PennAve/Sean Lengell: Juicy dispute hits the Supreme Court.

PennAve/Susan Crabtree: Darrell Issa demands answers on revised Census Bureau health care questions.

Op-ed/Manhattan Moment: Obamacare still holds opportunities for free-market reforms.

In other news

CBS News: Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine reject peace deal.

The Washington Post: Obama heralds eight million Obamacare sign-ups.

The New York Times: Hollywood begging for state tax breaks.

New York Post: Donald Trump caught in model agency war.

CNN: Why U.S. is "trolling" terrorists on social media.

Newsweek: The hunt for the Russian woodpecker.

Righty Playbook

National Review Online: The war for the West.

The American Conservative: In Ukraine, not all uprisings are equal.

The Daily Caller: Defaulting our troops.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: The folly of the Bundy ranch rebellion.

Lefty Playbook

The American Prospect: How New York's governor has estranged New York's voters.

The Washington Monthly: How presidential nominees really are picked.

Salon: Fox News' demented new poster-boy.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: Mitch McConnell says he stood up for women in a Senate sexual-harassment scandal, but the real story is damning.

Blog Right

Althouse: Obama says GOP has gone through stages of grief on Obamacare.

Yid With Lid: An Egyptian magazine on Passover and anti-semitism.

Legal Insurrection: The science is settled!

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Obama urges Dems to support Obamacare for midterms.

In These Times: Can Scott Walker be defeated?

America Blog: Vintage 1960s IRS videos introduces Americans to wonders of "computers."

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