PM Carpenter: “They need to do their job,” barked the president of Congressional trolls. If his daughters, 13 and 10 years of age, can get their homework done ahead of otherwise guaranteed disaster, then surely the grown men and women of high elected office can settle, on a timely basis, a debt-ceiling dispute that’s been charging down the foreseen tracks for months.
Jesus, I pity him. Obama is now having to publicly scold and even ridicule the infantile, recalcitrant yokels of the United States Congress, just to get them to do their bloody homework, for which they draw government paychecks…..
…It’s a tribute to Obama’s miraculous temperament that he doesn’t explode more often.
PM Carpenter: Eric Cantor, in his own oblivious way, has redefined the art of political compromise:
I believe that we have identified trillions in spending cuts, and to date, we have established a blueprint that could institute the fiscal reforms needed to start getting our fiscal house in order. That said, each side came into these talks with certain orders, and as it stands the Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases.
And there you have it. Each side entered negotiations with “certain orders,” yet those from the White House and its Democratic majority in the Senate are illegitimate, and thus obscene, while those from House Republicans are immutable, untouchable, and thus divine……
four panelists – [gay-activist Lt. Dan] Choi, immigration reform supporter Felipe Matos, America Blog writer John Aravosis and Fire Dog Lake Founder Jane Hamsher – said they are planning to hold the White House’s collective feet to the fire for its decisions on civil rights, whether it would hurt Obama’s reelection chances or not.
I’m sorry, I don’t mean to chuckle. I realize these are serious issues, and in no way do I diminish their importance. But being threatened by the adolescent malcontents of the utterly insignificant, whining teapot-tempests of Americablog and FireDogLake is like being under fire from the Italian infantry, circa 1943. One scarcely notices.
Check out this list of the ’244 Accomplishments of President Obama in his First Term’ (so far) compiled by Robert P. Watson, Professor of American Studies, Lynn University – “Like all presidents, Barack Obama has made mistakes. But, as a presidential historian, I have been struck by claims being put forward by Obama’s many critics and the news media that he has accomplished little when, in fact, his presidency is easily one of the most active in history.”
NYT: The State Department spokesman, Philip J. Crowley, resigned on Sunday, three days after publicly criticizing the Pentagon as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid” in its treatment of Pfc. Bradley E. Manning…
Mr. Crowley’s comments … stirred a political tempest in Washington and were rejected by President Obama at a news conference on Friday….
White House officials were infuriated by the episode … which one described as “the last straw” in a series of incautious remarks by Mr. Crowley. …he had a rocky tenure at the State Department, failing to establish close ties to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
…Mr. Crowley had been in a tenuous position for some time … and was discussing another assignment with Mrs. Clinton and her chief of staff even before his Manning remarks. He did not travel on Mrs. Clinton’s plane, which is highly unusual for a spokesman and added to the perception that he did not have access to her inner circle.
Public statements from Mr. Crowley raised hackles in the Pentagon and the White House several times. On Friday, in the wake of the earthquake in Japan, he sent out a message on ’Twitter that said: “We’ve been watching a hopeful tsunami sweep across the Middle East. Now we’re seeing a tsunami of a different kind sweep across Japan.” Other officials said the message was insensitive, and Mr. Crowley pulled it from Twitter.
He also came under fire in a State Department audit while managing the public affairs bureau … Last month, Michael Hammer, a former spokesman for the National Security Council, became Mr. Crowley’s deputy — a move that was widely perceived as setting the stage for Mr. Crowley’s departure.
PM Carpenter: A spokesman for the Tea Party Patriots, 2,300 of whom convened in Phoenix, Arizona last weekend, said that “[Democrats] can’t win if we’re focused on issues.”
…To be sure, it’s exceptionally difficult to beat a party or movement that regards a “focus” on issues as a bundle of pithy slogans with enormous emotional appeal, backed by mounds of propagandistic cash. The current “debate” on government’s size and spending is exemplary.
Which is easier to sell to a mass electorate? “Government’s too big” and “We’re drowning in debt” …
or … “The size of the federal government and the spending it does is less important than its effectiveness; take, for instance, those funds allocated to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which tea partying machete-accountants insist on slashing — Do you, Mr. and Mrs. Voter, care to save a few bucks now, only to grease the skids for another catastrophic collapse down the road, caused by fewer financial watchdogs and far less oversight?”
And that’s the short version.
…….so many Americans — I’d venture most — have no clue as to why government ever grew, as it did; they’ve no sense of the social carnage of the Gilded Age or of the vast disparities of wealth in the 1920s or the vicious official assaults on organizing labor or the atrocities of child labor or the repulsive depths of elderly poverty or … None of which Hoover’s pathetic “volunteerism” and limited government for ideology’s sake could help when it all inexorably came crashing down.
And would have again, to the selfsame severe proportions, had it not been for lessons learned — now being forgotten.
Huge thanks to Rita for letting me know about this blog post – loved it.
p m carpenter’s commentary: This morning the Post’s Dan Balz assesses the choice of Bill Daley as “another significant step in the post-election evolution of President Obama,” noting that Daley “has a reputation for shooting straight, playing hard, talking bluntly and, above all, remaining calm in a crisis.”
Indeed, the Beltway consensus is that Daley is pragmatic, thoughtful, damn smart, diplomatic, effective, loyal and philosophically mature — all in all he’s a judicious choice, one that will serve the administration well and frustrate the Republican noise machine.
So, naturally, with the notable exception of Howard Dean, who has responded as a model of reason, the activist progressive community launched into orbital unhingement over the Daley pick.
Gloomily representative of what’s become their orthodox overreaction to most everything Obama was the Torquemada of ProgThink, Adam Green, who said … “(bla bla bla)”
Yes, just another White House “mistake” …. such as rescuing the nation from the Great Depression II, securing universal health care, pulling DADT’s repeal out of a hopeless hat, saving the domestic auto industry, and so on, and so on, and so on.
CNN/P.M. Carpenter: ….once the reality of Obama’s extraordinary success within a mere half-term is noted — a stimulus package that prevented the Great Depression II; health care reform that achieves the decades-long goal of near universality; financial reform that reimposes some grown-up supervision of Wall Street gamblers — a bit of culling must be done when confronting American opinion on all this. Opinion that seems to be running downhill.
….The pseudoconservatives’ perception is that Obama’s success is a sprinting, despotic socialism enforced by jackbooted bureaucrats of anti-constitutional intensity. Most of this opinion, it seems to me, reflects a pathological loathing of Obama’s very success and a nostalgic, all-power-should-be-ours longing for the actual despotism of George W. Bush’s “unitary executive” humbug.
….On opposite ground, today’s progressive activists (known in some unmentioned circles as the “professional left”) perceive Obama’s success as a tragic, alienating failure simply because that success has been less than 100 percent. Their ideological purity is a brutal taskmaster; it accepts no compromise with political realities.
It wants and demands a society approaching Utopia — and that Utopia lies, it seems, only inches away from a snarling, presidential ideologue. They’ll deny that, but their own snarling, in my mind, tends to outweigh their pleas of innocence.
Case in point: A nearly $900 billion tax compromise, of which more than $700 billion is geared to middle-class and unemployment relief, is excoriated by activist progressives as an insufferable Obamian sellout.
As for traditional liberalism’s rank and file? They have few problems with President Obama; the base holds — according to pollsters about three-fourths of it — understanding that America’s utopian future still likely remains at least a few years down the road…