Monday, June 21, 2010

The Agony of the Liberals

Looks like this writer at the New York Times isn't very happy with President Obama.
From MSNBC to “The Daily Show,” from The Huffington Post to the halls of Congress, movement liberals have had just about enough of Barack Obama.

The catalyst was last week’s lackluster Oval Office address, but the real complaints run deeper. Many liberals look at this White House and see a presidency adrift — unable to respond effectively to the crisis in the gulf, incapable of rallying the country to great tasks like the quest for clean energy, and unwilling to do what it takes to jump-start the economy.

American liberalism has always had a reputation for fractiousness and frantic self-critique. But even by those standards, the current bout of anguish over the Obama presidency seems bizarrely disproportionate.

This is the same Barack Obama, after all, who shepherded universal health care, the dream of liberals since the days of Harry Truman (if not Thomas Paine), through several near-death experiences and finally into law. It’s the same Obama who staked the fate of the American economy on a $787 billion exercise in Keynesian pump-priming. It’s the same Obama who has done more to advance liberal priorities than any president since Lyndon Johnson.

Yet many on the left are talking as if he’s no better for liberalism than Bill Clinton circa 1996 — another compromiser, another triangulator and another disappointment.

At work in this liberal panic are two intellectual vices, and one legitimate fear. The first vice is the worship of presidential power: the belief that any problem, any crisis, can be swiftly solved by a strong government, and particularly a strong executive. A gushing oil well, a recalcitrant Congress, a public that’s grown weary of grand ambitions — all of these challenges could be mastered, Obama’s leftward critics seem to imagine, if only he were bolder or angrier, or maybe just more determined.
Well if you believe the NY Times in general has a leftist slant I want to refer you to this column from Hugh Hewitt:
There is a vast, coast-to-coast recognition of "oiiohh" -- Obama is in over his head. I have offered the T-shirt to my radio audience, and they are moving quite briskly. The "messiah" has become a punch line.

What could he do to turn it around, I asked John Podhoretz, editor of the newly energized and sparkling Commentary magazine. "Things his ideology will never allow him to do," John replied, and we went on to talk about extending the Bush tax cuts and standing resolutely beside Israel in the face of serial provocations.

There are other steps, and the House and Senate could actually try to control spending rather than hold useless show trials of already convicted BP execs. Voters from coast to coast know the issue is the stalemated recovery and the exploding spending that is doing nothing to turn on the jobs machine.

If the GOP runs on extending the existing tax rates five years while bringing a massive ax to the federal budget, they will sweep all before them. "Enough!" is the one-word bumper sticker showing up across the country and uniting every candidate from the center to the libertarian right.
The first column is via RealClearPolitics and the second is via Instapundit! Graphic via

BTW, some would say that they have seen this coming since before he was elected close to two years ago. Some could tie this in to his lack of executive experience. It will be said that other than his winning campaign in 2008, he had never managed anything.

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