The always delightful Camille Paglia--a thoughtful and independent-minded supporter of Barack Obama--thinks Obama needs to do some deep soul-searching. She’s inclined still to give him too much credit and blame his missteps on stupid advisers, but with great lines like this: "The orchestrated attack on radio host Rush Limbaugh, which has made the White House look like an oafish bunch of drunken frat boys," who cares? But what I especially liked about this article was its closing paragraph. It’s too good for me to attempt a clumsy summary, so here’s the whole thing:
President Obama should yank the reins and get his staff’s noses out of slash-and-burn petty politics. His own dignity and prestige are on the line. If he wants a second term, he needs to project a calmer perspective about the eternal reality of vociferous opposition, which is built into our democratic system. Right now, the White House is starting to look like Raphael’s scathing portrait of a pampered, passive Pope Leo X and his materialistic cardinals -- one of the first examples of an artist sending a secret, sardonic message to posterity. Do those shifty, beady-eyed guys needing a shave remind you of anyone? Yes, it’s bare-knuckles Chicago pugilism, transplanted to Washington. The charitably well-meaning but hopelessly extravagant Leo X, by the way, managed to mishandle the birth of the Protestant Reformation, which permanently split Christianity.