The problem isn't his personality, it's his policies. His problem isn't what George W. Bush left but what he himself has done. It is a problem of political judgment, of putting forward bills that were deeply flawed or off-point. Bailouts, the stimulus package, cap-and-trade; turning to health care at the exact moment in history when his countrymen were turning their concerns to the economy, joblessness, debt and deficits--all of these reflect a misreading of the political terrain. They are matters of political judgment, not personality. (Republicans would best heed this as they gear up for 2010: Don't hit him, hit his policies. That's where the break with the people is occurring.)Very well said, indeed.
As I rarely parse an Obama speech and I never watch Fox news (not getting it and other cable news in my basic cable package, so I have no idea who Glen Beck is), maybe I can offer some unprejudiced insight into the recent contretemps. Krauthammer attempts a principled objection--though he misses the point about Madisonian factions: Factions are not "legitimate"; they are by definition unjust groups, who misuse the fundamental commitment to liberty. So the real objection to Obama's shunning of Fox (he spent a couple hours before a group of leftist journalists dismissing it as "talk radio") is his assault on liberty--his misunderstanding of the freedom of the press.
For all their leftist inclinations, a significant number of journalists don't want to be known as anyone's stooge. The Fox infection will spread quicker than the swine flu.
As evidence see the NY Times on Fox's effect on the MSM:
White House officials said [...] they noticed a column by Clark Hoyt, the public editor of The Times, in which [leftist Clarence Thomas hater] Jill Abramson, one of the paper's two managing editors, described her newsroom's "insufficient tuned-in-ness to the issues that are dominating Fox News and talk radio." The Washington Post's executive editor, Marcus Brauchli, had already expressed similar concerns about his newsroom....
"This is a discussion that probably had to be had about their approach to things," [Obama political strategist David] Axelrod said. "Our concern is other media not follow their lead."
In fact, perhaps the most effective media purveyor of conservatism (next to Rush and Fox) is C-Span radio and news. (Have I let the cat out of the bag?) For without its coverage of otherwise obscure think-tank speakers and panels, many eminent conservative voices would get no significant hearing at all. And their book programs may be the best thing on tv (save the excellent baseball playoffs this year).
Fellow students are giving the Georgetown sophomore grief for advertising a $10 an hour job to drive him around, schedule him, wash and fold his laundry, etc.: He's "just full of himself." But isn't this the logical conclusion of what David Brooks wrote eight years ago, in his "Organization Kid"--that undergraduate students schedule virtually everything and as a result devote no time for many of the most important things a bright student should be doing? A sample from Brooks:
There are a lot of things these future leaders no longer have time for. I was on [the Princeton] campus at the height of the election season, and I saw not even one Bush or Gore poster. I asked around about this and was told that most students have no time to read newspapers, follow national politics, or get involved in crusades:
As silly as the Georgetown kid may appear, he appears to be following out student logic.
The report obtained by USA TODAY cites failures on biosecurity policy by the White House which the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction says has left the country vulnerable. The commission, created last year to address concerns raised by post-9/11 investigations, warns that anthrax spores released by a crop-duster could "kill more Americans than died in World War II" and the economic impact could exceed $1.8 trillion in cleanup and other costs."
Matt Franck takes a whack not only at Obama's decriminalization policy but at some conservative defenders of it who see a respect for federalism:
By announcing the non-prosecution of marijuana cases only in those 14 states that legalize some use of the drug for medical purposes, the administration has effectively proclaimed that federal law means one thing in those 14 states, and something else in the other 36. That could readily give rise to equal protection claims in the 36 states where the federal government still considers itself free to prosecute.
Moreover: "Worse, by conditioning the prospect of prosecution on the presence or absence of state laws that contradict a nationwide federal prohibition, the Justice Department has effectively subjected the validity of federal law to the will of state legislators." As a prelude to relaxing drug prosecution generally, "This way evinces Professor Obama's usual respect for the Constitution: he rolls his own."
David Bobb has a sound and perceptive commentary on President Obama's refounding of the nation's political principles. Whether it be health care or eroticism for autos, Obama's refrain has been for a "new foundation." Bobb, Director of Hillsdale College's Washington, DC Kirby Center, documents this reckless audacity and commends the real founding and the discipline it demands and the freedom it protects.
Do we recognize the threat and have the resources and spirit to resist it? Do we know what we will have lost?