“I’d like Obama more if he were more like my fantasy presidents.”
Maureen Dowd, the New York Times columnist whose rep is based upon her sharp-edged nasty snark than deep political insights sniped at President Obama over the Senate’s failure to pass any meaningful gun legislation, “Unfortunately, he still has not learned how to govern,” Dowd wrote with each word dripping in acidic scorn, “How is it that the president won the argument on gun safety with the public and lost the vote in the Senate? It’s because he doesn’t know how to work the system. And it’s clear now that he doesn’t want to learn, or to even hire some clever people who can tell him how to do it or do it for him. “
Dowd, who has never held any elected office besides runner-up to the homecoming queen helpfully suggested Obama should look to Hollywood for pointers on what to do, “The White House should have created a war room full of charts with the names of pols they had to capture, like they had in “The American President.”
The rank stupidity of Dowd’s brain-dead advice was not lost on Obama when he said during the White House Correspondents Dinner, “Everybody has got plenty of advice,” the president said with his own Snark Gun loaded and cocked, “Maureen Dowd said I could solve all my problems if I were just more like Michael Douglas in ‘The American President.’ And I know Michael is here tonight. Michael, what’s your secret, man? Could it be that you were an actor in an Aaron Sorkin liberal fantasy? Might that have something to do with it?”
Instead of the I.R.S. investigating the Tea Party, someone ought to investigate why the Times continues to give Dowd space to spew nonsense.
“Some folks still don’t think I spend enough time with Congress,” the president said. “‘Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?’ they ask. Really? Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?”
“I just have to be snarky. I don’t have to make sense.”
That was a laugh line for the president, but the next one was him speaking from the heart. “I’m sorry. I get frustrated sometimes.”
Obama has hosted Republican Senators for dinner. He invited Paul Ryan to sit down for lunch. He’s played golf with other Republicans. As far as outreach goes, the president has tried everything but a pajama party sleepover in the Lincoln Bedroom.
This is the kind of “bipartisan” reaching out b.s. that make the collective nipples of the Washington press corps hard and erect. In the wake of the I.R.S. investigations, the continued Benghazi story and the Justice Department’s surveillance of the Associated Press, last week was Christmas in May for the professional Obama bashers in the GOP and right-wing noise machine. What made things a bit more unusual was how the supposed Obama worship ping “liberal” media piled on as well.
The nature of the professional press is they are at your feet one day and at your throat the next. The easy (and lazy) way to lay the blame for the failure of Congress to get anything done even when a clear majority of Americans want it, is to go Dowd’s way and lay it all on the wimp in the White House. That allows the Republicans to claim their hands are clean and that is exactly the cover idiots like Mo Dowd provide them.
Dowd’s specialty is supposed to be politics, but she doesn’t seem to know how to count votes, how deals are cut to win votes, and how hard it is to “punish” lawmakers who don’t do the president’s bidding when they’re more afraid of special interest groups, possible primary challengers and irate voters back home than the man in the Oval Office.
Sometimes you must leave the high road and fetch your brass knuckles. Obama should have called Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota over to the Oval Office and put on the squeeze: “Heidi, you’re brand new and you’re going to have a long career. You work with us, we’ll work with you. Public opinion is moving fast on this issue. The reason you get a six-year term is so you can have the guts to make tough votes. This is a totally defensible bill back home. It’s about background checks, nothing to do with access to guns. Heidi, you’re a mother. Think of those little kids dying in schoolrooms.”
This is how bubblehead liberals like Dowd breathing the rarefied air in their ivory towers believe the world should work. Come on Obama, you gutless wonder! Be like President Josiah Bartlett and impose your will, reward your friends and punish your enemies. Guilt trip a balky Democrat if you can and ridicule them if you must. It’s easy. Just call President Bartlett and ask him!
“I got 99 problems, but being Charlie Sheen’s dad ain’t one of them.”
And then what? What if Sen. Heitkamp says, “I’m sorry, Mr. President. My constituents don’t want this bill and I don’t either.” What can Obama do then? Call Harry Reid and tell him to make sure Heitkamp only gets the crappiest of committee assignments? Obama was in the Senate with Reid before he moved from the Capitol to the White House. He knows Reid has no clout juice and they don’t fear Obama, they laugh right in Reid’s face.
The truth why President Obama can’t seem to get anything through Congress the answer is simple The strategy of Congressional Republicans is to give him NOTHING. If Obama is for it, they are against it. Even if it is something Republicans normally favor. This has always been known. Now even some Republicans are ‘fessing up to the strategy, but that doesn’t shake the conviction of the skeptics who say if only Obama twisted arms a little harder and thumped that bully pulpit a little more.
There are far too many fools like Mo Dowd who think the President can do what he wants simply because he IS the President. They blame Obama because it is easier than to blame a few hundred Republican obstructionists in Washington whose policy position is if Obama is for it, they are against it. This is by design, not accident. I’m reading Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein‘s It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism and I’d be doing Dowd the biggest favor of her life if I passed it on to her to once I’m done. There are lots of answers for her between the book’s covers.
Ornstein, a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, told Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, ” It’s time to acknowledge how far the Republican Party has veered towards tolerating extreme ideological beliefs and policies, and how the GOP has embraced cynical and destructive means to advance political ends over problem-solving.”
While Dowd would have us all believe if Obama would only grow a pair he could knock some sense into the GOP. Ornstein and Mann know that’s too simple by half and despite the eagerness of the press to slice the pie into even slices of who’s to blame for the political gridlock, they aren’t reluctant to point to the Republicans as deserving the lion’s share. “…However awkward it may be for the traditional press and nonpartisan analysts to acknowledge, one of the two major parties, the Republican Party, has become an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the center of American politics, it is extremely difficult to enact policies responsive to the country’s most pressing challenges.”
Derailing Hillary Clinton 2016 is the real target of the Benghazi “scandal.” If it hurts Obama too, that’s just gravy to the wing nuts. According to her polling numbers, Clinton has become more popular, not less. The Republicans and Fox News haven’t laid a glove on her.
The Republican Strategy explained by a Republican.
Dowd is impervious to reason, logic, history or fact. She preens from her perch as the Grey Lady’s Red-Haired Harpy lacking the gravitas of Paul Krugman, the intelligence of Thomas Friedman, the compassion of Nicholas Kristof or the social conscience of Charles Blow.
But she’s still got Obama to kick around for another three years. Unless her Republican friends successfully impeach him first. She’d probably like that.
I WENT to New York last week to cover the TV presentations for the new season, shows like “Scandal,” “Shark Tank” and a faltering “American Idol.”
I may as well have stayed here.
You know that the faltering American idol in the White House must be reeling in this scandalous spring. No Drama Obama is immersed in drama so over the top it could have been scripted by Shonda Rhimes and Karl Rove.
Who knows? If Washington keeps imploding, Hillary may run in 2016 on restoring honor to the White House.
If the system is broken it helps to know who broke it.
You know Dowd is sippin’ that purple drank when an relentless Hillary-hater is looking wistfully to her for relief. Could that be why she forget how much she despises Hillary as she spitefully made clear in 2008.
As a possible first Madame President, Hillary is a flawed science experiment because you can’t take Bill out of the equation. Her story is wrapped up in her marriage, and her marriage is wrapped up in a series of unappetizing compromises, arrangements and dependencies.
Instead of carving out a separate identity for herself, she has become more entwined with Bill. She is running bolstered by his record and his muscle. She touts her experience as first lady, even though her judgment during those years on issue after issue was poor. She says she’s learned from her mistakes, but that’s not a compelling pitch…If Hillary fails, it will be her failure, not ours.
What is Dowd anyway? A smug, smart-ass who is passed off as some sort of “liberal” but comes off more like the Times version of a self-hating one like Fox’s Kirsten Powers or a TV critic? Why should anyone take seriously a political columnist who doesn’t seem to know how politics works?
If you believe the op-ed page even the Times doesn’t believe Dowd parroting the G.O.P.’s talking points about “scandals.”
The American public, Greg Sargent pointed out this morning, does not find a presidential scandal in either the Benghazi talking points or the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of right-wing groups seeking a tax-exempt and disclosure-free status.
In a C.N.N. poll released over the weekend, 61 percent of Americans say President Obama’s comments about the I.R.S. investigation were mostly or completely true, and 55 percent say the I.R.S. acted on its own. On Benghazi, 50 percent believe that early statements about the attack reflect what the administration believed at the time, compared with 44 percent – 76 percent of them Republicans – who say officials intentionally misled the public.
The blind hatred of the Republicans for this president will gradually lead them to overplay their hand. For now Obama will have to take incoming fire from the front from Republican Klingons trying to depose him as well as backstabbing “liberals” and the eighth biggest hack in journalism who have the long knives out after Obama the same way they were for Bill and Hillary, Al Gore, John Kerry and every other Democrat who doesn’t measure up to Joe Bartlett.
Because in Dowd’s wacky world, the only good Democrats are Democrat who aren’t real.