This Weekly Standard article is all the more brutal for its lack of overt viciousness: but then, with a title like “George Herbert Walker Obama” it doesn’t have to be. I had the dickens of a time separating out a representational piece of Andrew Ferguson’s awesome, politely relentless comparison of the last days of the 2012 election with the last days of the 1992 one, but here goes:
The president, it was said, had no agenda.
Again our campaign leapt into action. Frantic phone calls were placed to federal agencies and cabinet departments: Who’s got an agenda? From the Department of Health and Human Services came a “health care reform”—something having to do with tax credits. The Education Department sent over scraps from an “education reform” that the president hadn’t been able to move through Congress; something with tax credits. And child care—a big issue in ’92—where the hell can we find a child-care policy? Somebody dug one up at Labor, where it had been buried a year earlier. A child-care tax credit.
The agenda was strung together and packaged in a booklet with glossy blue covers. The president could hold it up at rallies, with a look that said: No agenda, eh? What do you call this, smart guy? Chopped liver? The word renewal was testing very well with focus groups—better than reform, even—so our booklet got called Agenda for American Renewal. Millions of copies were mailed to voters. Perhaps you still have yours?
It gets better from there, but you need to read the whole thing. There are a lot of comparisons to be made between George HW Bush and Barack H Obama, in fact; and some day I might write about them, once I think that I can successfully do so without having the combined wrath of the partisan blogosphere fall down upon my head*. Until then… 10 days until Election Day.
*It is not cowardice to refuse to put your hand in a working buzzsaw.