Almost since the start of Barack Obama’s presidency, people who have actual, real duties in the West Wing of the White House—the working, executive part of the government, that is—have been urging him to do something about Valerie Jarrett. Push her into the East Wing, where she can hang out with Michelle Obama and the White House social secretary, or give her an ambassadorship—or something—but for Pete’s sake get her out of the way of the hard work of governing that needs to be done.
The grownups in the Democratic party – oh, yes, there’s one or two – are starting to get tired of having to deal with a White House that always messes up, and never learns.
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, hit the Obama administration on Wednesday over an official calling the Israeli prime minister a “chickensh[*]t.”
“I was shocked and disappointed on reading the comments in The Atlantic,” Engel said in a statement. “I call upon the Administration to reassert the importance of the relationship between the United States and Israel, and to reaffirm that the bonds between our two countries are unbreakable.”
The President apparently told Ms. Lopez to go yell at the Republicans. …Yeah, good luck with that one, Barack Obama. This is not a situation where Ms. Lopez – and the people who think as she does on immigration issues – needs to be persuaded to vote for the Democrat over the Republican. No, this is a situation where Ms. Lopez needs to be persuaded to vote at all.
[A recent] AP-GfK poll asked the approve/disapprove question, finding 17 percent of likely voters said they strongly approve of Obama and 44 percent strongly disapprove. But then it asked a separate — and we would argue, more enlightening — question about the Obama administration. It asked how people felt about it, and gave them four options: “enthusiastic,” “satisfied but not enthusiastic,” “dissatisfied but not angry,” and “angry.”
That would seem to be a pretty good analogue for the approve/disapprove question, but the answers are quite a bit different. While 17 percent of likely voters “strongly approve” of Obama, just 9 percent say they are “enthusiastic” about his administration.
Courtesy of Freedom Partners Action Fund, this is part of a $6.5 million ad buy hitting Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire (online only), and North Carolina. Which is good news, but I have to ask something: how, in God’s name, can anybody look at this and not see it as speech? Just how ignorant do the professional scaremongers of the Democratic party think that we are that we might not recognize that the ability to say This politician is a fool; do not vote for fools is the bedrock of the First Amendment? What are they scared of?
Maybe the White House should possibly do Bruce Braley a favor and, you know, shut up or something? – At least, that’s probably how Braley is feeling right now. Personally, I think that Barack Obama should come stump for the guy. Oh, wait, that’s because I don’t have Braley’s best interests at heart.
PS: And, of course, as I’m writing this up I see this:
This is not what you tell people when you’re trying to keep a loss from being a rout:
Understanding full well Obama’s unpopularity is a drag on some Democrats in tight congressional races, White House officials are signaling to party leaders and campaign managers alike there will be no consequences should they run away from the president in order to win.
This is what you tell people when you think that there’s going to be a rout, no matter what, but you want to maybe rebuild something from the shattered fragments afterwards. It’s also a tacit admission that you’re expecting this preemptive forgiveness to be largely if not almost completely an academic exercise anyway. If I was a more reckless man, that’d be grounds for a DOOM call right now.
Too late? WH officials telling top Senate campaigns there won’t be any retribution if they go after Obama http://t.co/oDzrLTxHvD
This song first showed up in 2008, and it did not age well. I’m going to put the lyrics under the fold, largely because people need to be reminded about just how messed up some parents can get when it comes to using their children as political props, but let me just note something first: lots of those kids are now trying to find summer jobs. Good luck, kids! – Because the folks that would hire you for said summer job can just as easily get a fifty year old these days, and frankly they’d rather have those.
…I was struck by this line. “Most of our Democratic voters aren’t aware there’s even an election on November 4th.” Which is funny, because most of our Republican voters are aware, and are grimly looking forward to it; but that’s not what struck me. What struck me is that this DCCC ad isn’t geared towards boosting the enthusiasm of those Democratic voters. It’s geared towards boosting the enthusiasm of its own cadre of volunteers.
Dudes. It’s October. Getting your people ready to get pumped for the election now is a little, erm, tardy, if you know what I mean? Should have been done over the summer… oh. Right. The Democrats mark time by Barack Obama’s clock, these days. Silly, silly me.
You can expect to see some variant of this in ads over the next month.
The first bit is from 2010: it shows then-Representative Bruce Braley pretty much backing the President to the hilt – and, to be fair: in 2010 that wasn’t such a bad strategy in Iowa. Back then people liked Barack Obama – well, more accurately they liked who they thought was Barack Obama. It’s all different four years later, but This Thing Of Ours is notoriously indifferent to the suffering that can ensue when a statement that one makes comes back and bites one on the rear.
The second bit is from yesterday, and it’s going to be replayed forever. Here’s the transcript:
Now, I’m not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.
Just after that, every Democrat in America running in a tough race started to swear. Because the reason why they’re in tough races is because people don’t really like Obama’s policies right now. Especially in the states and districts that are hosting the tough races. The plan Democrats had was to not talk about it, not openly support the President, and to generally distance themselves from both Obama’s administration and his policies; apparently, however, nobody bothered to tell Barack Obama that, because he just stepped all over that narrative*. Whether this was done out of malice, or just stupidity, is beyond the scope of this post: suffice it to say that Bruce Braley (and the rest of his compatriots) are not going to be able to spend October running away from Barack Obama, either.
Barack Obama’s making a very stupid mistake, here.
[Former President George W.] Bush, who said that he calls former president Bill Clinton several times a year, including last week when his granddaughter was born, noted that President Obama hasn’t called him since Osama bin Laden was killed.
“He has not [called] on a regular basis, which is okay. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. It’s a decision he has made. Presidents tend to rely on the people they’re close to…and I understand that,” Bush said.
It’s always arrogance that gets the powerful, in the end. Arrogance and pride. Because here’s the situation – and I write this with an enormous grin of schadenfreude on my face from thinking about how progressive activists will react to what I’m about to write – it’s clear by now that George W Bush knows how to beat a terrorist insurgency, and Barack Obama does not. Barack Obama’s previous Iraq policy was a miserable failure. Barack Obama’s foreign policy staff was incompetent. The President himself demonstrated that, when it came to terrorists and figuring out why they hate us, Obama was fundamentally intellectually incurious and far too prone to episodes of epistemic closure. Do I need to keep using all those progressive antiwar sneers as handy flails, or has everybody gotten the point by now? (more…)