Even the Left is admitting that Barack Obama has fatally hurt future bipartisanship efforts.

John Dickerson took perhaps too long to get to this paragraph, and he wrote it through gritted teeth, but he does put a finger on the central problem for the Obama administration right now:

The substantive differences between the president and Republicans on the budget may be insurmountable, but now it seems like even if the pipe dream of a substantive budget agreement could be reached it wouldn’t be enough. Even if Republican senators can engage in a trust-building exercise with the White House, how can they convince their constituents that the president is offering them a fair deal on the budget? A poisoned well is now roiling. Any Republican who tries to convince their constituents about a deal will now likely get funny looks. Their constituents would wonder why they were engaged in negotiations with an administration that has told evolving stories about its response to the attack in Benghazi and that houses an IRS targeting conservative groups.



QotD, KFTC*, John Dickerson edition.

It is an epic day when Teh Stoopid of a post is so encapsulated in a subtitle that you feel no further need to read further.  Take it away, John Dickerson:

Obama’s spending plan is so timid, he must be working on a smarter plan we don’t know about.


I repeat: KFTC, John.  Meanwhile, here’s Megan McArdle, who was originally going to have the Quote of the Day until I read Dickerson’s stupidity:

I was a laconic hawk when the deficits shot up in 2008, 2009, 2010.  A few years of deficits in an unprecedented crisis weren’t going to kill us; we had time to get them under control.

But I’m starting to think that it’s time to panic.

Oh, boy.

Moe Lane

*The explanation for that acronym is not safe for work, but may be found here (also NSFW).


#rsrh Today’s straight line…

…comes to us, courtesy of Slate’s John Dickerson.  He’s (very gingerly) writing about how President Obama’s now learning that, hey, maybe it was easier to criticize President Bush than it is to do a better job than him – no, really – and in the process Dickerson lets off this line:

As he benefits from policies he once opposed—such as the surge in Iraq, which helped make tomorrow’s speech possible—Obama proves that even a smart politician with the best of intentions can be wrong.

Indeed.  And if one of those can be wrong, imagine how badly our current President can screw things up.

Thanks, I’m here all week.  Remember to tip your waitress!

Moe Lane

(H/T: AoSHQ)


But at least they have Obama!

There’s a lot of interesting stuff in this John Dickerson article on what last night’s results really mean, but this last paragraph is probably the one that needs to be most referenced:

The night showed just how limited Obama’s political power is. He said he’d work all-out for Specter, but he didn’t campaign for the senator in the final days. That may have been a wise reservation of his political capital (he’s already been ineffective in previous races), but it also demonstrated how much has changed since 2008, when Obama was talked about as a force that could remake the political landscape. Critz won by running away from Obama’s signature achievement, and Lincoln, whom he supported, was forced into a runoff. For a president who is still far more popular than the Democratic Congress he aims to help, yet who is unable to translate much of that popularity to do so, this condition may be best described as limbo.



John Dickerson nuances his explanation of Obama’s nuance.

It is all very meta.

He knows that you can’t just say – unlike, say, Jake Tapper – that the President likes to play with straw men, so he’ll sort of sidle up to it:

The Careful Exaggerator… balances his rhetoric… study in nuance… practically grisaille… nuance-free exaggerator… exaggerates to free himself from the demands of the news cycle… hopes to do though this exaggerated description… plays Aunt Sally… doesn’t mischaracterize, exactly, but he exaggerates… intended to make his opponents look foolish… offered another cartoonish view… probably exaggerates no more than a typical politician….

While Dickerson probably could have used the services of an online thesaurus (by the way, I’m not buying that he knew ‘grisaille*’ right off of the bat, unless of course he was an art minor or something), his point can be eventually determined if you step back far enough: the President plays fast and loose with the truth in order to get his way, or just out of trouble. Of course, Dickerson would be absolutely insane to just write that, given that, say, the aforementioned Tapper gets screamed at by every unhinged member of the Online Left whenever he actually does his job: Slate lives or dies with online clicks, ABC News doesn’t. Unfortunately, Dickerson is also stuck with having to deal with the central paradox in all of this:


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