Free Markets, Free People

If Obama Is Losing Paul Krugman, Can The Rest Of The Left Be Far Behind?

Interesting article by Howard Kurtz which asks the question in the title. But before we go there, let’s allow Mary Anastasia O’Grady to set the stage for you:

If the Obama administration were a flotilla of ships, it might be sending out an SOS right about now. ObamaCare has hit the political equivalent of an iceberg. And last week the president’s international prestige was broadsided by the Scots, who set free the Lockerbie bomber without the least consideration of American concerns. Mr. Obama’s campaign promise of restoring common sense to budget management is sleeping with the fishes.

This administration needs a win. Or more accurately, it can’t bear another loss right now.

Of course what she’s talking about is the administration’s foreign policy and in particular Honduras. However that has become a bit of a side-show in comparison with the domestic politics now thundering from DC to the townhalls of America.

Kurtz is noticing a disturbing trend if your an Obama administration fan. The base is not happy. And they’re starting to sound off about it.

He cites Krugman, Clarence Page, David Corn and Frank Rich as part of the leftist chattering class losing confidence in the chosen one.

That can’t be good. But some of it is inevitable:

A president is going to be smacked around from the moment he takes office and the uplifting rhetoric of campaign rallies meets the gritty reality of governing.

But what Kurtz is talking about isn’t the “inevitable”. It’s more than that. It carries more than a hint of disillusionment. He quotes David Corn, for instance, claiming that some of Obama’s policies:

“… have caused concern, if not outright anger, among certain liberal commentators and bloggers. It’s been a more conventional White House than many people expected or desired. . . . He’s made compromises that have some people concerned about his adherence to principle.”

For Corn and the liberal left, he’s been much more “conventional” than expected and that bothers them. “Change” was read by them to mean much more radical change than they’ve seen. The question, of course, is were they mistaken on what they interpreted change to mean or, to extend O’Grady’s metaphor, is the reality of governing causing the liberal ship to founder? Either way the Corn contingent isn’t going to be happy.

Arrianna Huffington, among others I’m sure, spots the problem I talked about yesterday – lack of leadership:

Arianna Huffington has lamented Obama’s “lack of leadership,” asking: “How could someone with a renowned ability to inspire, communicate complex ideas, and connect with voters find himself in this position?”

For the reasons I covered yesterday, this isn’t likely to improve. And that again is because it is one thing to communicate complex ideas and another to implement them. The former takes nothing more than a competent rhetorician while the latter demands a leader.

And even Paul Krugman is getting that creepy feeling that a leadership deficit is becoming more and more evident:

“Mr. Obama was never going to get everything his supporters wanted. But there’s a point at which realism shades over into weakness, and progressives increasingly feel that the administration is on the wrong side of that line.”

So why this sudden disenchantment? As Kurtz points out, Obama’s history was known to everyone – the Krugmans, Richs, Corns and Huffingtons of this world:

It’s easy to forget, in light of Obama’s global celebrity, that five years ago he was a state senator in Illinois. Given his short tenure as a national figure, Obama finds himself having to prove, at least to the opinion-mongers, what he’s really made of. “Is He Weak?” asked a recent Jim Hoagland column, on foreign policy, in The Post.

Is he weak? Well, again, given that 5 years ago he was hanging out in the Illinois State Senate and since that he’s spent 2 years as a junior Senator in DC what would a reasonable person expect? What has he done that would indicate he’d be something else?

Of course this was all brought up prior to the election and waved away by the same pundits who are now, suddenly, finding out that their knight in shining armor is actually Don Quixote.

Now suddenly Obama isn’t living up to their expectations.

The president’s liberal critics tend to cluster around particular issues. Some see health reform as making or breaking Obama’s first term. Others are disappointed at the pace of withdrawal from Iraq, the escalation in Afghanistan and the delay in closing Guantanamo Bay. Still others argue that Obama should be leading the charge to investigate terrorism-related abuses during the Bush administration.

Of course that’s why the DoJ decision to pursue charges against the CIA is seen as a political sop to this part of Obama’s base (something which will eventually blow up in the administration’s face). But the bottom line is Obama just isn’t meeting the expectations of those who worked so hard to put him in office.

The reason for that is evident for some and becoming more evident to others. Krugman has figured it out although he can’t quite bring himself to say it and even Arrianna Huffington is beginning to understand the real problem – there’s a leadership vacuum in Washington, and it isn’t likely to be filled anytime soon. And liberals better get used to being both disappointed and disenchanted.



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16 Responses to If Obama Is Losing Paul Krugman, Can The Rest Of The Left Be Far Behind?

  • “Communicate complex ideas”? Yeah, if they’re at most one word long, provided somebody makes a snappy and memorable poster to do the communicating for him. But, except for that, yeah, totally. “Complex ideas”!

    These dingbats have been hiding in their own echo chamber too long, listening to nothing but each other.

    Doesn’t matter. They’ve got nowhere else to go. He’s still doing a staggering amount of damage to the country. They should be happy with that.

    Their expectations were insane: Does even one of these morons note that we have a system of checks and balances and limited government, such that one malignant narcissist on horseback CAN’T wreck the whole thing single-handedly, overnight?

  • The liberals are stunned that a guy with no Executive experience is acting like a guy with no Executive experience?

    • I think that this is another thing that many of his supporters are suddenly ‘discovering’ to their surprise and disappointment. Which is odd, considering that they claimed to recognize this flaw in the young and relatively inexperienced Sarah Palin. The thought of her as VP terrified the left, but voting a young and even less experienced Senator into the Presidency was ‘progressive.’ Gee, how could that go wrong?

      So now they realize that in addition to having few/no leadership skills, Obama is also very unskilled at governing. Leadership plays into that, but so does strategizing. The tactics that work during a campaign do not work once you’re the one in on the hot seat. Obama has tried to play multiple sides while pointing fingers and trying to demonize various targets of opportunity. It hasn’t worked, it has backfired. And I don’t think he has any clue as to how to back out of it and make lemonade with the lemons he’s got on hand.

      He’s actually managed to place himself in a position where just about any move he makes will anger a critical constituency. I guess it turns out he does have a well-developed skill. It just happens to be one he wishes he didn’t have.

    • Good one, Don2.

  • “How could someone with a renowned ability to inspire, communicate complex ideas,…”

    I know a college professor who says he can teach calculus to his students in a few hours (clock time, not credit hours). Wellll, sort of. Of course, once you get into the deep water of real math. (or real health care, etc.) it gets a little doubtful.

  • set free the Lockerbie bomber without the least consideration of American concerns

    When I read this, I began to wonder if this was payback (or part of the deal) for sending the Uighurs to Bermuda.

  • “He’s made compromises that have some people concerned about his adherence to principle.”
    Right, principle will always have its way, whether you adhere to them or not.
    The error in the above quote is that the speaker does not have a clear view of what “principle” means.
    Complex ideas? Please.
    This buffoon ran on a platform based in the most basic simplicity in order to reach the broadest audience, the cadre of retards that make up the core of the country. Votists are not very intelligent in the long view, for in light of history they cut themselves off at the knees every time they line up at the polls.
    The very first time I saw Obama speak I knew right away that the only environment that person can succeed is the ethereal world of american politics because in the world of business he would be chewed up and cast aside in nanoseconds as the limited intellect moron he is.
    Obama, like most other politicians, is character flawed and if not for american politics would be pushing a broom in an urban environment at best, or dead.

  • Obama is exactly where most of the commentors of this blog thought he would be if elected president – In way over his head. Time and time again it was brought out to the “usual suspects” that frequent this blog that Obama had never led anything before in his life.

    Yes, he had written two best selling books – about the only topic for which he is renown, HIMSELF! Yes, he had led a nationwide presidential campaign – with minimal assistance from the legion of handlers he had on staff, RIGHT! Yes, he had been a driving force in the Illinois state legislature – voting over 130 times, PRESENT!

    And now they are surprised when they see a crisis of leadership – or the lack thereof – in the White House, HEH!

    • In reality, he had campaign managers run his campaign. He was simply the “talent” they were selling. The pretty face, so to speak . . .

  • Oh comon…..Erb made a long post yesterday telling us that Obama was simply dripping, oozing leadership.

    How can the likes or Paul and Arianna argue against that?

  • Excuse me while I roll on the floor and laugh my a** off from the schadenfreude!


    My, that felt good. Or, at least, it WOULD feel good if TAO wasn’t screwing up the country.


    While it’s nice to laugh at libs as they learn – too late! – that their messiah is a fumbling idiot who knows little more than how to read a teleprompter, it would be FAR better if they’d start looking at the real root cause of his troubles: their liberal ideals.

    — Nationalized health care isn’t failing just because TAO has no leadership skills: it’s failing because it is a fundamentally impractical idea.

    — Porkulus didn’t fail to stimulate the economy just because TAO has no leadership skills: it failed because it was nothing more than a liberal wish list / pay-off to start with, never minding that the idea that the government can stimulate the economy by hading out borrowed money is foolish on its face.

    — Our foreign policy isn’t floundering just because TAO has no leadership skills: it’s floundering because appeasing despots, stiffing our traditional allies, and generally acting as though our own country is the worst thing since Schickelgruber are just plain bad ideas.

    — The democrats aren’t looking at the prospect of a disaster in the mid-terms just because TAO has no leadership skills: they’re in trouble because their leadership is corrupt and arrogant, AND the country is nowhere near as leftist as they seem to think that it is.

    TAO isn’t the disease: he’s a symptom. The disease is liberalism, a twisted, vicious philosophy that rejects the traditional American values of hard work, individual achievement, individual responsibility, and limited government, substituting for them reliance on central planning that is itself grounded in the belief that “the right people” can AND SHOULD run everybody else’s lives in the interests of “fairness”. This is the real cause of the left’s woes, but they will never stop to consider that their entire philosophy is wrong, and so they engage in a never-ending effort to find scapegoats for their failures. Yesterday, it was the insurance companies. Today, it’s TAO. It will be somebody else tomorrow.

    • Well, there is a real relationship between 0’s ideology and his lack of leadership skills, IMO. For example, the idea that we can achieve peace in our time between Israel and Palestinians by getting to sit down together and talk is related to leftist ideology and also to a lack of real world leadership experience.

    • that is itself grounded in the belief that “the right people” can AND SHOULD run everybody else’s lives in the interests of “fairness”

      Yeah, just don’t dare suggest the “right people” might be white, male, land owners, over the age of 18, like they were in 1786.