Another lefty journalist confesses he doesn’t know "who" Barack Obama is
Richard Cohen finds the apogee of hypocrisy with a op/ed penned today which is entitled "Barack Obama, introduce yourself".
Er, Mr. Cohen, that was the job of you and your ilk years ago – to introduce us to the man who would be president by doing your job of digging into his background and laying out the pros and cons of his qualifications – or in the case of Mr. Obama, lack thereof.
Anyway Cohen takes on the pundits and their suggestions about what Obama should do to recover from his tanking poll numbers. After mentioning quite a few, he says something that actually struck me as a good point, something many of us have said for a while:
All these are nifty suggestions and some could make a really exciting panel discussion at Brookings.
Or a late night discussion in a dorm room somewhere among idealist kids who’ve never really had to deal with the real world. As I listen to some of the nonsense spouted and written by the punditocracy, that’s the impression I’m constantly left with.
But back to the point – Cohen takes on the usual comparison that eventually wends its way into the “Brookings” like discussion – Obama v Reagan at the same time in their presidency and with basically the same poll numbers. For a change, that comparison is rejected and Cohen explains his reasons – most of them make sense.
However, what I am again left with is the obvious feeling that we should have known all of this well before the man in office won that office and that people like Cohen are to blame for that not being the case. Cohen reminds us that even Reagan’s political enemies found him likeable and a man of consistent principle. Obama, on the other hand, isn’t “unlikable”, but he doesn’t have the depth, warmth or history that Reagan had at this point in his presidency.
To that point, Cohen says:
What has come to be called the Obama Paradox is not a paradox at all. Voters lack faith in him making the right economic decisions, as far as they’re concerned, he hasn’t. He went for health care reform, not jobs. He supported the public option, then he didn’t. He’s been cold to Israel’s Binyamin Netanyahu and then all over him like a cheap suit. American’s know Obama’s smart. But we still don’t know him. Before Americans can give him credit for what he’s done, they have to know who he is. We’re waiting.
What an incredible confession. Who is “we” Mr. Cohen? And where were you and your kind when the vetting process was supposed to take place. Why are you still waiting for an introduction? Why didn’t you do your job?
We’re waiting as well – still waiting – for an answer to that last question.