Has Peggy Noonan finally recovered from her Obama swoon?
Perhaps. It certainly seems so. She’s out with a column calling the Obama administration a “house of cards”. I’ll get to that in a minute, but there was something else she said in the column that caught my attention:
Political professionals now lay down lines even before a story happens. They used to wait to do the honest, desperate, last-minute spin of yesteryear. Now it’s strategized in advance, which makes things tidier but less raggedly fun. The line laid down by the Democrats weeks before the vote was that it’s all about money: The Walker forces outspent the unions so they won, end of story.
Two points – one, that “line” has been debunked, but Democrats continue to try to make that conventional wisdom (which is fine by me, because the CW hides the real truth that it was their message). But more importantly, point two, Noonan is right – political professionals try to shape the story before it happens, with their spin already being generated so that if they win their positive spin becomes CW and if they lose their negative spin becomes CW. In Wisconsin, the negative spin or excuse was Democrats were outspent and being outspent means losing.
That takes us to the part where Noonan talks about Obama:
President Obama’s problem now isn’t what Wisconsin did, it’s how he looks each day—careening around, always in flight, a superfluous figure. No one even looks to him for leadership now. He doesn’t go to Wisconsin, where the fight is. He goes to Sarah Jessica Parker’s place, where the money is.
There is, now, a house-of-cards feel about this administration.
It became apparent some weeks ago when the president talked on the stump—where else?—about an essay by a fellow who said spending growth is actually lower than that of previous presidents. This was startling to a lot of people, who looked into it and found the man had left out most spending from 2009, the first year of Mr. Obama’s presidency. People sneered: The president was deliberately using a misleading argument to paint a false picture! But you know, why would he go out there waving an article that could immediately be debunked? Maybe because he thought it was true. That’s more alarming, isn’t it, the idea that he knows so little about the effects of his own economic program that he thinks he really is a low spender.
For more than a month, his people have been laying down the line that America was just about to enter full economic recovery when the European meltdown stopped it. (I guess the slowdown in China didn’t poll well.) You’ll be hearing more of this—we almost had it, and then Spain, or Italy, messed everything up. What’s bothersome is not that it’s just a line, but that the White House sees its central economic contribution now as the making up of lines.
Any president will, in a presidential election year, be political. But there is a startling sense with Mr. Obama that that’s all he is now, that he and his people are all politics, all the time, undeviatingly, on every issue. He isn’t even trying to lead, he’s just trying to win.
There’s so much packed into those few paragraphs. Apparently Noonan has shed the blinders that had her backing Obama in 2008 and sees him for what the rest of us saw him to be all along. An empty suit.
She talks about the fact that his campaign has been “laying down the line” that it is Europe’s fault our economy is in trouble. Typical Obama. He’s failed miserably and, perfectly in character, is trying to blame it on another entity.
Everything is political. Obama petulantly claimed that it was offensive to be blamed for the national security leaks that have been coming out of his administration. Question: who the hell else should be blamed?
Most ominously, there are the national-security leaks that are becoming a national scandal—the "avalanche of leaks," according to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, that are somehow and for some reason coming out of the administration. A terrorist "kill list," reports of U.S. spies infiltrating Al Qaeda in Yemen, stories about Osama bin Laden’s DNA and how America got it, and U.S. involvement in the Stuxnet computer virus, used against Iranian nuclear facilities. These leaks, say the California Democrat, put "American lives in jeopardy," put "our nation’s security in jeopardy."
But everyone of them served to burnish the Obama “Commander-in-Chief” record. Even DiFi recognizes where they’re coming from. As Noonan says, it has becomes clear that “he and his people are all politics, all the time” and those leaks simply serve that end.
Finally Noonan talks about the absurd article Obama was waving around touting the equally absurd notion that he was the president who had spent less than any other president. You have to be a syphilitic inbred moron with a single digit IQ and totally unaware of what has happened these past 4 years to even begin to believe that. Yet he’s out there presenting it as “fact”.
And then yesterday, he talked about the private sector “doing fine”.
It is becoming increasingly clear the man has no grounding in or understanding of economics whatsoever. And so, the claim he’s “smartest man in the room” seems to be only true if the room is empty.
What Noonan’s deconstruction of Obama signals though, in a larger sense, is the disenchantment of the big middle with Obama. She’s one of the bellwethers.
You know E.J. Dionne is an Obamabot. You know Charles Krauthammer is anti-Obama. Noonan was among those who were nominally from the right but who endorsed Obama last cycle.
It was cool to be for Obama last time. It was hip. It was in. Our first black president. A chance to show the world our racial differences have been put aside.
And heck, what real damage could he do, right? So she touted his candidacy over McCain’s.
Then reality bitch slapped her.
She’s finally now come to the point where the adage “if you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you’re not a racist, you need to vote against him in 2012 to prove you’re not an idiot” is staring her directly in the face. Credibility is in the balance.
Over the next few months, a whole lot of marginal Obama voters are going to come to the same conclusion and in November, the Obama house of cards will collapse.