Sunday, December 05, 2010

Wishy-Washy

A few weeks back I was haranguing Team Obama for their unwillingness (or inability) to pick a principle on which to stand. Back then it seemed like a self-fulfilling prophecy when I said it was likely the White House would fold on the tax cut battle that's currently consuming Washington, and wouldn't you know, it looks like they're going to fold.  Score one for predictability.  Yet again this proves out the broader point I was making about Obama's perpetual failure to stake out a clear position and defend it.  This is a frustration that's becoming increasingly pronounced among many who've supported him, and Frank Rich articulates it quite well:
The cliché criticisms of Obama are (from the left) that he is a naïve centrist, not the audacious liberal that Democrats thought they were getting, and (from the right) that he is a socialist out to impose government on every corner of American life. But the real problem is that he’s so in distinct no one across the entire political spectrum knows who he is. A chief executive who repeatedly presents himself as a conciliator, forever searching for the “good side” of all adversaries and convening summits, in the end comes across as weightless, if not AWOL. A Rorschach test may make for a fine presidential candidate — when everyone projects their hopes on the guy. But it doesn’t work in the Oval Office: These days everyone is projecting their fears on Obama instead.
And, as if the "Birther" stuff from the other day didn't provide enough of a clue, the nonsensical "socialist" meme is only the tip of an iceberg of the anti-Obama fumes emanating from the Right.  So, given that, I'm wondering again what consensus he thinks he's achieving when the opposition has made clear time and again that they're intent on not only defeating any and all of his policy initiatives, but also on rendering him damaged and debilitated in every way possible.  It's beyond baffling -- even more so because it's actually working!  Much more from Rich at the link.

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