Talk about tough love . . .
Frank Rich believes Barack Obama is approaching a "do or die moment" and that "we face the alarming prospect that his presidency could be toast" if he doesn't push ObamaCare through. Rich's New York Times column of today, The Up-or-Down Vote on Obama’s Presidency, is a crushing compendium of criticism for a president he sees as talented but too timid.
I'd encourage readers to read the full piece, but let's have fun with this super-condensed version of Frank's frustration-venting:
his preposterous backdrop . . .cheesy theatrics . . . This finest hour arrived hastily and tardily . . . We’ve heard this too many times before . . . “They are waiting for us to lead.” Actually, they have given up waiting . . .a sinking sense of disillusionment about his ability to exercise power . . . it won’t even be the opposition’s fault . . . The G.O.P. would be able to argue this fall, not without reason, that the party holding the White House and both houses of Congress cannot govern . . . The leadership shortfall we’ve witnessed during Obama’s yearlong health care march . . . missed deadlines, the foggy identification of his priorities, the sometimes abrupt shifts in political tone and strategy . . . theories as to why Obama has disappointed in Year One . . . In governing, Obama has yet to find a theme that is remotely as arresting to the majority of Americans . . . there is no consistent, clear message . . . the bill became a mash-up that baffled or defeated those Americans on his side and was easily caricatured as a big-government catastrophe . . . His domestic policies, whether on climate change or health care or regulatory reform, are reduced to items on a standard liberal wish list . . . too timid to confront the financial industry backers of his own campaign . . . and too fearful of sounding like a vulgar partisan populist . . . Obama offers no overarching narrative . . . Even. . . Warren Buffett . . . sounds more fired up about unregulated derivatives and more outraged about unpunished finance-industry executives than the president does.
Yikes. This from one of PBO's historically most avid supporters. The column's concluding words are "the clock runs out on Nov. 2." If Rich is representative of Dem thinking and emotion, that clock might sound very loudly indeed.