Throughout last year's presidential campaign, NewsBusters routinely reported that without the unprofessional and unconditional support of an adoring media, Barack Obama would never have gotten past the Iowa caucuses let alone John McCain.
One of his staunchest fans was Newsweek's Howard Fineman who right after Election Day said: “Obama's changing everything as he moves. His victory speech last night in Grant Park...was so memorable on so many levels.”
Well, like many so-called journalists who sycophantically gushed and fawned so much last year that they sent an inexperienced, unqualified junior senator who had never written one signficant piece of legislation straight to the most powerful office in the land, Fineman is now having second thoughts (file photo):
If the establishment still has power, it is a three-sided force, churning from inside the Beltway, from Manhattan-based media and from what remains of corporate America. Much of what they are saying is contradictory, but all of it is focused on the president:
- The $787 billion stimulus, gargantuan as it was, was in fact too small and not aimed clearly enough at only immediate job-creation.
- The $275 billion home-mortgage-refinancing plan, assembled by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, is too complex and indirect.
- The president gave up the moral high ground on spending not so much with the "stim" but with the $400 billion supplemental spending bill, larded as it was with 9,000 earmarks.
- The administration is throwing good money after bad in at least two cases—the sinkhole that is Citigroup (there are many healthy banks) and General Motors (they deserve what they get). [...]
- A willingness to give too much leeway to Congress to handle crucial details, from the stim to the vague promise to "reform" medical care without stating what costs could be cut.
- A 2010 budget that tries to do far too much, with way too rosy predictions on future revenues and growth of the economy. This led those who fear we are about to go over Niagara Falls to deride Obama as a paddler who'd rather redesign the canoe.
- A treasury secretary who has been ridiculed on "Saturday Night Live" and compared to Doogie Howser, Barney Fife and Macaulay Culkin in "Home Alone"—and those are the nice ones.
- A seeming paralysis in the face of the banking crisis: unwilling to nationalize banks, yet unable to figure out how to handle toxic assets in another way—by, say, setting up a "bad bank" catch basin. [...]
- Obama is no socialist, but critics argue that now is not the time for costly, upfront spending on social engineering in health care, energy or education.
Other than all that, in the eyes of the big shots, he is doing fine. The American people remain on his side, but he has to be careful that the gathering judgment of the Bigs doesn't trickle down to the rest of us.
Well, Howard, maybe if you would have done your job last year rather than acted like a teenybopper in the presence of a rock star America would have found out just how unqualified this man was BEFORE they voted.