As Barack Obama's second year in office comes to a close, a dark reality is starting to set in on his once adoring fans in the media: he is in way over his head.
The most recent press member to reach this conclusion is Time's Mark Halperin whose Monday column "Why Obama Is Losing the Political War" asserts that many of his colleagues now share this pessimistic view of the man currently sitting in the White House:
With the exception of core Obama Administration loyalists, most politically engaged elites have reached the same conclusions: the White House is in over its head, isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless about how to get along with or persuade members of Congress, the media, the business community or working-class voters. This view is held by Fox News pundits, executives and anchors at the major old-media outlets, reporters who cover the White House, Democratic and Republican congressional leaders and governors, many Democratic business people and lawyers who raised big money for Obama in 2008, and even some members of the Administration just beyond the inner circle. [...]
[T]here is a growing perception that Obama's decisions are causing harm — that businesses are being hurt by the Administration's legislation and that economic recovery is stalling because of the uncertainty surrounding energy policy, health care, deficits, housing, immigration and spending.
And that sentiment is spreading.
After listing some of Obama's legislative accomplishments, and pointing out the tough situation the new President "inherited," Halperin made quite clear who he thinks is largely responsible for the current White House resident's sagging image:
But Obama has exacerbated his political problems not just by failing to enact policies that would have actually turned the economy around, but also by authorizing a series of tactical moves intended to demonize Republicans and distract from the problems at hand. He has wasted time lambasting his foes when he should have been putting forth his agenda in a clear, optimistic fashion, defending the benefits of his key decisions during the past two years (health care and the Troubled Asset Relief Program, for example) and explaining what he would do with a re-elected Democratic majority to spur growth.
Throughout the year, we have been treated to Obama-led attacks on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Congressman Joe Barton (for his odd apology to BP), John Boehner (for seeking the speakership — or was it something about an ant?) and Fox News (for everything). Suitable Democratic targets in some cases, perhaps, but not worth the time of a busy Commander in Chief. In the past few days, we have witnessed the spectacle of the President himself and his top advisers wading into allegations that Republicans are attempting to buy the election using foreign money laundered through the Chamber of Commerce, combining with Karl Rove and his wealthy backers to fund a flood of negative television commercials. Not only is this issue convoluted and far-fetched, but it also distracts from the issues voters care about, frustrating political insiders and alienating struggling citizens (not that many are following such an offbeat story line).
Indeed. Almost since Inauguration Day, Obama has played the victim card pointing his finger at everyone else rather than facing the country's problems head on.
Of course, Obama's shortcomings certainly wouldn't have been a surprise if virtually every media member in the country had done his or her job during the presidential campaign and actually examined the junior senator from Illinois' qualifications.
As Ed Morrissey sarcastically quipped at Hot Air Monday:
Gee, who could have guessed that Obama didn’t have the skills or experience needed to handle the toughest executive position in the Free World? It’s not as if anyone pointed out that Obama never held an executive position in his life, had only three years in the US Senate, and just seven in the state legislature — where he cast over 130 “present” votes rather than go on the record on contentious issues. Did anyone highlight Candidate Obama’s connections to radicals, his insularity among his hard-Left patrons and advisers, and his utter lack of a record of accomplishment outside of getting himself elected? [...]
But … but … but … experience and competence were bad in 2008, remember? The media insisted that what America needed was change. And Hope! They assured us that Obama was no unthinking ideologue, but the Smartest Man Ever To Live In The White House. Every utterance was sheer brilliance, and every promise that he would transcend partisan politics the God’s Honest Truth.
Quite so therefore making this what happens when media members abdicate their journalistic responsibility in order to assist someone's election.
The only question remaining is whether these same folks that dishonestly enabled Obama's ascendancy to the most powerful position in the land will learn from their mistakes.