Imagine President Barack Obama leaning hard into Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, pressing him to support a piece of legislation or, say, introduce a budget bill that has been MIA for the past three years. Obama is a real go getter and has been burning up the phone lines until late at night to convince legislators to support him. He even invites a number of people from Capitol Hill to join him for rounds of golf where he continues the art of persuasion.
Hard to believe that fantasy? Well, that is what the Washington Post opinion writer Richard Cohen is fervently wishing for. Cohen's magic genie wish, inspired by the newly published Robert Caro book, The Passage of Power, is that Obama will do a complete U-turn on his introverted, hands-off personality and become like Lyndon B. Johnson. Here is Cohen going into flights of fantasy on this topic in his latest column with the somewhat less than ringing endorsement title, What Obama doesn’t know about being president:
Today's starter topic: Liberals fancy themselves to be the best proponents of free speech and tolerance. But when actual political speech is at issue rather than theoretical speech, their boasts are often revealed to be mere posturing. That's why we thought it'd be nice to start off today's OT by giving some well-deserved praise to Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen for mounting a solid defense for political speech against the self-interested censors of the liberal press:
Early this morning, I noted how two AP writers seemed to be hoping that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will be the Republican Party's presidential nominee, in the process ignoring inconvenient facts like his failure to get over 25% in any poll covered at Real Clear Politics since mid-July while failing to even mention Herman Cain's name until the report's eleventh paragraph (a Rasmussen poll today breaks Romney's three-month dry spell, showing him at 29%, tied with Herman Cain). Sadly, what the AP writes is important for readers to know, because the wire service's copy is read and relayed without question by most of its thousands of subscribing outlets.
Not that learning about the following is anywhere near as important, but in case you're wondering about the GOP presidential nominee preferences and perceptions among several of the pundits at the Washington Post, wonder no more:
The political prognosticator Charlie Cook appeared on National Public Radio on July 11 and summarized perfectly the media narrative on the debt-limit battle. Boehner, Cook said, “is not a burn-the-barn-down, break-the-china kind of guy [and] he does not necessarily reflect the views of a majority...of the House Republican Conference, who are of the burn-the-barn-down, break-the-china mold.”
Hold on here. Why is it destructive to insist on a limited government? Why is fiscal sanity equated with pyromania? Cook was brought on as a “nonpartisan” analyst, but there’s nothing either civil or accurate in casting conservatives as barn-burners.
The Washington Post had better refrain from telling other media outlets to tone down their rhetoric, for on Sunday, one of the paper's longest running columnists asked on national television, "How much time do we have left to talk about how stupid Sarah Palin is?"
Such was said by Richard Cohen, a man that has been with the Post since 1968, towards the end of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If you thought the media attacks on Sarah Palin and her family were deplorable in 2008, it's clear with the 2012 presidential campaign starting and her name being bandied about, you ain't seen nuttin' yet.
Take the Washington Post's Richard Cohen for example who penned a column Tuesday concluding, "She could not be the president of black America nor of Hispanic America":
As Barack Obama's poll numbers collapse along with the fate of Democrats in November, more of the President's fans are calling for heads to roll at the White House.
Just four days after Chris "Tingle Up The Leg" Matthews called for both Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to be given their walking papers, the Washington Post's Richard Cohen warned that if Obama doesn't fire some key people, Americans are going to fire him.
Ignoring the current political reality for wishful thinking of bygone days, Politico’sRichard Cohen wrote a nice bluff piece today for Democrat anti-life CO Rep. Diana DeGette, strongly pushing a bill to force taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. Such legislation would render mute the August 23 federal court ruling that federally funded escr violates federal law by killing that law.
Cohen has either not seen or is ignoring (would bet it's the latter) the August 27 Rasmussen poll that showed a stunning reversal of American thought on paying for escr.
While 17 mos. ago a slight majority (52%) supported President Obama’s now-enjoined executive order authorizing public-funded escr, 57% today oppose it. Now, only 1/3 of America (exactly: 33%) support what DeGette is pushing.
I’m sure DeGette knows about the poll but is attempting a bluff, wanting her shaky colleagues and leadership to think public-funded escr is in the bag and that it would be to their political benefit to have a hand in this done deal. From the article:
Just how little confidence is there in the ability of the Barack Obama administration to fight terrorism? So little that even liberal Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen is now mocking the pathetic efforts of this administration in his latest column:
There is almost nothing the Obama administration does regarding terrorism that makes me feel safer. Whether it is guaranteeing captured terrorists that they will not be waterboarded, reciting terrorists their rights, or the legally meandering and confusing rule that some terrorists will be tried in military tribunals and some in civilian courts, what is missing is a firm recognition that what comes first is not the message sent to America's critics but the message sent to Americans themselves. When, oh when, will this administration wake up?
It's one thing to justifiably criticize an author for dubious claims. It's quite another to assert that the same author supported something heinous he adamantly opposes. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow did both over the last two weeks.
Maddow's regular viewers have recently learned a great deal about Ugandan politics, as nearly every broadcast of her show since late November has featured a segment on proposed legislation in Uganda calling for harsh penalties against gays, including execution.
Here's a headline I bet you didn't expect to see at one of America's leading newspapers:
Don't Blame Jim Cramer
To be perfectly honest, I rarely agree with Richard Cohen, but on St. Patrick's Day 2009, the Washington Post columnist wrote truths virtually no mainstream media member has dared utter since the "Mad Money" host first left the Obama reservation:
Conservatives still licking their wounds over the results of the November elections finally have something to cheer about: you don't have to read Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne's articles anymore because you know he's supporting Barack Obama.
So deliciously said MSNBC's Joe Scarborough to Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart on Tuesday's "Morning Joe" with the latter actually not disagreeing.
The context of the discussion was another Post writer's Tuesday column in which Richard Cohen came down strongly on Obama's decision to have Rick Warren give the invocation during the upcoming Inauguration.
This led to the following fabulous exchange between Scarborough and Capehart (video embedded below the fold, h/t Ms Underestimated, file photo):
Admission: Lawrence O'Donnell is emerging as one of my favorite media liberals. On the one hand, almost exactly one year ago, his anti-Mormon rant spurred me to action. But lately, watching him as a frequent MSNBC guest, I've been impressed by his acumen and willingness to call them as he sees them.
Take O'Donnell's intervention on tonight's "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," where he made the salient point that the scandal of the Marc Rich pardon is, ironically, being held against AG nominee Eric Holder . . . while Hillary Clinton skates.
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen has taken a divorce from reality in recommending that Barack Obama appoint the "Custodian of the Planet," Al Gore, as Secretary of state. Cohen submits this proposal, along with other wacky ideas, in his latest column (emphasis mine):
If there is a single appointment Barack Obama could make to signal how dramatically things will change in Washington, it would be to name Albert Gore Jr. -- former House member, former senator, former vice president, former presidential nominee and current Custodian of the Planet -- as secretary of state. For all the other aspirants to the job, sorry -- this is an inconvenient truth.
Imagine the outrage in feminist circles if a conservative columnist had mockingly analogized a sitting Dem governor to an animal. But Richard Cohen has said as much of Sarah Palin. And I predict you won't hear a peep from the Kim Gandys or Naomi Wolffs of the world—much less from their allies in the MSM.
Cohen begins his WaPo column of today by dismissing Palin as "a sitcom of a vice presidential choice and a disaster movie if she moves up to the presidency." After noting Newt's defense of her nomination, Cohen continues [emphasis added]:
It's a pity Gingrich was not around when the Roman Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, better known by his nickname Caligula, reputedly named Incitatus as a consul and a priest. Incitatus was his horse.
Since the first Democrat caucuses and primaries began in January, there has been a consistent media theme that it's acceptable for blacks to vote for Barack Obama because he's black, but racist for whites to vote for Hillary Clinton because she's white.
On Tuesday's "Morning Joe," MSNBC's Pat Buchanan exposed how utterly absurd and hypocritical this view is even as the Washington Post's Richard Cohen actually defended it.
What resulted was likely a far more honest discussion about race and racism in this nation than what Obama offered to the American people on March 18 when he tried to explain his connection to Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Without further ado, here were some of the highlights (video embedded right, grateful h/t Countdown to Hardball):
Old liberal-media errors never die. They fade away, then pop back up. Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen recycled a 20-year-old inaccuracy on Tuesday, suggesting the George H. W. Bush campaign used Willie Horton’s face in a 1988 commercial. Wrong.
He was a convicted murderer who was given a weekend furlough from a Massachusetts prison and went on to rape a woman in Maryland. Dukakis was governor of Massachusetts when Horton was furloughed. The Bush campaign seized on Horton and, in a powerful and repugnant commercial, ran his mug shot: an image of a bearded black man. There it was in one nifty package -- race, crime and liberalism. It's a wonder Dukakis didn't stay in that tank.
As we pointed out back in the George H.W. Bush years, the usual ad featured in news reports (and now in college poli-sci courses) was funded by the National Security PAC, not the Bush campaign. Their Dukakis-furlough ad featured all races and never mentioned Horton's name.