Read the NY Times liberal columnists — Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd and Bob Herbert — and you’ll come away with the impression we have the most toothless, ineffective, spineless leader ever in the White House (Krugman, of course, has been loudly hating on Obama longer and louder than FoxNews, and never really forgave Obama for beating Hilary Clinton).
The torrent of legislation passed the last two years — health care reform, financial reform, education reform, deep investments in clean energy and transportation funding, not to mention efforts to keep the economy from falling into the abyss? None of that really matters. That Obama has gotten more progressive policies put in place than any Democrat since LBJ, or FDR, to help the poor and the middle class? Doesn’t matter. These folks don’t really care about achievements (or, they’ll be glad to nitpick and tell you why a particular reform or bill wasn’t quite perfect).
What appears to matter to the liberal pundit class is theatrics. Fiery, “principled” rhetoric. We’re having a love affair with Bill Clinton again — “he had the balls to stand up to the Republicans!” But riddle me this: what was the signature, progressive achievement of his presidency? I’ll be waiting with baited breath for your answer, Mr. Krugman (or from your acolytes).
I actively, proudly supported Obama — and still do — because I wanted an adult in the White House after eight years of being governed by a miscreant. And that’s pretty much what we’ve gotten — an intelligent, cool, and collected man who has dealt with a greater array of crises than any president in decades and done his best to fashion coherent and sensible policy responses.
The only disappointment I have is with the ideologues of both the left and the right; my liberal friends who assume every compromise is just a sell-out move or the result of some nefarious conspiracy (“Geithner is a Goldman Sachs pawn!”) and conservative Republicans who can’t seem to take any ownership for any of their disastrous policies over the past 30 years and have never encountered a problem that couldn’t be solved with a tax cut.
Where did the adults go?