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April 29, 2011

The God That Fails: Round-Up of Obama Stuff From Last Night

I was posting later than usual so maybe you missed.

This analysis by Walter Russell Meade about Obama's tendency to fail is the current buzzworthy thing among the intellectual establishment.

The President looks like a man who is ridden by events; at just the moment when the nation craves a strong leader, the President looks weak, dodgy, uncertain. The contrast with the inflated hopes that an untested and inexperienced Senator Obama did so much to build up is crippling. Obama has fallen so far precisely because he and his supporters so hugely oversold him.

...

We are starting to get to know this President a little better, and his chief besetting fault is increasingly clear: the President falls between stools. He is a man of half measures, a man who spends so much money hedging his bets that he loses even when he wins.

Time and again the President angers one side without conciliating the other....

This repeated lunge for the sour spot — the place where costs are high and benefits are low — now seems to be a trademark of the President’s decision-making style. On the left it is earning him Carter comparisons from people like Eric Alterman; on the right it means that despite his compromises and yielding of significant ground he continues to feed the incandescent hostility of his bitterest foes....

Here is the paradox we face: The President is a consensus-seeker whose decision making style rewards polarization and a conciliator who loses friends without winning over enemies.

The President’s problem is not, I think, that he seeks compromise. It is that the type of compromise he chooses is so ineffective. Splitting the difference is not leadership; leadership is looking at the positions of two sides and finding creative new directions that give something to all sides — but move the ball down the field.

I've omitted all the details/evidence presented in furtherance of this basic case, but they're worth reading. It's a good as any other (non-partisan, non-ideological) explanation for why he's such a failure.

Because it's not expressly ideological, it will be seized upon by the MBM as the Neutral Story Line explaining Obama's failures in terms appealing to liberals.

That said, it's still a smart piece. In addition to the ideological problems not mentioned here, Obama's inexperience and poor instincts cause him to fail and fail again.

In this funny piece I noted that Obama is doing victory laps over his ability to successfully produce a common form of I.D.

And BloggingHeads had a very interesting debate by two black intellectual Obama-voters over what his victory meant, and what is likely failure will mean.


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posted by Ace at 02:53 PM

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