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September 26, 2012

Howard Fineman: Gee, It Sure Seems Like The Press Should Question and Criticize Obama Like a Regular Candidate At Some Point In His Career

!!!

I should put on Hardball. This should be awk-ward!, as the homosexuals say.

If American democracy is to work -- if we are to prevent the blood from clotting in the body politic -- presidential elections must be real contests over real ideas and real records, informed by real facts.

This campaign hasn't really been any of those things.

Presidents do not deserve to be reelected by default. If they did, why would anyone expect that a second term to be any better or wiser?

And elected leaders need to be held to account -- pinned up against the wall, so to speak -- if citizens aren't to become utterly disillusioned with the idea that we live in a system of democratic self-government.

...

Unless I missed it, the president has yet to give a detailed answer to why he has failed to meet or even come close to his promises about reducing the unemployment rate. Saying that the task was harder than he initially thought isn't (or shouldn't be) a convincing explanation.

He hasn't given a detailed answer as to why he and his top advisers, led by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, failed to focus sufficiently on reviving the housing market, rather than just bailing out banks.

He hasn't explained why his own administration is now saying that at least 6 million Americans, most of them in the middle class, will indeed face a tax increase (penalty) in 2014 if they do not buy health insurance -- a new estimate substantially higher than earlier ones.

He hasn't explained whether he shares any blame for the failure of budget talks on a grand compromise. And if the art of presidential leadership is to cajole your foes into doing deals they don't want to do, what are we to make of his famous charming effectiveness?

...

He hasn't said how, even with a Simpson-Bowles-style budget deal, the country is going to seriously grapple with long-term unfunded liabilities in the tens of trillions.

I could go on.

He did go on. I had to cut some of the left-wingy stuff.

Fineman spins through a plethora of possible explanations for this until, in his last attempt to explain it, he dares to mention...

MEDIA. Obama was such a cool and uplifting story to so many in the media in 2008 that they essentially ceded ground to him that they have yet to reclaim.

Yeah, maybe. Perhaps we should look into this one. In a column all about "Why the Media Never Calls Obama to Account," perhaps it is worth scrutinizing the media whose failures these are.

Instead of suggesting, in the the first three guesses, that it's Romney's fault to one degree or another.

Romney wasn't the candidate in 2008, and yet the media did the same thing -- per Fineman's own confession of failure.


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posted by Ace at 05:05 PM

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