August 20, 2010

APPEARANCES ARE NEVER DECEIVING:

The lost promise of Barack Obama (Michael Gerson, August 20, 2010, Washington Post)

The most destructive gap for President Obama is not the Republican lead on the generic congressional ballot or even a job disapproval that has surpassed approval -- it is the gap between aspiration and reality.

The Manhattan mosque controversy showed the problem in compressed form. First came the Obama of high-toned principle (largely the right principle, in my view). Then a politically motivated recalibration. Then a scrambling staff explanation. Then an embarrassed silence, since it is difficult to clarify the clarification of a clarification. Then the president's regretful assertion of "no regrets."

It was more than a lapse. From the firing of Shirley Sherrod to the obsession with Fox News to lashing the "professional left," the Obama administration engages in a daily hypocrisy. It attacks the sound and fury of the cable news cycle while being entirely captive to its rhythms. In the process, it often appears reactive, windblown and unprincipled.


Appears?

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Posted by Orrin Judd at August 20, 2010 5:47 AM
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