September 15, 2010


Obama's Mystifying Strategy (KARL ROVE, 9/15/10, WSJ)

I don't often expect to find myself supportive of President Barack Obama. But I didn't think I'd be as mystified by his actions over the past few months as I have been.

Mr. Obama and his team won a well-deserved reputation during the 2008 campaign for message discipline and a keen appreciation for how Americans would receive his words and actions.

That's why it's so surprising that, in just 20 months, Mr. Obama has lost control of his presidency's narrative. He has done things that are inexplicable, creating the impression of a White House that is clueless, rudderless and arrogant.

For example, what was to be gained by the president attacking the largely unknown House minority leader, John Boehner, last week? Set aside the unfairness of the charges and focus only on the efficacy of the president lowering himself that way.

...Laura Miller accidentally explained what the White House is up to today in Salon, The paranoid style in American punditry (Laura Miller, 9/15/10, Salon)
I spent most of August more or less disconnected from TV, the Internet and print news outlets, so when I caught up with a friend on the phone, I asked him to brief me on which stories had captured the nation's attention. He tried to explain the controversy over the Park51 Islamic culture center, but it wasn't easy. "So, why is this anti-Muslim panic coming up now?" I asked. "What triggered it?" "I keep going back to Richard Hofstadter's 'The Paranoid Style in American Politics,'" he replied. "It's not necessarily about Islam. These people need an enemy."

Of course, given the UR's messianic view of himself, any political opponent is a de facto enemy.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at September 15, 2010 6:52 PM
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