The Washington Post is a newspaper that thrives on a readership that lives largely off big government. Over the thirty years that I have lived in Fairfax, Virginia never once has the Post endorsed a Republican for the White House. This time is no different, though the tone of the Editorial was lukewarm to cold. ‘We recommend Obama while pinching our nose tightly in order to avoid the stench!’
Two leading columns published on October 29, 2012, summarize Beltway reservations about the man revered by the Post as the Second Coming of the Messiah in October 2008.
The first column is by Richard Cohen, a left-leaning Jewish columnist who tends to be more fair-minded than some of his far-left colleagues (Eugene Robinson and Etienne Dionne). Cohen adored Robert F. Kennedy and , in today’s column, he compares and contrasts RFK with Barack Obama”
“Kennedy had huge causes. End poverty. End the war. He challenged a sitting president over Vietnam. It could have cost him his career. It did cost him his life…Obama never espoused a cause bigger than his own political survival. This is the gravaman of the indictment from the left, particularly certain African Americans…On the movie screen, Robert F. Kennedy’s appeal was obvious: authenticity. He cared. He showed it. People saw that and cared about him in return. With Obama, the process is reversed. It’s hard to care about someone who seems not to care in return…after watching Bobby Kennedy, I will vote for Obama with regret. I wish he was the man I once mistook him for.” Richard Cohen, ‘The president who doesn’t care’, The Washington Post, October 29, 2012
Michael Gerson is a middle-of-the-road columnist who has not yet committed to either presidential candidate. Here are some of his expressed reservations about the Messiah’s behavior with respect to the passage of Obamacare:
“Obama placed a highly ideological debate on the size and role of government at the center of U.S. politics. He contributed to extreme polarization in Congress and the public. He exhausted his political capital on an issue that had little to do with the immediate economic crisis the country was facing. He invited the backlash midterm election of 2010 – including the loss of 63 Democratic House seats – which effectively ended the creative period of his presidency. Obama achieved all of this with a quick and dirty legislative shove that further discredited the political process. The final bill was passed through a maneuver – the reconciliation process – that embittered opponents and assured that a future GOP majority would engage in retribution….Obama tends to overestimate his own negotiating skills with Congress, which are poor…When the ideological stakes are highest, Obama jettisons bipartisanship with little thought or regret….Obama’s largest achievement turned out to be self-indictment. He has not shown the leadership skills or the inclination to create consensus around large issues.” Michael Gerson, ‘In victory, Obama failed’, The Washington Post, October 29, 2012
With references like those from columnists initially sympathetic to his presidency, one can see why the Messiah struggles. A Messiah who apparently does not care for his own flock can scarcely expect his flock to rally to his side when the multitude gathers to determine whether or not he should be electorally crucified.