January 9th, 2013

Same old topics, same old story

You may notice that I’ve been writing a somewhat higher proportion of my posts on topics that are not all that political. There’s a reason for that.

Every morning I go to certain sites to read the stories of the day—for example, memeorandum. Ever since the election it’s been pretty much the same thing (actually, even before the election it was pretty much the same thing): Obama’s latest attempts to outrage the opposition and demonize it, the MSM’s fawning support of him, and the left’s chortling and crowing and celebrating in the end zone about it all. Plus a heavy does of people saying what a bunch of disorganized, angry, racist, nasty, permanent-and-forever losers the Republicans are.

That’s the left’s prerogative, of course. After all, They Won. There will be a lot more of that sort of thing from them in the next four years—and, if they’re right about the future of conservatism, for the foreseeable future.

There’s not really all that much to say about the actual articles any more, at least nothing that’s not been said about a hundred times here (although I’ll probably continue to say it). For example, today this Politico piece caught my eye as a fine and somewhat subtle example of the genre. With a straight face (if an article can be said to have a face), it treats the president’s bellicosity towards Republicans as something new and different, something that just began as a result of Obama’s victory and higher approval rating, and his recent negotiations with Republicans.

This gives you a bit of the flavor, in case you don’t want to read the whole piece:

Obama, the same president who campaigned twice on breaking the cycle of conflict in Washington, sees the utility — even the necessity — of rattling Republican cages as he plunges into a succession of upcoming battles…Obama’s willingness to take a more overtly adversarial stance is, in part, a nod to the reality that he’s about to start his second term with solid approval numbers…

But it would be a mistake to attribute all of Obama’s actions to dispassionate tactics. After four-plus years of embittered partisan combat, he views his GOP bargaining partners with more than a little contempt, and he momentarily vanquished enemies who just can’t say “yes” to him.

His apparent conclusion, after watching the implosion of the House GOP’s effort to pass a modest tax increase before the final fiscal cliff deal, is that the best way to deal with the Capitol is to throw rocks at it — then send Vice President Joe Biden in to clean up the glass.

No more Mr. Nice Guy, that Obama. Finally, he’s taking off the gloves and viewing those “bargaining partners” who “just can’t say ‘yes’ to him” with contempt.

Where do the authors of the piece think we’ve been for the last four years? Reading Politico, that’s where.

[NOTE: As an aside, what is the phrase “bargaining partner” supposed to mean? Does it not imply an actual give-and-take between the two sides, rather than one side just saying “yes” to the other? But long ago, Obama re-defined the idea of the bargain as “my way or the highway—and at the same time I’ll get the press to say I’m actually the one willing to concede and that my opponents are the intransigent ones.”

Nothing like the confidence that comes from having the press parked firmly in your corner.]

6 Responses to “Same old topics, same old story”

  1. KLSmith Says:

    I quit reading Politico about 18 months ago. Don’t want to give them the traffic reward for their biased “reporting”.

  2. reticent Says:

    Between your always incisive analysis and the great commentary from your readers, I always enjoy this blog, no matter the subject.

    There’s something to be said for taking a step back from the back and forth of day-to-day politics for a while, though I hope you don’t stop blogging about it entirely.

    The posts that you’ve done in recent weeks that took broader looks at politics and history, like the one on WWI, were wonderful think pieces that helped my understanding of how those historical events have rippled through and shaped our society and our politics today.

    Your takes on art, culture and food are always interesting, and while I dislike the fact that so many of aspects of our lives have become politicized, it should be noted that even these subjects are part of the broader culture war between leftists and conservatives because of their influence on how we view the world.

  3. Teri Pittman Says:

    It’s interesting that Obama “won” but somehow, the Republicans elected to the House and Senate didn’t. I realize that Obama thinks he received 100% of the vote, but he actually did worse than in 2008. There is no reason to let him run rough-shod over Congress. There are a lot of people opposed to Obama and would love to see the Repubs fight back.

  4. Jan of MN Says:

    Teri Pittman Says:
    “It’s interesting that Obama “won” but somehow, the Republicans elected to the House and Senate didn’t.”

    Unfortunately, some Congressional Republicans don’t act as if they had won. Are they so intimidated by Obama? Don’t they know how excited we’d be to see some honest-to-goodness opposition?

    I can see his artificial poses way out here in flyover land, why can’t everyone? It’s the baffling question of the decade.

  5. parker Says:

    Congress has allowed the office of the president to take on more authority and power dating back to at least Wilson. The house is supposed to hold the purse strings, yet they allowed the regime to deficit spend 1+ trillion in 2011 and 2012 when the republicans controlled the house. They still control the house. As much as I dislike BHO’s attitude and agenda, this doesn’t rest on his shoulders alone. Congress needs to exercise its responsibilities, powers, and authorities.

    Just say no to any more tax hikes that BHO and democrats propose. Just say they will not raise the debt limit unless entitlement reform is negotiated. Stop letting BHO and his MSM hordes push you around. And stop being the bad boys who won’t say yes to BHO. Hire PR agents to help you explain why raising the debt ceiling every year without entitlement reform and other spending cuts is harmful to the long term health of the economy and the future of our children and grandchildren.

    Cut everything by 10% including the Pentagon, education, funding research on the sex life of ants, and all the other program in the DC cornucopia. Announce a 10% pay cut for every federal employee and make it a 20% cut for those who make over $250,000 bureaucrats and politicians alike. Use the democrats rhetoric against them: fairness, for the children, etc.

    Hang together, be clear in your message, and pass a modest increase in the debt limit and send a budget to the senate with no more than $200,000,000 deficit. Then the democrat controlled senate and ultimately BHO will have to explain why they are the ones that refuse to negotiate.

  6. parker Says:

    And keep pushing for thorough investigations on F&F and 4 dead in Benghazi. These two issues deserve the attention of the congress and the nation at large. Many people were involved in these deadly fiascos and they must be compelled to testify and produce documentation. And it must be transparent via the cameras of C-Span.

    Krauthammer has not lose interest: http://tinyurl.com/atcwy4r

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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