Posts Tagged ‘pundits


‘The Punditry vs. the Presidency’


Michael Cohen: The Punditry vs. the Presidency

How the constant chorus of ‘do something’ Obama foreign policy critics gets it wrong

There is a fun foreign policy game making all the rounds in Washington D.C. this summer: Pin the tail on Barack Obama.

Its appeal is not hard to understand; it’s so easy to play.

Step 1: Pick a foreign crisis that touches even slightly on U.S. national security interests. This shouldn’t be hard, because the United States defines practically everything in the world as being an American interest.

Step 2: Make clear that this is no garden-variety problem but rather “the defining crisis of [OBAMA’S] presidency”……

….. Step 6: Publish your condemnation in a major newspaper or news outlet. Wait for a phone call from a booker with a Sunday morning talk show.

There are no points for understanding how international relations work, how U.S. power is actually utilized or how other countries interpret their own interests. There’s no space on the board for tracking the real-life impact of your recommendations.

Foreign policy stewardship would be easy if it were as simple as playing this game. If, as President Obama joked recently, America “control(led) everything around the world,” there wouldn’t be much to decide at all.

More here


It shouldn’t be this hard

One can argue that it was inevitable that a House controlled by the most radical right wing party in the Nation’s history and an Executive Office controlled by one of its most progressive occupants would inevitably lead to stultifying gridlock.

The GOP gave up any pretense of governing last week when Speaker John Boehner threw his lot in with the BENGHAZI deadenders and formed a special committee to investigate what happened that day. (I’m sure you remember the committees he called for to investigate the 60 US diplomatic staffed killed under George W. Bush’s watch. No? Odd.) The Democrats can participate at a 7 to 5 disadvantage, or they can boycott; it really doesn’t matter. Boehner and the GOP are not out for legitimacy. They are, quite simply, having their final, very public nervous breakdown.

Obamacare has succeeded in the way it was designed to succeed. The GOP was rooting for its utter failure, goaded on by groupthink and the admittedly rocky technical problems of the first month. It drank the koolaid thinking that the glitches portended disaster for Obama and the Democrats, obviously unable to comprehend that a website can be fixed, and that dozens of groups would be working to ensure massive enrollment. It went through a brief period of “Obamacare Trutherism”, saying the books had been cooked, or that no one had paid their premiums yet. The final nail in the coffin was today’s testimony by health insurance executives who praised the ACA, frustrating GOP representatives.

And last week’s jobs report showed the economy adding 288,000 jobs in April, beating predictions, with the unemployment rate dropping to 6.3%. (More “cooking the books” on that good news.) Republicans have tried their damnedest to stifle the economy, making voters hurt for daring to elect and re-elect the skinny black guy to the White House. And yet, the funny thing is that people want to work, people want to start and run businesses, people want to make a living and have luxuries. The GOP can stamp its feet all it wants and that won’t change. So the economy grows, assisted by Administration and Federal Reserve policies. If Boehner & Co. had not obstructed, growth would now be greater and the unemployment rate below 6%. They can therefore claim no hand in the upswing in the economy; it was mostly due to Pres. Obama’s policies.

From failure to act on climate change, fixing the broken immigration system, and extending unemployment insurance for those still without work, the GOP has proven both unable and unwilling to solve problems. On any matter of national import it has abdicated responsibility for action. In any decently run company, all the Congressional Republicans would have been fired.

Continue reading ‘It shouldn’t be this hard’



BWD has a live discussion thread on the President’s address at The Only Adult in the Room

BWD posted a link earlier to this wonderful post at Salon:

Tonight, when the President speaks to the nation about Libya, let’s do something different.

Let’s listen. Let’s listen, and then turn the television off and think about what he’s said. Mull it over in your mind, but only after having watched the thing and having imagined that the President was really talking to you.

You see, a lot of helpful people in the media think the viewing public is stupid. Well, a lot of them damned well know it. And the ones who don’t, have actually convinced the viewing public that, because they happen to be  celebrity talking head on television, they know far more and far better what the President wants to say to you, and so they give you their interpretation and tell you that’s what he really, really, really meant to say…..

The rest of the post here







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October 2022