In the words of lazy bloggers everywhere: heh. And, may I add: lolsob? In the October 22, 2009 New York Review of Books, Elizabeth Drew writes:
It’s apparent that Obama is still learning the differences between campaigning and governing. And sometimes his inexperience shows. His speeches on health care on Labor Day and before Congress a few days later drew on his old rhetorical skills and finally showed some passion, and the one before Congress was his most effective so far in combining both rhetoric and explanation. But it was of interest that Chuck Todd of NBC reported that before he gave those speeches Obama’s staff had had to get him “fired up” to take on his critics. Obama, whose high self-esteem is well known among close observers, had previously assumed that a “following,” a “movement,” would be there without his having to do much to stimulate it.
Awesome! I disagree with one of Drew’s major premises in this article, which is that Obama faces a uniquely adversarial political environment. For example, she writes, “If Obama does get a bill that contains significant health insurance reforms and substantially expands coverage, he will have achieved more than any other president has, and under far more difficult circumstances.” Whaaaaa? Every U.S. President since Ronald Reagan would have killed to have his party control both the House and the Senate with the kind of majorities that the Dems have right now. (But–Drew may have a point in that Obama has to deal with Democrats in congress, who never manage to stand and deliver the way Republicans do. Then again, I would say that Obama is a model Dem in that respect!) In my party’s defense, I will suggest that it’s trying to serve a broader constituency than the other party serves, especially at this point in our history, when Republicans are now looking about as diverse and as ideologically supple as the Democratic party did round about 1859. (Fire bell in the night on line one!)
Still, so far Obama has only benefited from the winds of political fortune, and as my father always says, “I’d rather be lucky than good.” He could do worse than emulating Bill Clinton’s example–as I have already long since predicted he might–in finding himself quite fortunate in the enemies he makes.
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