But getting back to the main point here: this is a remarkably stupid plan, if true. It will not "disarm" critics who say that Obama is reflexively anti-business, any more than having Bob Gates at Defense "disarmed" critics of Obama's approach to terror -- indeed, actually expanding the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan and killing a lot of terrorists didn't slow down those who were intent on claiming that Obama was some sort of secret bin Laden sympathizer. It doesn't work like that. Critics will say what they will say, and it mostly doesn't matter, and at any rate there's nothing you can do about it. What you can do, however, is have a well-run White House and do your best to have a well-run government.
This cannot be stated often enough, loud enough, or broadcast widely enough.
Let me point out something very obvious which Bernstein missed: the "critics" which the Obama Administration is supposedly trying to disarm are conservative ones. Apparently no one gives a crap about left wing critics. I know, y’all are shocked.
And yes, this is incredibly, stunningly stupid. Dear, sweet Democrats: conservatives will never, ever like you. NEVER. EVER. Quit trying to “please” them with your policies. Just do your shit and be done with it.
Now, if these reports are simply a nod to an important constituency on the way to choosing whoever is the best available man or woman for the job, well, no harm done. But if the administration is really more concerned about the short-term reaction to the selection -- how it plays in the press, rather than how it will help the president govern as well as possible -- then it's both a terrible mistake and a sign of real screwed up priorities. It will certainly be interesting to see which it is.
Oh, I’m pretty sure we know which one it is. I think we’ve seen politics trump policy pretty much repeatedly, on everything from GITMO and terror trials and the anemic stimulus to the bungled healthcare "reform" and Wall Street "reform." And this is the great failure not just of President Obama but the Democratic Party in general.
Look, people: You cannot govern under a fear of criticism. The Republican Party wants back in power. They twisted the president’s Nobel Peace Prize into a negative. Conservatives criticized the president partaking of Sunday communion. Does that not tell you something?
Rush Limbaugh will NEVER like you! Sean Hannity will always say mean things about you! Mitch McConnell will always cast aspersions on your motives and character. This is as sure as the sun rising in the East each morning. And if there isn’t something real these people can criticize, they will make shit up. Hell, they’ll make shit up anyway. So quit trying to please the very people whose entire relevance as a political force is based on hatred of you. President Bush did whatever he wanted because he was resolute, and resolute trumps wrong every single time. Learn a lesson here, people.
During the primaries my biggest concern about Obama was that he wouldn’t have the spine to fight off conservative criticism and fulfill his campaign promises. My biggest concern about Hillary Clinton was that Clinton Derangement Syndrome would dominate our politics once again -- the “Clinton is a serial rapist” and "they-killed-Vincent-Foster" conspiracy crap. Turns out I was right about the former and wrong about the latter. The conspiracy crap is just as bad if not worse than it was in the Clinton years, but the Obama Administration has shown itself completely unable to deal with it.