Ready for an exercise in tortured logic? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Pay especially close attention to Roger Simon’s last paragraph:
Honest to goodness, the man just does not get it. He might be forced to pull a Palin and resign before his first term is over. He could go off and write his memoirs and build his presidential library. (Both would be half-size, of course.)
I am not saying Obama is not smart; he is as smart as a whip. I am just saying he does not understand what savvy first-term presidents need to understand:
You have to stay on message, follow the polls, listen to your advisers (who are writing the message and taking the polls) and realize that when it comes to doing what is right versus doing what is expedient, you do what is expedient so that you can get reelected and do what is right in the second term. If at all possible. And it will help your legacy. And not endanger the election of others in your party. And not hurt the brand. Or upset people too much.
So because Obama is trying to do what he promised voters, to change the tone in Washington and be honest with Americans, he’s doomed to fail.
Don’t think that’s what Simon is saying?
Well, here ya go…
The problem for Obama is that he appears to have taken seriously all the “change” stuff he promised during his campaign. And he has been unable to make the transition from candidate to president.
By the way, who controls whether or not stories like the Ground Zero mosque get attention? Hint: it ain’t the politicians.
Basically, “Listen kid, play by the rules and act the way we think you should act or else we will tear you to shreds for doing something we don’t expect.”
By the way, Obama has said repeatedly that he’d rather be a one term president and do the right things then be the type of two term ideologue that Simon describes. And while I’d hate to see him lose in 2012, I find that sentiment to be spot on. So whether you agree with the point that Obama has conducted himself differently than other presidents, I hope we can agree that you can’t change things by being the same.
So, the questions are…will Washington ever make any headway when it comes to reform if the media is this cynical? Or was Simon just playing coy with this editorial and thinks Obama should continue to do the right thing, even if it doesn’t get him reelected? I can hear a whisper of that in his piece, but perhaps it wasn’t intentional.