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The Press (and the Public?) is Catching on to Obama (Updated)

John on July 24, 2008 at 10:08 am

Yesterday, Katie Couric deployed the kind of attack-style-questioning she previously had reserved for Republicans. Obama clearly didn’t do well answering questions about the surge and now (at last) the rest of the press is starting to catch on.

Today, David Broder notes his failure in passing, though most of his column is another Obama buff job. More direct is the editorial in USA Today, which says in part:

Why then can’t Obama bring himself to acknowledge the surge worked better than he and other skeptics, including this page, thought it would? What does that stubbornness say about the kind of president he’d be?

In recent comments, the Democratic presidential candidate has grudgingly conceded that the troops helped lessen the violence, but he has insisted that the surge was a dubious policy because it allowed the situation in Afghanistan to deteriorate and failed to produce political breakthroughs in Iraq. Even knowing the outcome, he told CBS News Tuesday, he still wouldn’t have supported the idea.

That’s hard to fathom. Even if you believe that the invasion of Iraq was a grievous error  —  and it was  —  the U.S. should still make every effort to leave behind a stable situation. Obama seems stuck in the first part of that thought process, repeatedly proclaiming that he was right to oppose the war and disparaging worthwhile efforts to fix the mess it created. Hence, his dismissal of the surge as “a tactical victory imposed upon a huge strategic blunder.”

Regular readers will note that last indignant point was made by me nine days ago. But, hey, at least they’re catching up.

Perhaps the best part of the USA Today editorial is that they’ve already caught on to the inherent hypocrisy in Obama’s position:

Another irony is that while Obama downplays the effectiveness of the surge in Iraq, he is urging a similar tactic now in Afghanistan.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air dilates on this point:

What makes this even more odd is that Obama at once refuses to acknowledge the success of these changes in Iraq and yet insists on increasing troop levels in Afghanistan…If more troops didn’t bring the security that Iraq now has, why increase the troops in Afghanistan? And if it will work in Afghanistan, why won’t Obama acknowledge that it worked in Iraq and that he had it wrong all along?

Will any member of the fawning press put the question to Obama in this way? It’s pretty sad, as a Republican, when your best hope for a tough interview is Katie Couric.

Meanwhile, there’s some indication that Obama’s poor responses to this issue is having an effect. Stay tuned.

Update: To good to miss…Melanie Phillips on “Princess Obama”:

Such a suspension of disbelief calls to mind someone else closer to home: Princess Diana, who also inspired hysterical adoration because she, too, became an icon of idealism — challenging the established order.

A deeply attractive figure, she seemed to embody hope for a better universe by appealing to emotion rather than reason. Love, as embodied by ‘the queen of people’s hearts’, was held to be the key to a better, kinder, gentler world. There was even a sense that her mere touch was sufficient to heal the afflicted.

It was, of course, all pure fantasy. People had fallen for a carefully spun image which bore little relation to the manipulative and unstable woman who was the real Diana, but which spoke to something deep inside them.

So it is with Obama. Americans’ natural optimism makes them want to believe that, as a black man with a Muslim background (another thing he has cleverly obfuscated), he can heal all wounds, including the U.S.’s history of racism, and bring peace to the world just by being who he is.

[...]

His very incoherence over policy, the fact we don’t know what he really believes in, enables people to project onto him their hopes and desires. He is the perfect fantasy politician. He is America’s very own Princess Obama.

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Category: Politics |

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