Last week, we blogged with considerable glee concerning the Democrats' apparent decision to campaign on President Obama's legislative record... you know, a record that includes overwhelmingly popular stuff like ObamaCare.
If that indeed is going to be the case, then the President's allies in the media are falling in line with a meme of yeah, the Prez is having a rough go of it of late but look at all the wonderful things he has accomplished!
Here's E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post:
Democrats should feel a lot better than they do. They enacted a health-care bill that had been their dream for more than 60 years. They pulled the country out of a terrifying economic spiral. They are on the verge of passing the biggest reform of Wall Street since the New Deal. The public has identified enemies that are typically seen as Republican allies: oil companies and big bankers. And given the Republicans' past policies, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is at least as much their problem as Obama's.
That the Democrats should take heart that they passed legislation that the majority of Americans don't want is an odd way to look at things. If that's all you've got to go on, however, a suspension of reality doesn't seem so far-fetched.
(We'd like to note that Dionne in the same article can't resist taking a shot at the G.O.P. and what he perceives as a hard swerve to the right as it's being held hostage by the tea party. That a near-record 49% of Americans think the Democratic Party is too liberal vs. 41% thinking the Republican Party is too conservative is not a Dionne talking point.)
And here's Gail Collins writing in the New York Times:
As a political leader, Barack Obama seems to know what he’s doing. His unsatisfying call for a new energy policy sounded very much like the rhetoric on health care reform that used to drive Democrats nuts: open to all ideas, can’t afford inaction, if we can put a man on the moon. ... But at the end of that health care slog, he wound up with the groundbreaking law that had eluded his predecessors for decades. The process of wringing it out of Congress was so slow and oblique that even when it was over it was hard to appreciate what he’d won. But win he did.
Here's Merriam-Webster's definition of oblique:
1 a : neither perpendicular nor parallel : inclined b : having the axis not perpendicular to the base
c : having no right angle
2 a : not straightforward : indirect; also : obscure b : devious, underhanded
By Collins' own definition, the crafting of ObamaCare was a shameful ordeal but when you are crafting the new paradigm by defending the indefensible, oblique takes on a curiously positive hue.
For taste-makers like Collins and Dionne, who, if they are being completely honest with themselves, realize Obama has only contributed to the hyper-partisan nature of Washington D.C. and whose HopenChange has meant only more business as usual, the circling of the wagons will strain credulity and their own credibility.