Towards the end of what was otherwise a coherent article by prominent liberal Susan Estrich regarding Presidential optics and imaging, she drops this bomb:
The president has been truer to his word than most politicians, enacting a comprehensive stimulus package, comprehensive health care reform, comprehensive financial reform. History should be good to him on that score. I am sure that is some comfort to him and to his advisers as they look at poll numbers that can only be described as pretty lousy. If only the economy were doing well, he'd be flying high. If my grandmother had wings, she would be, too - she'd be a bird.
If and when the Democrats get their asses handed to them in November, they'll have people like Estrich to thank. The meme from top liberal taste-makers of late has been a bemoaning of how President Obama is not receiving enough credit for his legislative accomplishments.
Even Team O has figured out what the liberal punditocracy has yet to figure out as they are whispering to anyone who will listen, particularly Democrats up for re-election this fall, to not make any mention of ObamaCare out on the campaign trail. Not that the Dems needed this smoke signal, seeing the polling data and the absolute beating the individual mandate in ObamaCare received at the hands of the Missouri voters last week.
And it's not just the end product of the legislation itself - process matters. That people like Estrich cannot see or be willing to admit that Obama's legislative accomplishments, particularly ObamaCare, were achieved in the most brazenly cynical manner possible - representing the very antithesis of Hope and Change - is testament to just how massive is the disconnect between the political class and the country class in this nation.
Republicans would be wise to not only wrap the actual legislation but also, just as importantly for winning back Obama-voting independents, the manner in which that legislation was achieved.
Addendum #1: We were bumping around over at Secular Apostate's place when we ran into more kvetching over the lack of credit Obama is getting for his legislative achievements.
What’s not sticking to Obama is a legislative track record that his recent predecessors might envy. Political dividends from passage of a healthcare overhaul or a financial regulatory bill have been fleeting.
To which SA retorts:
Here’s the 411, guys. In America, most people think that legislation should be the finger that points to the political objective – the moon, if you will – that most Americans want. Passing legislation qua legislation is not viewed as a “track record of success”. The legislation itself is not the point, not the important thing.
The President, in collusion with Congressional Democrats, jammed the healthcare “overhaul” down the throats of Americans who were simply and vocally opposed to its passage because they disagreed with its political objectives. Even more telling, the Democrats themselves, with supermajorities, had to resort to procedural legerdemain and billion-dollar bribes to overcome the political obstacles within their own party.
No, Obama’s problem is not that the legislative “achievements” are not sticking. His problem is that they are sticking like hitchhiker seeds on woolen trousers. Pride in the passage of legislation that almost two-thirds of American citizens reject is the sort of pride one tries to temper in a child when they emerge from the bathroom holding an aromatic little prize and saying “Look, Mommy! I made a fish!”
Yep. They just don't get it.
Read the rest of his excellent take-down, here.