Obama's Place In History
March 21, 2010
Let me offer a ludicrously premature opinion: Barack Obama has sealed his reputation as a president of great historical import. We don't know what will follow in his presidency, and it's quite possible that some future event--a war, a scandal--will define his presidency. But we do know that he has put his imprint on the structure of American government in a way that no Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson has. The last two generations have no model for such a president.
More Insincere Advice For Dems
March 12, 2010
Pollsters Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell have a Washington Post op-ed urging the Democrats to abandon health care reform out of their own self-interest: As pollsters to the past two Democratic presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, respectively, we feel compelled to challenge the myths that seem to be prevailing in the political discourse and to once again urge a change in course before it is too late.
Democratic Dysfunction, An Update
February 16, 2010
A year ago, I wrote an article for TNR on the dysfunctionality of Congressional Democrats: The last Democrat who held the White House, Bill Clinton, saw the core of his domestic agenda come to ruin, his political support collapse, and his failure spawn a massive Republican resurgence that made progressive reform impossible for a decade to come. The Democrat who last held the White House before that, Jimmy Carter, saw the exact same thing happen to him. At this early date, nobody can know whether or not Barack Obama will escape this fate. But the contours of failure are now clearly visible.
The Quiet Revolution
February 01, 2010
Obama has reinvented the state in more ways than you can imagine.
Does He Feel Your Pain?
January 27, 2010
Bill Clinton didn’t know he was in big trouble until the eve of the November 1994 election. Barack Obama knows now, barely a year into his presidency. While party loyalists might blame Martha Coakley’s defeat on her ignorance of Red Sox baseball, it was clearly a message to the president and his party.
Where's the Obama I Voted For?
January 21, 2010
If you’ve been a Democrat for more than two or three years, disappointment with your leaders is something that comes rather naturally. From the 1970s until well into the previous decade, the party produced presidents and presidential candidates like Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis, and John Kerry. These men weren’t lovable losers. They were just losers. Even the lone winner among them--Bill Clinton--famously and infamously found ways to disappoint. But then Barack Obama came along.
Does He Feel Your Pain?
January 20, 2010
Forget Massachusetts. Obama's problem is nationwide.
Your Questions Answered
January 15, 2010
Jacob Gershman writes: Just a quick thought on the Wehner Fallacy. Surely, it's not just one or the other: unemployment or ideology. But wouldn't you agree that ideological or partisan criticism of a political leader gains more currency during rougher economic periods? It provides a narrative of failure, gives voters a clearer reason to blame the president, and pulls centrists towards the opposition. Would a centrist leader be less vulnerable when the economy tanks? I agree that economic conditions are not the only determinant of a president's popularity. Being seen as centrist is a benefit.
The Muslim Wars. Bad News Ahead... "Humanitarian Groups and World Renowned Musicians... etc., etc."
January 11, 2010
Maybe President Obama has not really heard that there is another war brewing in Sudan. But TIME Magazine has already published an article by Alex Perry asking, “Is Sudan Moving Back to the Brink of War?” And, judging by the desperation of the aid groups and of many serious political analysts, the answer is most certainly “yes.” Yes, I know that Archbishop Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Moammar Gadhafi, and the royals of Qatar have tried to intervene. The bitter fact, however, is that, since they are without armies, they are also without influence.