Posted on July 16, 2011 by Lou
Now, conservatives are complaining that he’s really a clever and manipulative bully with the audacity to control the debate and shut people up.
Here’s Weekly Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes:
Obama hasn’t made compromise any easier for Republicans. He’s made it harder, perhaps on purpose. He’s operated as if he’s in full command of the situation. And Republicans have no option but to go along or be blamed for blocking an increase in the debt limit…
…Republicans made three mistakes. One, their leverage in a fight over a debt limit increase turns out to be far less than [Senate GOP Leader Mitch] McConnell, among others, had figured. Two, by agreeing to secret talks, they let Obama and Democrats pretend to support deep spending cuts without offering any public evidence, like a budget. And three, they played into Obama’s hands by walking out of the Biden talks and calling on the president to take over.
With Obama in charge, he and Republicans are farther apart than ever on a deal. And Obama thinks he has Republicans right where he wants them – divided.
This is vindication for those of us who have been deeply offended by the way the president’s opponents have – in the past – characterized and disparaged him.
And even if we’re disappointed in Mr. Obama’s record and distrustful of what he might do next, we have to now recognize him as a formidable figure in his own right.
This, of course, puts me at some distance from my friends on the left who see this presidency as a disaster.
Here’s a thoughtful piece by Fred Branfman, making a plausible argument that progressives would have been better of if McCain had won in 2008.
Nice try Fred.