Back by popular demand - well, six people may not seem like a lot to you, but around my neck of the woods it's practically a mob - Idiots' Delight makes its "triumphant" return to these vaunted pages, with one small, but not insignificant, change. Instead of the usual monthly segment, I've decided to make it a semi-annual feature.
The reason for the switch was quite simple, really. Maintaining a monthly installment of dimwitted behavior perpetrated mostly by the same nincompoops was becoming exhausting. The six-month format affords me the opportunity to gather up all the loose nuts as it were in one neat little pile, while allowing for the sprinkling in of the occasional neophyte.
Anyway, let’s get on with it, shall we. I’ve only got so many ant-acid tablets left.
Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff whining about Paul Krugman. The austerity twins really have their panties in a bunch. Seems our dear friend had the audacity to not only call them out over their claim that deficits actually stunt economic growth, but then proceeded to back it up with something equally unusual for them: facts. Who the hell does he think he is, an economist? Maybe Krugman shouldn’t be such a “sore winner.” Some people don’t like being proven wrong.
Actually, the real crime here is that an entire continent is paying for their mistake and the United States damn near drove down the same road because of Dumb and Dumber and their half-witted disciples. Far from bellyaching, these two wanna be economists should just shut up and close down their shell game before any more innocent people get hurt.
Steve King’s immigration amendment. I swear the GOP could fuck up a sunset. While Senate Democrats and Republicans are crafting an immigration bill designed to help Republicans win more Latino voters and not become the next Whig Party, Dr. Strangelove introduced an amendment that would not only end the program which allows undocumented youth to stay and work in the United States, but prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from having the discretion to delay the deportations of undocumented immigrants who are considered “low-priority.” Not surprisingly, it passed, mainly along party lines, 224 to 201.
Also not surprising was the condemnation that King and House Republicans received from Hispanic groups over the measure which has zero chance of making it through the Senate. Defiant to the end, King said this is “the first test of the 113th Congress in the House of Representatives on immigration.” Yep, and you just flunked it, genius!
James O’Keefe forks over $100,000 to Acorn employee. How’s this for poetic justice? Remember that video about an alleged pimp and prostitute who visited an Acorn office? Yeah, the one Andrew Breitbart put up on his website. Well you’ll never guess what happened. Turns out the employee, Juan Carlos Vera, called the cops after O’Keefe and his accomplice left. Far from being complicit in the alleged sex-trafficking plot, Vera was “playing along.”
Of course after the video aired on Fox News, Vera was fired, Acorn ended up being defunded by Congress and the whole thing supposedly went away. Except not quite. Vera sued O’Keefe for damages, “arguing that he was taped without consent in violation of state law, and portrayed untruthfully.” O’Keefe eventually agreed via a settlement to pay Vera $100,000 and to issue an apology. A small price to pay for basically ruining someone’s life. What a scum bag.
House Republicans vote for the 37th time to repeal Obamacare. Well, I’ll give them this much, they’re nothing if persistent. Over the last two plus years, the GOP-led House has spent over $52 million trying to repeal a law they know can’t be repealed. But damned if they don’t keep trying. And you’ll never guess what lame excuse Speaker John Boehner came up with to hold this latest futile attempt. “We’ve got 70 new members who have not had the opportunity to vote on the President’s health care law. Frankly, they’ve been asking for an opportunity to vote on it, and we’re going to give it to them.”
Einstein was right. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
The Department of Justice targeting the AP and James Rosen. As I have mentioned on more than one occasion, Eric Holder went way over the line here. Neither the Associated Press nor James Rosen did anything to warrant the treatment they received at the hands of the DOJ. To even consider a reporter a co-conspirator for merely doing his job is beneath contempt and Holder should know that. Claims by some that the AP isn’t in the same league as, say, The Washington Post or The New York Times and that Rosen works at Fox News and that therefore it’s really no big deal are irrelevant and besides the point. You don’t get to choose a hierarchy when it comes to freedom of the press. Period.
The truth is that Obama’s justice department has gone after more whistleblowers than any other administration before it. As Jon Stewart mockingly noted, “They believe in freedom of the press, just not freedom of speech for people who might talk to the press.”
Conducting an internal review of policy is all fine and dandy, but it may be a case of too little too late. The damage has been done. The best course of action would be for Holder to step down as Attorney General. If he won’t, then Obama needs to ask for his resignation.
Sean Hannity’s flip-flop on the NSA surveillance program. Mr. Constitution has been absolutely beside himself ever since the NSA story broke. Seems Sean thinks that this is a serious breach of the 4th amendment, warning his audience that “anarchy and tyranny will follow.”
Unfortunately for old motor mouth, that’s not what he said back in 2006 when George Bush was in the White House. Back then he said this of the NSA program: ” It’s staggering to me we are even debating the use of these techniques in this country even at this time.”
What’s staggering to me is how Hannity hasn’t exploded yet from all the bullshit that’s inside of him. I guess Barack Obama must’ve “colored” his perception of what constitutes a violation of our basic rights. I would call this buffoon a hypocrite, but that would be doing a disservice to the millions of hypocrites around the world.
Paul Ryan explains why he and Mitt Romney lost in 2012. Speaking of people who just don’t get it, Bud Fox still can’t wrap his head around why he and Gordon Gekko didn’t defeat Emperor Obama last year. Judging by the speech he gave at this year’s Faith and Freedom conference in Washington D.C., I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for an epiphany any time soon. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.
We are seeing the assault on our liberties. We are seeing what happens when you give so much power to a handful of bureaucrats, and what they do to abuse our religious freedom. . . The left likes to think that we are the fringe. Guess what? You and I, we are the mainstream When you take a look at what’s happening, the goal we have in front of us is to reclaim the center of our politics.
The center? Today’s GOP would have to stretch just to find the right margin on the page. To paraphrase Churchill, seldom has a political party done so much to alienate so many. Lincoln and Eisenhower must be spinning in their graves.
Sandra Day O’Connor regrets Bush v. Gore. Now she tells us. Seriously, more than 12 years after she cast the 5th vote that basically stopped the Florida recount, thus handing George Bush the 2000 presidential election, O’Connor thinks she and the Court made a mistake. “Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.’”
Hindsight may be 20/20, but the ramifications of that decision were incalculable. The recount, had it been allowed to proceed, more than likely would’ve awarded the state and with it the election to Al Gore. The next eight years, which brought us 9/11, the Iraq War, and the worst economic upheaval since the Great Depression, might have been completely averted but for a premature and ill-conceived rush to judgment.
Candy Crowley’s “Gut” interview of Darrell Issa. In what was otherwise a pretty decent interview of Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa, Crowley asked what might well be the lamest question ever on cable news. “What does your gut tell you?”
First of all, it’s not Darrell Issa’s gut that I’m worried about; it’s his motives. Considering that he has spent the better part of the last two years trying to pin everything conceivable on this president, a thorough investigative journalist would’ve been all over his specious charges and demanded proof to those charges. That she allowed the “paid liar” remark to go unchallenged is reprehensible.
Here’s what my gut tells me, Candy. Next time you find yourself interviewing a politician with an obvious ax to grind, leave your gut home and concentrate on your job.
Honorable Mention: Michele Bachmann. I would be remiss if I didn’t publicly acknowledge one of this feature’s frequent flyers. Michele Bachmann has earned so many bonus miles, she could take a trip to the moon and back and still have change left over. Her recent decision not to seek reelection in 2014 amid rumors of ethics violations during her failed 2012 presidential bid, will no doubt sadden a great many late-night comics, not to mention all of us on the Left who have cherished every misstep and boneheaded statement during her four terms in Congress.
From her infamous McCarthy-like interview with Chris Matthews to her legendary Lexington and Concord moment all the way to her sprinting from a Dana Bash microphone, Bachmann could fill an encyclopedia with all her gaffs. I must admit, I am going to miss the birdbrain.
But fear not progressives, I’m certain the GOP will find someone to fill her shoes. Already I hear that Louie Gohmert has personally promised to make one more extra outrageous statement a month to pick up some of the slack. There’s never a shortage of crazy in the cuckoo’s nest.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Basically it comes down to this: how much freedom are we willing to sacrifice in order to feel safe? It was Benjamin Franklin who said, "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
The key words here are essential and temporary. Was Franklin intimating that there is a distinction between essential liberty and absolute liberty? And if so, is there an acceptable tradeoff that a free society can tolerate in order to protect itself? And regarding the word temporary, was Franklin also conceding that safety, as we've come to define it, is transitory at best? It would seem the answer to both is yes.
If that is the case, if there is no such thing as absolute freedom or security, how do we, as a democracy, balance the two? For it is how a society achieves that precarious balance that ultimately ends up defining it.
Those who would scream bloody murder - as Greenwald has done - at the revelation that the government is spying on them, should have to explain to all of us what their alternative would be. How would they protect the country from a formidable enemy that neither knows what freedom is, nor would care even if it did?
Yes, I am acutely aware of the fact that we have a responsibility to differentiate ourselves from those who would do us harm. If we simply adopt the values and tactics of our enemies, then we have become them. In that event, we have lost the war anyway.
That's why I confessed in an earlier piece that I was of "two minds" concerning the use of drones. On the one hand, they have proven to be a valuable tool in the war on terror; on the other hand, their continued use is slowly undermining an already badly tarnished reputation within the Middle East.
For that reason it is high time the nation had an adult conversation about drones, surveillance programs, indeed a great many things. It would be, by far, the healthiest thing we could do as a people.
But Glenn Greewald isn't interested in having an adult conversation. For him, it's all about his agenda. Anyone who challenges that agenda or has the audacity to point out inaccuracies in his logic or fact finding is called a lapdog or accused of "using White House talking points," as Greenwald did to Mika Brzezinski on Morning Joe.
He later tweeted the following: "Irony: there's nobody hated more by those who play "journalists" on TV than those who bring transparency to the US Government."
Funny that Greenwald should have used the word irony. I wonder if it's dawned on him that employing intimidation tactics against colleagues who question his motives smacks of McCarthyism at its most extreme. I wonder, too, if he's even remotely aware of just how "transparent" those motives have been in this matter.
Yes, the main-stream media has rolled over way too many times for my tastes, and yes they should and must stand up to power and ask the appropriate, probative questions that get at the truth. But Glenn Greenwald is the last "journalist" who should be shouting from the rafters. He is a shill for the far left who takes a rather narrow view of the Constitution and then imposes that view upon the rest of us in the most condescending manner imaginable. If you've ever seen any debate in which Greenwald has participated in, you know exactly what I mean. The man is always right and everyone else hates freedom and democracy.
He's not a journalist in any sense of the word. He's an ideologue, as far removed from the center as the far right is. He is no better than a Glenn Beck, except that Greenwald at least has a better command of the English language and has the illusion of legitimacy that Beck can only dream of.
Appearing on ABC's This Week, Greenwald said that we should expect more "revelations" from him. No surprises there. With Glenn Greenwald, it's always about him. He IS the story. After all, he's the "guardian" of our precious rights, a champion against the tyranny of Big Brother.
Mika Brzezinski, to her credit, never responded to Greenwald's backhanded slap on Twitter, so if I may be so bold, let me give it a whirl.
"The only thing more dangerous than a main-stream media that rolls over is a self-absorbed, self-appointed demigod with an ax to grind."
Nailed it with room to spare!
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
In a bold and uncharacteristic move, President Obama nominated three judges to fill the three vacancies on the D.C. Circuit. At present there are only eight sitting judges on the court. Eleven are required by statute. The move or call ostensibly boxes Mitch McConnell and his fellow Senate Republicans into a corner.
On the one hand, if Republicans filibuster any or all of the nominees, the likelihood is that Harry Reid will opt to go nuclear and change the Senate rules on them, thereby eliminating the requirement for 60 votes on all nominations, something McConnell dreads deeply. On the other hand, if Republicans blink and allow all three an up or down vote, then the balance of power on what is generally acknowledged to be the second highest court in the country shifts decidedly toward Obama.
Talk about a no-win scenario for McConnell who is facing a difficult reelection of his own to save his Senate seat. If he is seen as too soft, he could be primaried by his own base; however, if he pushes too hard then he loses what little leverage he still has as minority leader. Either way he's screwed.
To be honest, it couldn't happen to a "nicer" guy. Listening to McConnell and Senate Republicans whine about how Obama is packing the court has been tiresome. In the first place, Obama isn't packing the court. The term packing refers to what FDR did in the 1930s when he decided to add six justices to the Supreme Court. Roosevelt was clearly wrong and was slapped down. All Obama is doing here, as he succinctly observed in his Rose Garden speech, is his "job."
The next few days should be entertaining to say the least. Assuming Republicans hold true to form and filibuster Obama's nominees, Reid still faces a tough task. With the passing of Frank Lautenberg, Democrats now hold only 54 seats. Expecting all but four to vote to change Senate rules will be a tall order indeed.
I'm not much of a Harry Reid fan, as you've probably surmised by reading my posts, but this may well be the greatest test of his leadership to date. If he fails, the results could be disastrous for Obama's second-term agenda. If he manages to pull it off, then a major obstructionist roadblock will have been removed and the pathway cleared for at least some, if not all, of the President's nominees.
Given that no other president in modern history has faced this much unified opposition to his nominees, that would be poetic "justice" to say the least.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Boy the way Glenn Miller played
Songs that made the Hit Parade
Guys like us we had it made,
Those were the days.
That song has been rolling around in my head lately. I couldn't figure out why. And then it hit me: "guys like us." That's it. That's been it from day one.
I now know why Barack Obama has been driving so many people up the proverbial wall since he took office. It's not his policies - socialist, my ass; and it certainly can't be his intelligence - especially after having survived Mr. Hooked on Phonics for eight insufferable years.
It's because of what Obama represents: the end of an era. Guys like the ones mentioned in that song really did have it made. They had everything. Jackie Robinson changed some of it, but just the complexion. The owners, the managers, the power structure, all remained firmly in the grips of the white establishment, particularly the while male establishment.
The Archie Bunkers of the country could always count on two things: they would always be number one and that number two would always know his place. I can only imagine the shock these xenophobes must've experienced the moment they saw Obama emerge on that stage in Chicago on election night 2008, knowing their world had just come crashing down. Not only weren't they number one anymore, but number two just told them where they could stick their Dewey decimal system.
There has never been anything even remotely like what we've seen in America these last four and a half years. The rhetoric has been beyond belief. Up is down and down is up. This isn't just your basic racism at work; it goes a lot deeper than that. What we're witnessing here is nothing less than the beginnings of a total transformation in American politics. A transformation that, to my way of thinking, is long overdue.
But while some of us applaud it, there are those who are deeply contemptuous and fearful of what it will mean to them. Like the dinosaurs that lived 65 million years ago, these fossils will soon become extinct. But not before making total fools of themselves and, in so doing, drag the country they all claim to love so dearly to hell and back.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Bob Dole and Olympia Snowe are but the latest in what has become a long list of conservatives who have expressed their reservations about what has happened to the Grand Old Party. Molly Ball in The Atlantic offers a suggestion on what the Party can do to right the ship. To sum up, Republicans need to heed the lesson that the Democrats learned in 1988, after they got their clocks cleaned for the fifth time in six tries. To be fair, some of her points are valid.
Of all the Democrats’ many problems in the late 1980s, the biggest was denial. Party activists professed that their nominees were losing not because they were too liberal but because they weren’t liberal enough. Or they said that the party simply had to do a better job of turning out its base of low-income and minority voters. Or that Democrats’ majorities in Congress and governors’ mansions proved the party was still doing fine. Some insisted that voters were being hoodwinked by the charismatic Ronald Reagan, or were just too racist and backward to embrace the righteousness of Democratic positions.
That certainly sounds an awful lot like the Republican Party of today. Indeed, an honest and objective view of politics over the years would certainly conclude that each party's base has probably suffered from the rose-colored glasses syndrome at one time or another. A bubble is a bubble, regardless of ideology.
But here's where Ball's train of thought jumps the track. While the Democrats were guilty of clinging to failed strategies and not crafting a message that mainstream America could identify with, they were never crazy or dangerous. Out of touch, maybe, but hardly out to lunch.
Find me the Democratic equivalent of a Michele Bachmann or Louie Gohmert or Ted Cruz or Rand Paul. You won't because they don't exist. Walter Mondale may have been the cure for insomnia and Michael Dukakis a Saturday Night Live punch line, but neither embarrassed his party the way the aforementioned dimwits do on a regular basis.
Michael Tomasky nailed it perfectly when he said:
The big problem with today’s Republican Party isn’t its policies. Certainly, those policies are extreme and would be deeply injurious to middle-class and poorer Americans should they be enacted. But Bob Dole wasn’t thinking, I don’t believe, just of policies. He was talking about the whole package—the intolerance, the proud stupidity, the paranoia, the resentments, the rage. These are intertwined with policy of course—indeed they often drive policy. But they are the party’s real problem. And where these “reformers” fail is that they never, ever, ever (that I have seen) criticize it with any punch at all.
And the source of all that paranoia and rage is none other than Fox News and the AM radio dial. For all the talk about the liberal bias in the media, no one approaches the vitriol of a Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. There is no left-wing equivalent that comes even remotely close. Years of stoking a fire under a base that has been convinced everyone is out to get them has created a no-win scenario for the GOP. Anyone who even hints that the Party needs reforming is shunned and called a RINO.
Witness the fallout over Chris Christie's embracing of President Obama after Superstorm Sandy hit the Northeast. Whether or not you agree with Christie's positions or even whether or not you like the guy personally, he put his constituents ahead of his Party and has paid the ultimate price. The result is that he's about as popular among the far right as a cockroach at a picnic. Mark Levin refers to him as Krispy Kreme every chance he gets. And you should really get a load of what Limbaugh recently said about him.
This, ultimately, is the fatal flaw in Molly Ball's reasoning. You see, the Democrats eventually found the strength to pivot to the center and, when they did, nominated Bill Clinton in 1992. Some in the base may not have been all that enthusiastic or comfortable about compromising what they considered their core beliefs, but the majority of them bit down hard and swallowed enough of their pride to see the forest for the trees.
There is no indication that the far right is ready to have such an epiphany. Worse for the GOP, they appear to be doubling down on the crazy. Even now they are actively going after anyone not kowtowing to the Party orthodoxy. Marco Rubio, once the darling of the Tea Party, is being called out for his embracing of immigration reform. How can a political Party be expected to compete on a national level when it can't even understand basic demographic shifts in population?
The answer is it won't. The Republican Party seems hopelessly lost in its own feedback loop. It is unable or unwilling to come to grips with a staggering reality: that its own twisted ideology is responsible for its current predicament and nothing short of a complete break from that ideology will prevent what most see as a ghastly demise.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
No, Barack Obama's real nemesis is the man staring back at him in the mirror. That's right, folks, the chief enemy of Barack Obama is none other than Barack Obama. Worse, he appears to have declared war on himself, or at least on the man that most of us voted for.
Lost in all the fake scandals is the sad, but undeniable truth that the President is facing some rather serious scrutiny from progressives and libertarians alike over certain policies that are deeply disturbing to say the least and have far-reaching consequences both for his legacy and for the country.
The worst of these is the one involving the Department of Justice. The unwarranted and completely over-the-top seizure of phone records and emails of journalists should concern everyone regardless of political affiliation. It is one thing to protect vital national interests; it is quite another to subvert the Constitution to do it. With all the talk about Nixon lately, Obama's Justice Department is starting to resemble that of another former Republican's: George Bush.
There is no way to soft soap this. Apologists for the Obama Administration miss an important point. While freedom of the press was never meant to be taken carte blanche, what Eric Holder's department is doing is so egregious and abhorrent, it has become a lightning rod for constitutional scholars who are naturally concerned about what this might mean for journalism down the road. Whatever else you may think about the AP and Fox News, neither of them are in the same league as WikiLeaks.
It's also rather hypocritical for the DOJ to go after "whistle blowers" while at the same time turning a blind eye to the shenanigans that brought about the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. To date, there has not been one prosecution of an executive from the financial industry over this scandal; not one! I've heard of golden parachutes but perpetual get out of jail free cards rises to the level of obscene. James Rosen is labeled a "possible co-conspirator" under the Espionage Act, yet Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon are walking the streets, free men, while actively lobbying Congress to rewrite the financial laws that will gut Dodd-Frank and also ensure their immunity from prosecution for any future calamity their criminal escapades will no doubt bring about.
Now that's scandalous!
But it doesn't end there. Obama's use of drones to carry out strikes against high-level terrorists has drawn the ire of many progressives who have expressed concern over its moral and ethical implications. What does it say about a nation that supposedly cherishes freedom and champions human rights that it would send an unmanned weapon into a sovereign nation for the express purpose of killing a civilian? Many Middle-East experts have warned that the strikes, while surgically successful, have undermined our standing within that region. That is quite an indictment, given the protracted wars during the Bush years.
I must confess I am of two minds on this one. On the one hand I am cognizant of the threat many of these individuals pose to the United States. Barack Obama, as commander in chief, certainly has an obligation to defend the homeland from those threats. He hasn't the option of being a sheep among wolves, I get that. But if there has been one constant and consistent theme within the Middle East over these many decades it has been this: America is seen, and rightly so, as a nation that has propped up ruthless dictators and exploited valuable resources for its own narrow interests; interests that were often inimical to those of the native populations in that region. It is hard to imagine that Obama's drone program isn't causing still more damage to an already badly tarnished reputation. Is Obama missing the forest for the trees? Put another way, have we not lost the war in our pursuit of winning a battle?
And last but not least we come to Gitmo. It was just over four years ago that a newly sworn in President Obama promised to close down the prison. To this day it remains open and over 100 detainees are on a hunger strike and are being forced fed to keep them alive.
At a recent press conference, Obama was interrupted by a heckler over the unnecessary delay. Yes, it is true that Congress had a lot to do with Gitmo staying open by imposing restrictions on the transfer of detainees, but the fact remains that the White House bungled the whole thing by coming to the table with its own plan late and then leaving Congressional Democrats "twisting in the wind." Whether by design or circumstance it sure looked as though the Administration wanted the prison to remain open.
Now, four years later, Obama is reopening a sore wound. Is he serious? Only time will tell. Holding a press conference is one thing; taking action is another. The DOJ, drones and Gitmo. That's quite a trifecta.
The President confessed that he is “troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.” But it isn't the ability of investigative journalists to do their jobs that should worry him most; it's the overreach of government that would send such journalists to prison merely for doing those jobs that is the crux of the matter.
He then quoted James Madison when he said, "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." I would submit that the only true warfare going on here is the one raging within Obama's soul. And the only way for him to preserve his own freedom is to resolve those inner conflicts and contradictions that are slowly eating away at him and his presidency.
Who is he? What does he stand for? And, most importantly, what legacy does he want to leave behind? For a man who has had an extremely difficult time drawing a narrative and defining himself, Barack Obama is now at his own personal "crossroads" as it were.
The next move is his.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
In his defense, he does make a number of salient points. A lot of us on the Left do tend to overreact. I remember the Denver debate very well. While I certainly wasn't calling for the President to "resign" over his performance, I was, nevertheless, extremely concerned; the same way a football coach who just saw his team squander a three-touchdown lead would be concerned. The specter of Mitt Romney stealing the election was more hellish than I could imagine.
Favreau is correct when he says that Obama isn't interested in "chasing news cycles" or adhering to Washington's "timeline." But while it might be admirable to have a president who would prefer to be "right" over being "first," I suspect that might be part of his problem.
Throughout most of his presidency, Obama has resisted the knee-jerk, reactionary, politics as usual approach to governing. Because he tends to be cautious, sometimes to a fault, more often than not, his opponents tend to get an early jump on him. That was clear all throughout the healthcare debate. Obama believed that in the end the public would see through the rhetoric and rationally come around to his way of thinking. He clearly underestimated the resilience of the opposition. The GOP redefined the whole debate and turned the tables on him. Yes, "Obamacare" eventually was passed, but to this day it remains the single most controversial piece of legislation ever signed into law. Astonishing, considering it is nothing more than Romneycare on steroids.
The debt-ceiling crisis of 2011, which Favreau cites in his piece, is, sadly, another example of Obama badly misreading the resolve of his opposition. Lost in all the insanity of that summer was the fact that his inability, or perhaps unwillingness, to strike the right deal in the 2010 lame-duck session was what brought the whole issue to the fore in the first place and, I might add, brought about the now infamous sequester that supposedly nobody wanted, but which we can't seem to get rid of.
And now we come to Triplegate (the Benghazi, IRS and AP scandals). Nobody not seriously hooked on crack or an escapee from an insane asylum believes for even a minute that the President participated in a coverup. Charges of Watergate and Nixonian behavior are sheer lunacy.
And yet this White House has spent most of the last week and a half having to defend itself, not so much against the facts, which as they slowly come out continue to exonerate the President from wrongdoing, but from the perception of ineptitude. While Obama may not want to admit it, perception counts, especially in a town as polarized as Washington. That he hasn't come to grips with this reality is quite revealing.
It has been his failure to see the urgency of the scandals as they were brewing, more than the scandals themselves, that has plagued him the most. When Jon Stewart and Carl Bernstein start throwing you under the bus, your problem isn't merely narrative building, it's good old fashioned common sense.
Yes, many of us on the Left are nervous ninnies. And maybe we could all take a chill pill now and then. But Barack Obama would do well to remove some of that ice water that flows through his veins and occasionally see the political forest for the trees. It wouldn't eliminate every bump in the road, but it would make the journey a little less haphazard.