The tide may have turned for Obama. Though the top good news recently is the drop in the unemployment rate to 8.6%, such figures can reverse, as happened last spring. Of course the other significant news is that the Republican would-be candidates continue to be a joke. These are delightful developments, but there's even more going on.
The really big news may be that two leading lights among liberals have finally seen the real light. Each of them is a glamourous hero to the liberal intellectual community, and each commands enormous respect in the mainstream media. Where they go, others will likely follow. And it looks like they are finally falling in behind Obama.
And it's about time!
First is Nicholas Kristof, twice a Pulitzer Prize winner, once for his relentless effort to bring world attention to the horrors of Darfur. He's a columnist for the NY Times and a true working reporter, with a heart for the underdog and the victims of the world. To great extent he's the social conscience of the liberal Democrats, though one wishes the rest of the political spectrum would also heed his reporting and stop being so heartless.
The second is Thomas Friedman, also a NY Times columnist as well as a frequent talking head on TV. He's more of a "seer" than Kristof the reporter. A three-time Pulitzer winner, he gives out the "big" picture, and the liberals all nod in agreement. He's possibly best known for two recent books: "The World Is Flat", about global interconnectedness, and "Hot, Flat, and Crowded", which is about the need for green.
For the first time in three years, this heavyweight pair have taken up the cudgels on behalf of Obama. Kristof says that it's time the liberals and intellectuals stop treating Obama "like a pinata" and get real about what the alternative to him would be if he loses in 2012. He also urges them to realize that "Obama has done far better than many critics on the left and on the right have given him credit for."
Well, that's for sure!
He goes on to remind people of how bad the crisis was in 2008, quoting the post-election Onion headline: "Black Man Gets Worse Job in America."
Friedman is more specific in his comments, lauding Obama to the skies for having achieved a tremendous reduction in the greenhouse gases emitted by cars and trucks. Citing a deal that Obama supposedly struck with the vehicle industry "last month" to lower emissions by 50% by 2025, Friedman is practically ecstatic. And well he should be. This is truly a major accomplishment by the President and puts the lie to all the whiners who have been accusing him of abandoning environmentalism, ranting at his not getting laws enacted to slow global warming. Like there wasn't a Congress? And it hasn't stood rigidly against such laws? Obama's use of executive authority in this environmental achievement was masterful!
But wait a minute! This isn't news, Mr. Friedman! This just didn't happen last month. I remember reading about this and discussing it with my daughter months ago. In addition, Obama got another important deal back in 2009, requiring the auto industry to produce far higher miles per gallon. So why your delay in recognizing these big achievements for environmental betterment?
And why the delay by Kristof in recognizing that we have a damn good president? He mentions about five of Obama's achievements out of the thirty or so that one could easily list. It's not like it's been hard to find things to commend in this presidency. Go on! See if you can list the thirty!
Obviously, the White House did a poor job of tooting its horn these past three years. But aren't news reporters and analysts supposed to "have a nose for news"? Aren't they supposed to REPORT what's going on?
Or was it just more fun and ego-gratifying to take swings at the "pinata", the skinny guy from Chicago who "didn't have much experience" and would probably "flounder"? Did they enjoy generating a drama about Obama as a failure, believing readers want to get bad news and not good news?
I'd like to suggest that Obama is smarter than Kristof and Friedman put together. And smarter than virtually any of his liberal intellectual critics. At some level they probably realize this and resent it. They each like being the smartest guy in the room. After all, don't they know what we should do about everything?
Obama actually knows what we need to do, and he also knows HOW to get it done. This is in spite of a GOP determined not to let anything get done. Obama finds a way to make things happen.
And that, my friends, makes all the difference.
The liberal intellectuals can tell us all how things SHOULD be. But they don't acknowledge the tough realities Obama faces in a GOP controlled Congress. Instead of going after the GOP for its high crimes and misdemeanors of putting party before country, the liberal thinkies have ceaselessly expressed "disappointment" in Obama, thus further weakening his efforts to do the good things they want. That is not very smart, is it?
But maybe the liberal intellectuals are waking up and smelling the bacon. Unless they do, their own bacon will get really fried if the GOP wins in 2012. Worse, the middle class and the poor will be toast.
Burnt bacon and toast. Not very appetizing. That's not a "morning in America" I'd like to wake up to.
P.S. Welcome to the new reader from the Czech Republic. I'll try to get an email address set up soon for this blog so you folks don't have to struggle with the oddly difficult steps of trying to leave comments through this blog service. Then you can tell me how things are where you are: in the Czech Republic, Russia, Latvia, New Zealand, Norway, Brazil, Spain, Ukraine, New Guinea, Ireland, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Malaysia, or wherever else you are reading this blog. Including the USA. It is so cheering to me to think about you and wonder about you in all these different places. In fact, it amazes me that people so far away want to read about American politics. Keep a good heart, and thanks for stopping by!