- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 10, 2009

‘GET A ROOM’

“Obama and the fawning press need to get a room,” the San Francisco Chronicle’s Phil Bronstein writes in a blog at www.sfgate.com.

“When Barack Obama decided that questions from the German press about his trip agenda in that country were too pesky, he told the reporters, ‘So, stop it, all of you!’ He just wanted them to ask things he wanted to talk about. Well, what politico wouldn’t want that?” Mr. Bronstein said.

“OK, Dad. We’ll behave.”

“And according to a new Pew Research Center poll, we are behaving … like fans. On domestic press, it showed that ‘President Barack Obama has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush during their first months in the White House’ with ‘roughly twice as much’ Obama coverage about his ‘personal or leadership qualities’ than was the case for either previous president.

“Back in the U.S., NBC’s Brian Williams’ two-part ‘Living Large With the Top Dog’ feature on Mr. Obama’s life included a plug for Conan O’Brien’s new show and mention of cable talkies where Mr. Obama only cited MSNBC personalities. Accident? I don’t think so. There were a few probing moments in there, but they were overshadowed by the flash of hanging out in the back of the Auto One limo and having burgers. A little navel-gazing among journalism standards hall monitors about whether the thing had been too soft came and went.”

Mr. Bronstein added: “You can’t blame powerful people for wanting to play the press to peddle self-perpetuating mythology. But you can blame the press, already suffocating under a massive pile of blame, guilt, heavy debt and sinking fortunes, for being played. Some of the time, it seems we’re even enthusiastically jumping into the pond without even being pushed. Is there an actual limit to the number of instances you can be the cover of Newsweek?”

SOUNDS FAMILIAR

“Despite his boldness, Barack Obama seems as fated to fail as were Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter. And for the same reason: A belief in his own righteousness and moral superiority, and a belief that his ideals and his persona count mightily in the modern world,” syndicated columnist Patrick Buchanan writes.

“Wilson declaimed about America’s fight to ‘make the world safe for democracy’ when in harness with the British, French, Russian, Japanese and Italian empires, all slavering to feast on the carcasses of the Hohenzollern, Habsburg and Ottoman empires.

“By 1920, Wilson was a tragic failure, mocked by ex-allies and reviled by former enemies for having dishonored his own 14 Points,” Mr. Buchanan said.

“Jimmy Carter declared in 1977 that ‘we have gotten over our inordinate fear of communism that caused us to embrace any dictator who shared in that fear.’ So, we undermined Nicaragua’s Anastasio Somoza and the Shah, and got the Sandinistas and the Ayatollah Khomeini.

“As for Barack, he behaves on the world stage like some Ivy League kid ashamed of the people he came from, letting one and all on campus know that he is nothing like his benighted family with its sordid history.”

BAD TIMING?

Sonia Sotomayor had bad timing,” New York Times columnist David Brooks writes.

“If she’d entered college in the late 1950s or early 1960s, she would have been surrounded by an ethos that encouraged smart young ethnic kids to assimilate. If she’d entered Princeton and Yale in the 1980s, her ethnicity and gender would have been mildly interesting traits among the many she might possibly possess,” Mr. Brooks said.

“But she happened to attend Princeton and then Yale Law School in the 1970s. These were the days when what we now call multiculturalism was just coming into its own. These were the days when the whole race, class and gender academic-industrial complex seemed fresh, exciting and just.

“There was no way she was going to get out of that unscarred. And, in fact, in the years since she has given a series of speeches that have made her a poster child for identity politics. In these speeches, race and gender take center stage. It’s not only the one comment about a wise Latina making better decisions than a white male; it’s the whole litany. If you just read these speeches you might come away with the impression that she was a racial activist who is just using the judicial system as a vehicle for her social crusade.

“And yet her history and conversations with her colleagues suggest this is not the main story. If you look at the whole record, you come away with the impression that Sotomayor is a hard-working, careful-though-unspectacular jurist whose primary commitment is to the law.”

DEBT THREAT

“Normally Paul Krugman, the liberal pundit and Nobel laureate in economics, and Paul Ryan, a conservative Republican congressman from Wisconsin, share little in common except their first names and a scorching passion for views they champion from opposite political poles,” Fortune magazine’s Shawn Tully writes at https://money.cnn.com.

“So when the two combatants agree on a fundamental threat to the U.S. economy, Americans should heed this alarm as the real thing. What’s worrying both Krugman and Ryan is the rapid increase in the federal debt - not so much the stimulus-driven rise to mountainous levels in the next few years, but the huge structural deficits that, under all projections, keep building the burden far into the future to unsustainable, ruinous heights.

” ‘The long-term outlook remains worrying,’ warned Krugman in his New York Times column. Krugman strongly supports President Obama’s spending plans but bemoans the shortfall in taxes to pay for them.

“Ryan flays the administration for piling new spending on top of already enormous deficits. ‘This isn’t a temporary stimulus but a ramp-up in debt followed by a greater explosion in spending and debt,’ he told Fortune, predicting a day when America’s creditors will start viewing the U.S. Treasury as a risky bet. ‘The bond markets will come after us with a vengeance. We’re playing with fire.’

“Krugman favors far higher taxes, while Ryan wants to curb spending, but for now what’s so big and so dangerous that it distresses such diverse types as Krugman and Ryan - and should scare all Americans - is the Great Debt Threat.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected] .com.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide