Dana Milbanks, a liberal blogger at the Washington Post, is not happy with President Obama, especially after Wednesday’s deflating “pivot” speech in Galesburg, Illinois.
Noting a warning not to expect anything new that was contained in a pre-speech email circulated to key journalists by White House senior aide Daniel Pfieffer, Milbank said this after the address:
“But even a reincarnated Steve Jobs would have trouble marketing this turkey: How can the president make news, and remake the agenda, by delivering the same message he gave in 2005? He’s even giving the speech from the same place, Galesburg, Ill.”
Heard it all before, over and over
The problem for Obama and for his mediasphere advocates like Milbank is the president’s major ideas weren’t new in 2005, so it’s actually unreasonable to expect him to be faithful to his ideological agenda and yet take a different intellectual tack.
Put otherwise, Obama is a prisoner of the liberal ideology that has defined him and his political party for decades.
There is something to be said for ideological consistency, of course, but pretty much everything Obama proposed in Galesburg could have been proposed by LBJ in any of his speeches on behalf of the Great Society in 1965. Or by Harry Truman for his Fair Deal. And FDR would have cheered Obama for extending the New Deal.
It’s the second-term blues
As described in today’s Washington Examiner editorial, a major factor in this emerging reality of Obamaworld is the ideological stasis that typically afflicts presidential second terms. No president can stray far from the general policy thrusts laid out in a first term without appearing either hypocritical or excessively opportunistic.
But problems that are to be expected the second time around for a chief executive may well be heightened for Obama because of his pervasive media presence since 2009 and the protective attitude toward him displayed by so many of the journalists covering him.
Second terms are tough, even under the best circumstances, but Obama for the most part has been spared the relentless critical questioning that confronted most of his predecessors after they won re-election. They were thus prepared to endure the hard times. Obama may not be.
From today’s Washington Examiner:
Working Man’s Blues, Day Four: Bush, Obama bailouts ‘save’ Detroit
On Beltway Confidential: Paul says GOP senators won’t defund Obamacare
Washington Secrets: ‘Nation’s Gun Show’ adds Obama countdown to 2016
Susan Crabtree: Obama blames House GOP for economic doldrums
Brian Hughes: More Americans want Obamacare repealed, poll finds
In Other News:
Washington Post: Proposal to restrict NSA fails in the House
Washington Post: Judge prepares major ruling in Bradley Manning prosecution
New York Times: With economy lagging, some Democrats stir populist pot
Wall Street Journal: Senate backs student loan bill
Time Magazine: Stockton offers glimpse of Detroit’s future
Washington Free Beacon: Spirit Airlines uses Carlos Danger in new ad
Daily Caller: American views on race have plummeted under Obama
Huffington Post: Who will run the Fed?
Talking Points Memo: Florida resumes voter purge after Supreme Court VRA ruling
The Weekly Standard: Older, but not wiser
The American Spectator: Economic malpractice and political slander
Wall Street Journal: The inequality president