Well its not that surprising is it. But anyway I couldn't helped to be somewhat irked while reading the latest breathless vapid Washington Diary post of Matt Frei's. While its not in the category of Chris Mathews declaration of love for our new presidential Messiah, its a piece that ignores anything outside of what the Frei wants to believe in.
Its uncritical of Obama's promise to generate 2.5 million jobs as if the President has a magical device that will do so, if there was, surely nobody ever told Bush about it. Then it goes on the usual tradition of comparing the Bush Administration as being incompetent and stupid and the two go hand and hand. Now incompetent I will give you, but stupid? Condi Rice is probably far more intelligent a person the anybody in the Obama probably including our erstwhile President-Elect himself.
Now his point was that McCain and Palin were trying to run a I guess an anti-intellectual campaign of which there are parts of people that think its a valid argument to make, but I would caution that just because one has a world class education and some governmental experience doesn't mean he can run a country well or not. Woodrow Wilson was a Professor for crying out loud and if Bush had tried half the stuff he did, Bush would've of been impeached. Lincoln was seen as a backwoods person who was self taught and had a somewhat folksy way of speaking, but he was a keen enough politician to keep the country together.
Then for competency on Obama's part, I would like to point out there isn't exactly an great deal of him getting thing accomplished outside of the fact that he can seeming win elections with the winds in his sail. But in terms of actual governance, I don't see anything from his time in Springfield or even in the Senate actually getting anything of importance done. By default I look towards how his fellow Illinois Democrats run things and see a poorly run state, so I'm not that enthused about the prospects.
Frei then starts to wax poetic about the missed opportunities of the Clinton administration blaming them on the "multiple distractions" which judging from context of the sentence (and I might be wrong but I doubt it) is code for mainly the events of 98-99. Which is a somewhat provocative thing to say as it seems to ignore the other 6 years of Clinton's administration which seemed to very active in domestic policy fights and I suppose one could argue that it might be due to the incompetence of his first years that cost him the House and the Senate and having to you know actually deal with the opposition as something other then devils to blame your ills on might be a distraction.
And then of course there is the usual blathering about how Obama has to fix the last eight years of Bush, which completely ignores the fact that Obama nor the Democrats actually attempted to do so during the last two years of holding Congress. Say what you want about Newt, he seemed to be a far better Speaker of the House in terms of setting the agenda then Nancy Pelosi has been.
Now for fairness sake after I vented my spleen, I will admit I have been pleasantly surprised by some of his actions and continual promise for nuclear energy. If wasting a bunch of money in putting a legion of bird killing machines in West Texas and such is part of the cost for some real improvements in our energy production infrastructure, so be it, its a small price to pay and besides it won't bother me.
So perhaps with the latest rounds of moderate/centrists actions and promises he will be a good president as Chris Buckley believes because of his great and towering intellect, or perhaps not. Obama is a great politician in the sense that he can slip out whatever he promises with little notice or attacks in the fact when he blatantly breaks a promise be it promising to use public finances, to bringing new faces to DC as opposed to the current retreat of veteran DC hands.