Has anyone else had recurring nightmares about being forced to read this exact PoLiTiCo article over and over, for eternity? You wake up in sweats, trembling. You have just experienced the nearest thing the political Internet can offer as an equivalent to the Sisyphean Task. Just as you reach Peak Politico, it rolls back and starts anew.

What’s remarkable is what hasn’t happened. These episodes haven’t become metaphors for Obama’s personal and political character — or consuming controversies that sidetracked the rest of his agenda.

It’s a sign that the media’s echo chamber can be a funny thing, prone to the vagaries of news judgment, and an illustration that, in politics, context is everything.

Conservatives look on with a mix of indignation and amazement and ask: Imagine the fuss if George W. Bush had done these things?

And quickly add, with a hint of jealousy: How does Obama get away with it?

None of the items on this list, the ones Bush did do as well as the ones he didn’t, were or would have been “consuming controversies that sidetracked the rest of his agenda.” Let’s go back to the early part of this terrible decade, when the Main Stream Media was quite smitten with George W. Bush! They painted him as goofy on the 2000 campaign trail, sure, but in an endearing way, and as a colorful complement to his CEO BUSINESS APPROACH TO GOVERNANCE, his lack of intern-fucking, and the fact that he was somehow a cowboy. Al Gore, in contrast, was a monstrous faggot. And then for at least the first three years of his term, media outlets (and the Dixie Chicks) were terrified to run anything critical of this great man, lest their patriotism be questioned and they be thrown in jail. He did not become the punching bag Politico imagines him to have always been until his record started to settle in the dust — after he lost several land wars in random countries, engaged in massive corruption to pass a boondoggle of a prescription drug plan, completely ignored a major city as it was being destroyed and descending into vigilante rule, didn’t catch Osama bin Laden or Mullah Omar, neutered any semblance of ethics from the Justice and Interior and whatever else departments, started a textbook-illegal program to eavesdrop on Americans’ telephone calls, and tortured the dickens out of everyone in secret CIA snow caves and island gulags.

The Surge, however, worked.

The other thing: Obama HAS gotten buckets of shit for each thing on this list, some deserved (pathetic patronizing photo-op in New Orleans, secret pharma deal), some undeserved (WAR ON FOX TELEVISION NEWS, having “activities” for yourself and “functions” to attend), and some very very complicated (sorry, Dalai Lama, but your friends the Chinese are super-important to our shriveled carcass of a current fiscal situation!)

Really, though: Save for Michael Moore and a few Kos diarists, no one ever gave a shit about how much golf George W. Bush played or how many ladies he played with or when and why he quit it, for the troops.

What if Bush had done that? [“Penis”]

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  1. What if Obama spent 1/8 of his time as preznit eating Cheetos and masturbating to pron at the Crawford Ranch?

    What if Obama’s family legacy including actively funding them Nazees till they got busted by FDR?

    What if Politico wasn’t actually a bunch of GOP whores who masturbate daily to pics of Karl Rove?

  2. My, what a list of horrors!

    Politico: scrounging through the rubbish daily for anything – ANYTHING! – that could become a consuming controversy to sidetrack the President’s substantive agenda.

    Attribute to Politico! Win the morning! Win for Republican operatives who run Politico!

  3. Didn’t Bush *freeze out* ALL teevee networks, save for his once-every-three years interview on Fox?
    And didn’t he pose for photo-ops DURING Hurricane Katrina?

  4. What if Obama had done that?

    Been a major benefactor of Enron Founder Kenneth Lay’s economic largesse.
    Lied us into a never ending $200 billion a year quagmire in the Middle East?
    Let the guy who planned 9/11 escape into the hills of Pakistan.
    Take his eye off Afghanistan and allow the country to slide back into Taliban control.
    Stood by as New Orleans was immersed in a flood while hundreds of bodies floated in murky waters.
    Allow a massive 30 trillion dollar mortgage volcano to grow under our feet.
    Facilitated the collapse of the world economy and a seemingly never ending stream of bankruptcies, mortgage defaults, bank collapses and job losses.

    But instead, he’s been changed with fixing all that shit.

    But, OMG, he golfs! He golfs, people!

    Do I smell impeachment?

  5. “It’s a sign that the media’s echo chamber can be a funny thing, prone to the vagaries of news judgment, and an illustration that, in politics, context is everything.”

    It’s a cliche trifecta–Politico WINS the afternoon!

    Honestly, does someone get paid for this blather?

  6. [re=444364]american mutt[/re]: Only the war? Really? The rest of his ‘God is in the Driver’s Seat’ regime appealed to you? I love you, mutt, but…huh?

  7. I find it interesting that people in Weezyanna are giving Obama shit about progress in New Orleans after they voted asshat Bobby Jindal into the governor’s mansion so he can veto the funds Obama keeps trying to send to New Orleans. Its also pretty goofy to criticize a guy who’s been president less than a year about a process that was screwed up a full 3 years before he was elected. I guess it makes people feel they’re holding him accountable – for other people’s fuckups, that is.

  8. [re=444364]american mutt[/re]:

    Well, I hated him for policizing the response to Katrina and letting all those people on the Gulf Coast, particularly N.O., soak in heat and filth for days.

  9. Yehbut Bush did freeze out a network or two–anyone remember CBS and MSNBC? He also never gave one interview to the New York Times.

    Bush also made secret deals with Afghani opium growers–before September 11, 2001.

    And while Bush never played as much golf as Obama did, he sure did take more vacation days than any other president who’s held office since the first John Adams.

    Let’s also not forget that if Obama were to make secret videos of him rimming his wife, there’d be a big fuss about it. But was there ever such a fuss made over Bush doing this? No, there never was.

    I rest my case.

  10. How about counting up Shrub’s vacation days? Some 436 days over 2,920 days, an average of 54 days a year, which Obama hasn’t taken.

    The only way to defend W’s vacation time is to claim that he didn’t face crises as serious as Hopey is facing.

    Thus, we have established that Politico is a new synonym for Moran, as in “Hey you Politicoes, get off my lawn!”

  11. [re=444370]ManchuCandidate[/re]: I can’t believe you’re making me defend the Bushes, but they never actually funded the Nazis. Prescott did business with a German industrialist named Fritz Thyssen; Thyssen did fund the Nazis before he was imprisoned by them. No evidence that Prescott was a Nazi or a Nazi sympathizer. Sorry to burst your liberal wetdream!

  12. Context IS everything. Any statement found on, for example, can automatically be assumed to be a massive pile of dung. Context!

    I’m glad the linkban is back on, putting penis to their “vagaries”.

  13. Hell, I’m pretty sure Bush did do some of the things on that list and got nothing for it. And two can play that game. What about if Obama:

    Outed a CIA agent for revenge
    Ordered torture and indefinite detentions without trial
    Ignored warnings about an imminent terrorist attack
    Won the presidency by cheating

    Or say:

    Secretly sold weapons to Iran to finance Central American terrorists
    Consulted an astrologer while making major foreign policy decisions
    “Joked” that he had launched nuclear war to start a press conference
    Lied about having served in combat, when he actually only pretended to

    But hey, Obama likes to play golf! What a scandal!

  14. I cannot be arsed to list the crimes of the Bush Administration. It would take me all day. Obama is simply a better man, and undeserving of all this rancor.

    Politico sucks balls, and not the way I like.

  15. [re=444373]jagorev[/re]: I agree with you. BUT I think POLITICO would have criticized him either way: wasting time meeting with the Dalai Lama OR snubbing him…

  16. Gosh, you know Politico has undone itself when even our Wonkette trades in snark for sincerity. Denby will be having wet dreams (the earnest kind) for weeks.

  17. What if W had done this:

    1. Quarterbacked a full and immediate response to Katrina;

    2. Spoke over the heads of fundamentalist terrorists and directly to the Arab/Muslim street;

    3. Backed an energy policy that wasn’t written for and by Enron;

    4. read a f*&$ing newspaper once in a while;

    5. cared about the long-term fiscal health of the nation instead of the “permanent” Republican majority.

    President Barack Obama would still be a Senator probably. Just saying…

  18. Does this qualify as a late Cocktober story? I know that the diddling is of the truth, as opposed to small boys or freshly blended turkey necks, but it seems like it should, ahem, slip in there.

  19. [re=444378]Serolf Divad[/re]: Golfing is so much more sissified than clearing sagebrush and fapping to Korean ladyboy porn at your dusty but capacious ranch, doncha know?

  20. One at a time: a too-short Obama stop in Nwahleens, where Bush ignored a massive disaster for weeks; Obama passes on meeting with the Dalai Lama because of a delicate situation with the Chinese government, a major US creditor and trading partner, instead of attending a Chinese state dinner and throwing up; Obama negotiating personally with drug manufacturers to stave opposition to universal health care legislation, instead of being a public pharma whore like GW; Obama criticizing an illegally formed network (Murdoch was not a citizen then) with a huge GOP bias instead of just blatantly lying to all the media on a daily basis like Bush, and Obama doing more than Bush (fundraising, golf, speeches, appearances, work, fun and everything else). Where is the problem?

  21. [re=444364]american mutt[/re]: Truth be told, I never actively hated Bush. Despised, loathed, wished-a-rabid-hedgehog-would-chew-off-his-testicles, sure. But never actually hated.

  22. You have to remember, the bar was much lower for Bush. He was a guy we’d like to have a beer with. Obama is the guy we want doing our taxes.
    The problem politico is having is Obama is competent. There is really not much to report from the front lines of the anti-gubbmint media. No home schoolers with a sheepskin from the University of the Holy Scripture taking over the Justice Department and subcontracting all the police work to Dick Cheneys old company, no existential crisis caused by errors or incompetence to obsess over…it’s just government, like we had before the invention of the 24 hour news cycle and it makes for really poor 24 hour news cycles…
    Wonkette is suffering right along with them. There seems to be a dirth of Jaw Dropping stupidity right now, I don’t know what we do without Rush and Michelle Bachmann…

  23. This is a favorite Republican game — Nixon perfected it a long time ago, in fact. He didn’t bug the DNC headquarters because he wanted to — he bugged them because he was certain his imaginary enemy was doing something much, much worse, and therefore he had to resort to dirty tricks just to keep up. Politico is just discovering how much leeway one side can give itself when it’s fighting a fabricated, much less ethical and more opportunistic opponent.

  24. Don’t forget Poland. What if Bo gropped the Prime Minister of Germany? What is Bo said stupid shit like “tort laws stop OB-Gyn’s from practicing their love for patients? What if Bo alienated 3/4 the fucking world with his “yer wit us or yer agin us” comment.

    Fuck Politico

  25. If they had to strain as hard to move their bowels at politico as they do to besmirch the prez there would be a very ugly hazmat death scene in their bathroom. Just sayin’.

  26. [re=444386]jagorev[/re]:
    My understanding is that the Bushes are pretty much apolitical except when it comes to making money which was my point.

    Busted in 1942. Say wasn’t US America at war with Nazi Germany at the time (Germany declared war on Dec 11, 1941)? Trading with the enemy is still trading with the enemy. Still counts as light treason, no?

  27. Most of the blame for King George’s legacy rests solely on the people who put him in office…twice. Corporate America, WingNuts, TruckNutz, and scared-shitless soccer moms are all to blame.

  28. “…the media’s echo chamber can be a funny thing, prone to the vagaries of news judgment, and an illustration that, in politics, context is everything.”

    And so you wrote this mass of vagaries produced in the POLITICO echo chamber which manages to undercut it’s own logic and legitimacy because:

    A) you are a whimsical absurdist
    B) you are a ideological robot
    C) you are a cretin
    D) ????

  29. To save Politico the trouble, I’ve written its next 4 years’ headline for it:

    WW III Erupts Among Dems Over Something. GOP Sees Opportunity.

    Repeat as necessary. Minor variations are acceptable.

  30. Bush had Jeff Gannon and quaked with fear at the sight of Helen Thomas. And do I need to bring up the secret meetings Dick Cheney had during the Energy Task Force debacle that the Bush Administration went to court to keep hidden? New Orleans? Are they joking? It’s like the Bush Katrina fly by never happened. Jack Abramoff anyone?

    I could go on and on. Politico is a pathetic bunch of wingnut harpies.

  31. [re=444420]dijetlo[/re]: yeah maybe one beer with him. but you just know that if you pounded six or ten beers with him he would be all slurring his speech, close-talking, and spitting in your face.

  32. I think part of that “context” thingy is that on those few days Bush had the balls to actually speak to the press, he sounded like he had crammed the night before on the issues. Obama, on the other hand, sounds like he’s giving an in-depth lecture on each issue. There is also the context that comes when one starts a war in a country without knowing the two major sects of that country’s religion– you know, the two who hate each other and would probably like nothing more than to blow each other up– versus going going on Arab and Iranian TV shows and talking to them like they were adults. I could also talk about the context that comes in having a VP run your administration versus one who is part of a circle of advisers, but you get my point.

  33. [re=444383]Terry[/re]: No. Bush was an incompetent fuckwad, and his people screwed up the recovery, but it was a good thing he didn’t come to N.O. The last thing New Orleans needed was to have Air Force one come barreling in, shutting down the entire airspace, when helicopters and little private planes are trying to fly around saving people and delivering shit.

    And the last thing the NOPD and National Guard needed was to worry about protecting the president. No, that was a good call on somebody’s part, to keep him flying overhead and to get him the hell out of the area.

    I didn’t like much about Bush, but that was a REALLY good decision for which he took some undeserved flack. Afterwards, he did visit A LOT — the city couldn’t get rid of him. Which we did appreciate. He and Nagin made a really cute couple.

  34. You know, ACORN is big in New Orleans. So maybe it’s better Obama didn’t stay there too long. Somebody might have associated him with ACORN, or something.

  35. [re=444373]jagorev[/re]: Whatever. I like the guy’s stance on wildlife conservation, but he’s anti-abortion and anti-gay, so snub as often as you like, I say.

  36. I don’t really get the “four-hour stop” in New Orleans. Is Politico mad because they think Obama should have used his superman powers and gone back in time to stop the levees from breaking?

  37. Well, when you put it that way, I guess Bush wasn’t so bad after all.
    Now that my standards are lower than a Morlock sewer cleaner I’m much happier. I’m going to drive my Ford Pinto to buy some bulk candy corn and see the movie Battlefield Earth for the 22nd time. On the way back I’ll stop at Denney’s and get a Grand Slam breakfast and wash it down with a Bud Lite. Yup, I’m living the good life now.

  38. [re=444383]Terry[/re]: I take your point, though, about the response overall. I was in New Orleans to rescue my mom the day after Katrina hit. There are no words to describe how hot it was down there. And I wasn’t even in the damn concrete Dome. I can’t imagine what those people went through.

    We finally got bottled water. From FEMA? No, Wal-Mart, and its convoy of 18-wheelers.

  39. [re=444466]lukewarm[/re]: Do you reduce everyone to whether or not they agree with you on ideology? What an… interesting way of looking at the world.

  40. Title bar thingy reads “Wonkette : Jesus Christ”

    This invites logical simile fill-in-the-blank game.

    I proffer – “Wonkette: Jesus Christ :: Your mom : Fidelity”

  41. [re=444411]Come here a minute[/re]: exactly. Add up the combo of Bush, brush clearin’, mountain bikin’, and golfin’.

    Add up the Barry combo of basketball and some golf, plus date night.

    A man has to get some exercise to clear his brain sometimes. It did not work with Bush.

  42. I hate to argue with you Jim, but the Surge ™(r) didn’t work; bribing tons of Sunni warlords worked.

    [re=444369]Jim Demintia[/re]: Have you tried Viagra?

    [re=444390]Canmon (the Inadequate)[/re]: Never play golf with the Dali Lama, he stiffs his caddies.

  43. You know, a person can actually hold meetings while playing golf; hell, it’s a fucking cartoon cliche. Try doing that while running a chainsaw.

  44. [re=444474]Gumboz1953[/re]: And just think, if Bush had PICKED UP THE PHONE, and kicked some FEMA ass, those people at the superdome would have been out much sooner. Instead he had to wait for his assistants to make a DVD compilation of ‘This Week in New Orleans’.

  45. The republican level of hypocrisy has moved from ‘concerning’ to ‘comical’. They have about 10 more minutes left to flail and foam at the mouth because the American public will only willingly suspend their disbelief for so long.

  46. [re=444466]lukewarm[/re]: Better yet, fuck the dolly llama, he’s a holier-than-thou monarchist who says inane things, lives on the dole, and wears funny clothes.

  47. [re=444364]american mutt[/re]: So you were OK with destroying the environment, gutting the Constitution, undermining Ciivl Rights efforts, pouring money into the pockets of Wall Street and friends of Dick, destroying our standing in the world and thus making us less safe, etc etc? (list too long to go into here).

  48. In Politico’s defense: They have to write this shit. It keeps …



  49. [re=444483]jagorev[/re]: Yeah, when someone who’s in a position to affect policy uses that influence to make millions of people’s lives worse, I feel free to judge them for it.

    By many accounts, George Bush was a fairly nice guy and easy to get along with. Is that what you base your opinion of him on? What an interesting way to form an opinion about public figures…

  50. [re=444600]jagorev[/re]: I will just say that, for ghey peoples, somebody’s official stance being there’s something wrong/super-gross about you, kind of makes you not like them very much. I would not quite say that’s ideological.

  51. I am actually rather impressed at the manner in which Politico is managing to concern-troll the president. It’s an example to aspire to, for those of us who are content to merely grief nobody posters on various blogs.

    Err… not that I ever do that, or anything. <.<

  52. Yeah, Politico seems pretty much determined to concern-troll the POTUS. Those lofty aspirations( and aspersions) are really a shining beacon of an example to those of us here on the internet, who content ourselves to merely grief nobody posters on blogs that nobody cares about which are not the Wonkette.

    Err, not that I have done anything like that under a different username, or anything. <.<

  53. What if Obama had:

    * Used the Constitution as toilet paper?

    * Invaded a country that didn’t attack it?

    * Created a series of secret gulags with the worst people in the world (oh, and Dick Cheney) running them?

    * Appointed as vice president someone who by now would be well on the way to being a war criminal?

    * Left a U.S. American city to rot under a flood caused by executive branch malfeasance, and exacerbated by managerial asshattery?

    * Tanked the economy and tripled the deficit?

    Just wondering.

  54. I just have to note that the reason the “surge” worked was because the administration finally authorized the number of troops Pentagon officials had long been saying we needed for full support, if we weren’t just going to pull out of Iraq. The fact that it was made into the “surge” is an example of prime Rove-ian branding.

    And, it wasn’t the golf; it was “Now, watch this drive.”

  55. Obama gets away with it because he isn’t a half-wit. And because he puts in a 20 hour day.

    Bush got away with it because the press was terrified of Darth Cheney.

  56. Infuriating and awful. Politico’s Josh Gerstien has a remarkably short memory for someone whose job it is to write about politics.

    What if Bush had done that????

    Um, he do do that when it came to calling out a TV network he doesn’t like.

    Just last year Bush via surrogates railed against NBC and the administration effectively shut out MSBNC as punishment. Dana Perino admitted as much recently in an interview.

    Once again Politico FAILS.

  57. [re=444375]magic titty[/re]: “And didn’t he pose for photo-ops DURING Hurricane Katrina?”

    Yes, with a certain Senator who you might not know was a prisoner of war for FIVE AND A HALF YEARS!.

  58. Hey guys, remember when all those complaints about how the Bush administration was torturing people, or breaking the law to spy on innocent people without warrants, or starting wars over made-up and phantasmagorical WMDs were all symptoms of “Bush Derangement Sydrome”?

    Man, do I ever miss those days sometimes.

  59. So less photo-ops in New Orleans, more photo-ops with drop-in religious leaders. Done.

    This is a welcome change from worrying on a daily basis about the systematic dismantling of the Constitution, and if that’s just a liberal wet-dream, don’t fucking wake me.

  60. [re=444658]Colander[/re]: Right, because gay rights and abortion are totally important issues for the Tibetan people right now. Judge the man in context, please.

  61. I’ve heard enough from this Politico. Anyone know where their offices are? Or is it just a group online-connected invalids with no physical office?

  62. [re=444373]jagorev[/re]: Right, because a postponed meeting with the leader of a “not autonomous enough” region of a country that has us by the financial balls is a totally important issue for the American people right now. Judge the man in context, please.

  63. He brought N.O. 2 or 3 Cabinet secretaries and a bushel of money and has been commended by everyone for smoothing out the recovery process for the first time. Are the media capable of anything but flogging one canny observation to death among themselves?

  64. [re=444386]jagorev[/re]: Or Bush did business with the Thyssen Company, run by Fritz Thyssen until 1940, when he was arrested, and then Bush and the other directors of Union Banking (some of whom are German Nazis) did business with the nationalized Nazi-run Thyssen Company (“Gee, wonder what happened to Fritz?”) until 1941 when the U.S. passed a law that said “please fucking stop laundering fucking Nazi money.”

    THEN the NY Tribune investigated and wrote an expose about the company, which was still operating, calling Prescott Bush “Hitler’s Angel”

    and THEN the gov. froze the assets. Bushy Bush had to wait until 1951 when the assets were unfrozen and he got his $750,000 (about 6 mill today) in blood money.

    That’s my liberal wet dream…oh snap, my dream is true!

  65. [re=445077]jagorev[/re]: And, I think your silly, crying, flag-draped eagle avatar is despicable, so we’re even, here.

    Grow a better set of priorities, or GTFO.

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