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”]