Turn the channel on Obama | Arkansas Blog

Monday, December 21, 2009

Turn the channel on Obama

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 8:33 AM

I don't know Drew Westen, an Emory U. prof. who writes for Huffington Post, but I agree with Norma Bates that his scathing putdown of President Obama -- on leadership, his alienation of voters on the left and in the middle, his failure to deliver, his sellout to pro-lifers and insurance companies, etc. -- is a primal scream. Westen turns the channel when Obama comes on the TV to unlimber another pretty speech, just like he turned off George W. Bush years ago. Not good.

What's costing the president and courting danger for Democrats in 2010 isn't a question of left or right, because the president has accomplished the remarkable feat of both demoralizing the base and completely turning off voters in the center. If this were an ideological issue, that would not be the case. He would be holding either the middle or the left, not losing both.

What's costing the president are three things: a laissez faire style of leadership that appears weak and removed to everyday Americans, a failure to articulate and defend any coherent ideological position on virtually anything, and a widespread perception that he cares more about special interests like bank, credit card, oil and coal, and health and pharmaceutical companies than he does about the people they are shafting.

The problem is not that his record is being distorted. It's that all three have more than a grain of truth. And I say this not as one of those pesky "leftists." I say this as someone who has spent much of the last three years studying what moves voters in the middle, the Undecideds who will hear whichever side speaks to them with moral clarity.

I feel the same pain.

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (18)

Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Judge Griffen: Why black lives matter

    Another few words from Judge Wendell Griffen growing from the controversy over the sale of Black Lives Matter T-shirts at the state black history museum — removed by the administration and restored after protests from Griffen and others stirred by a story in the Arkansas Times:
    • Mar 13, 2016
  • Antwan Phillips wants to make a difference in reducing Little Rock violence

    KARK/Fox 16's push to do something about Little Rock violence includes a spotlight on people trying to make a difference — in this episode Antwan Phillips, a lawyer at Wright, Lindsey and Jennings.
    • Aug 30, 2017
  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

  • A Highway 10 traffic solution recommendation

    The Arkansas Department of Transportation has announced its preferences for interchange and other improvements along the Highway 10 corridor between Pleasant Valley Drive and Pleasant Ridge Road.
  • McCain says no on Graham-Cassidy

    BREAKING FROM THE AP: Republican Sen. John McCain announces opposition to health care bill, dashing hopes for GOP leaders.
  • Martha Shoffner, nearing completion of term, back in Arkansas

    Martha Shoffner, who reported to federal prison Nov. 3, 2015 for a 30-month sentence for taking bribes in return for state bond business when she was state treasurer, is nearing the end of her sentence and n
  • 60th opens with panel of Little Rock Nine

    Eight members of the Little Rock Nine, lacking the late Jefferson Thomas, gathered for a panel discussion at the Clinton School for Public Service this morning to open a weekend of activities marking the 60th anniversary of their desegregation of Central High School.
  • ACLU: School crisis 60th no time for celebration. Plus, a message for the governor

    Rita Sklar, executive director of the Arkansas affiliate of the American Civil LIberties Union, has issued a statement taking issue with those who view the 60th anniversary of Central High's limited desegregation thanks to federal court and troops as a "celebration." Plus, my own suggestion for Monday speech-makers.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation