- Substantively, I think Frum nails what is going on.
- As a result, for the first time I think it is more likely than not that Obama will lose the 2012 election. Never mind that as a reality-based leader he will be vastly superior to whatever wingnut or hypocrite the Republicans serve up--if the elite press adopts Frum's critique, then we have sixteen months to listen to the media speak with one voice about how Obama is not tough and decisive enough to be a good president.
Obama is His Own Worst Enemy | FrumForum: [Obama is] not an alien, he’s not a radical. He’s just not the person the country needs. He’s not tough enough, he’s not imaginative enough, and he’s not determined enough.
In the throes of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, the president ran out of ideas sometime back in 2009.
In the face of opposition, Obama goes passive. The mean Republicans refused votes on his Federal Reserve nominees and Obama … did nothing. Would Ronald Reagan have done nothing? FDR? Lyndon Johnson?
With unemployment at 10% and interest rates at 1%, the president got persuaded that it was debt and interest that trumped growth and jobs as Public Issue #1.
Yet even as he yields to his opponents on the fundamental question, Obama is surprisingly rigid in his political tactics. Back in 2008, Obama made two big promises: a tax cut for everybody earning less than $250,000 and an Afghan surge. I think it’s safe to say that Obama believed in neither of them... adopted [them] for defensive reasons, to shield himself from conservative critique. In the very different circumstances of 2009, both promises rapidly showed themselves to be counter-productive.... He proceeded with both, leading to the two biggest problems of his presidency: a stimulus that added hugely to the national debt while under-delivering on jobs and an expanded Afghanistan war that must end in a reversion to the same disappointing status quo that prevailed before the Afghan surge. Obama probably anticipated both results. And yet he staggered forward anyway. As ready as Obama is to surrender to uncongenial political pressures, he is strangely inattentive to negative real-world results.