I can remember, oh, so well, just how much Peggy Noonan liked Barack Obama back in 2008. Well, things certainly have changed. This week, Peggy Noonan says that the presidency of Barack Obama is What a Disaster Looks Like, and she is applying to her former idol a very uncomplimentary light bulb joke.
Why, in 2009, create a new crisis over an important but secondary issue when we already have the Great Recession and two wars? Prudence and soundness of judgment are more greatly needed at the moment.
New presidents should never, ever, court any problem that isn’t already banging at the door. They should never summon trouble. Mr. Obama did, boldly, perhaps even madly. And this is perhaps the oddest thing about No Drama Obama: In his first year as president he created unneeded political drama, and wound up seen by many Americans not as the hero but the villain.
In Washington among sympathetic political hands (actually, most of them sound formerly sympathetic) you hear the word “intervention,” as in: “So-and-so tried an intervention with the president and it didn’t work.” So-and-so tried to tell him he’s in trouble with the public and must moderate, recalibrate, back off from health care. The end of the story is always that so-and-so got nowhere.
David Gergen a few weeks ago told the Financial Times the administration puts him in mind of the old joke: “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one. But the lightbulb must want to change. I don’t think President Obama wants to make any changes.”