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Ed Driscoll

‘He’s not Jimmy Carter. He’s Tiger Woods’

August 25th, 2011 - 1:25 am

Tom Maguire takes one for the team, and reads Thomas Friedman’s latest column so you don’t have to. Though if you did, you’d come across passages such as this:

Obama is smart, decent and tough, with exactly the right instincts about where the country needs to go. He has accomplished a lot more than he’s gotten credit for — with an opposition dedicated to making him fail. But lately he is seriously off his game. He’s not Jimmy Carter. He’s Tiger Woods — a natural who’s lost his swing. He has so many different swing thoughts in his head, so many people whispering in his ear about what the polls say and how he needs to position himself to get re-elected, that he has lost all his natural instincts for the game. He needs to get back to basics.

“My goodness — Obama is re-imagined as Tiger Woods (and then Kevin Costner) while Friedman recycles Dem talking points and offers absurd political advice,” Maguire writes:

Friedman delivers a Big Finish which takes us back to golf and Obama’s missing mojo.  Hang on:

Meanwhile, Mr. President, on a rainy day, rent the movie “Tin Cup.” There is a great scene where Dr. Molly Griswold is trying to help Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy, the golf pro, rediscover his swing — and himself. She finally tells him: “Roy … don’t try to be cool or smooth or whatever; just be honest and take a risk. And you know what, whatever happens, if you act from the heart, you can’t make a mistake.”

Hmm.  As a metaphor for the Obama administration I prefer the scene where Obama – sorry, Roy McAvoy – smacks the ball into the water about fourteen times in a row, hoping for a better result each time.  Maybe the tee is at Gitmo.  Or the water hazard is the economy…

Along the way, Friedman proffers this advice to the president:

It’s crazy what’s happening in America today: We’re having an economic crisis and the politicians are having an election — and there is almost no overlap between the two. The president needs to bring them together. But that can only happen if he stops playing not to lose and goes for broke himself. Our problems are not insoluble. We need a Grand Bargain — where each side gives something on spending, taxes and new investments — and we’re on our way out of this.

Go for broke — gee, where have we heard that phrase before recently? Amazing how NBC, the WaPo and the NYT can all really move in unison at times, isn’t it? As Maguire responds:

Oh, brother.  Now the recycled Dem talking pointabout those intransigent Republicans and the collapse of the Boehner/Obama “Grand Bargain”:

Obama surprised everyone by broaching the idea during the debt negotiations of a “Grand Bargain” — roughly $3 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade and $1 trillion in tax increases — as a signal to the markets that we’re getting our fiscal house in order. It was absolutely the right idea — as long as it is coupled with investments in infrastructure, education and research — but House Speaker John Boehner could not deliver his Tea Party-led G.O.P. caucus.

Well, that is Team Obama’s spin.  Here in reality, Boehner agreed to $800 billion in tax hikes, the Gang of Six from the Senate put in a bid for for a higher number, so Obama backpedaled on his agreement and asked for $1.2 trillion in new revenue.  Boehner couldn’t deliver the Tea Party?  Obama couldn’t even deliver himself.

But does Friedman really want to use the Obama=Tiger Woods analogy? Because some enterprising blogger might just have a copy of this magazine on a shelf somewhere, drop it into the flatbed scanner, and OCR a few highlights of the text — which doesn’t appear to be online (fancy that). It’s a reminder of the infamous moment when both men were at the zeniths of their careers, before they each began crashing down to earth:

That’s the January 2010 issue of Golf Digest, which was first announced on the Web in late November of 2009, shortly before the Tiger Woods scandal broke. As I mentioned in a Silicon Graffiti video I did on the cover in early 2010, Woods’ peccadilloes permanently shattered his carefully built and rigorously-defended narrative. And by the time it broke, it transformed Golf Digest’s cover story, “10 Tips Obama Can Take From Tiger” — already a ludicrous premise — into a modern-day camp classic. The Photoshopped cover illustration that Golf Digest created features Tiger Woods caddying for President Obama, but the real caddies are on the inside; Friedman and company remind readers that hack is not a term reserved exclusively for the fairways.

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