The Obama Contamination

A column by Maureen Dowd entitled The Clinton Contamination is trending on Twitter as I write. Conservatives especially are all — so to speak  — a-twitter to have such a reliable leftist voice raised against the left's standard bearer. I've never been a fan of Dowd's but I've always respected her unwillingness to abandon her feminist principles to follow the Clintons down the rabbit hole of abuse and corruption. I wish some conservatives would learn from her example before they ditch their principles to traipse after Donald Trump.

But what struck me about the Dowd column was its view of Barack Obama. Dowd writes that the Clintons are so awful that they've "contaminated three of the purest brands in Washington — Barack Obama, James Comey and Loretta Lynch." This view of Obama as pure is not just Dowd's. It's the official narrative of the fantasy world that is the New York Times op-ed page — or, as I like to call it, Knucklehead Row.

"The Obama administration has been remarkably scandal-free," wrote David Brooks on the Row in February. "To his opponents, this president’s greatest sins are his success and his self," wrote Charles Blow. And Obama is "one of the most successful presidents in American history," says Paul Krugman, who may have heard all about it on the same tinfoil hat through which he receives his economic policies.

All this is simple childishness, the journalistic equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and whistling Dixie so you don't have to hear the bad news. Whether you agree with Obama or not, the fact remains that his administration has been wracked with scandal from the IRS to Fast and Furious to the persecution of journalists to Benghazi to the lies about Bowe Bergdahl to the lies and dirty deals used to pass Obamacare to the lies used to push the Iran nuclear deal and on and on. Just because the New York Times has responded to these scandals with a curious lack of interest in no way means they didn't exist.

As for Obama's success, a fair journalist might at least consider his disastrous mishandling of the Middle East, the economic crumbling of Obamacare, the out-of-control debt, a recovery that never quite takes off because of feverish over-regulation and (did I mention?) Obamacare, and of course the upsurge in racial tension which the president has stoked with his reckless pre-judgements of the police and his false 1970s view of America.