Ed Driscoll

'Something is Breaking Loose in Terms of the Liberal Lockstep'

“‘There’s a Strange Thing Happening in the Media’ — Liberals Have Concluded Obama’s a ‘Turkey.'” Noel Sheppard’s headline at Newsbusters neatly summarizes where Obama stands amongst those who anointed him savior in 2007 and 2008:


As NewsBusters has been reporting, Barack Obama’s sycophants in the press are really starting to lose that loving feeling.

Driving this point home was the “American Conservative’s” Jim Pinkerton Saturday who said on “Fox News Watch,” “There’s a strange thing happening in the media which is, I think, liberalism has sort of concluded that Obama is kind of a turkey, and they’re sort of trying to distance themselves from him” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

JIM PINKERTON: There’s a strange thing happening in the media which is, I think, liberalism has sort of concluded that Obama is kind of a turkey, and they’re sort of trying to distance themselves from him. Carville is a great example of this. It’s not that they’re Republicans, it’s not that they like Republicans any better. We’ll get to that later. It’s that when you see, for example, Ron Suskind, who’s a well-known author, no conservative as far as I can tell, talking about what a feckless and ineffective economic policy President Obama has enacted. He can’t even keep track of his own treasury secretary. Something is breaking loose in terms of the liberal lockstep.

Concurrently (and perhaps not at all coincidentally), “Greens Give Gore 2 Thumbs Down: Gore’s climate ‘reality’ show faces strongly negative reviews from his fellow global warming activists,” Marc Morano writes at Climate Depot:


Former Vice President Al Gore 24 hour climate “reality” show is surprisingly facing strongly negative reviews from Gore’s fellow global warming activists and environmental allies. In addition, two German scientists ridiculed Gore for his “apocalyptic” tone and his “promise of salvation.”

Climate activist Bob Ward was tepid about Gore’s show. “One could complain that some of the presentations overstated the certainty and wrongly implied that individual weather events could be attributed to climate change,” lamented Ward. Ward is the Policy Director, for the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Mike Shanahan, of the International Institute for Environment and Development, bragged that he purposefully avoided watching Gore’s climate telethon.

“I actually avoided the Goreathon, and I guess that says something in itself,” Shanahan wrote. He added that a journalist sent him a text declaring: “Gore gets gold for most boring and least galvanizing talk on climate, ever…That, and possibly damaging.”

Shanahan was blunt in his opinion of Gore: “Climate Change needs a Gandhi or a Martin Luther King or a Mandela, and Al Gore is none of those.”

Funny, Barack Obama was compared to all of those men in 2008 and through early 2010 himself. Since he’s not getting such platitudes today, it can only mean one thing: it’s his own fault, it’s not the product he’s selling. As Ace writes, for the True Believer, the message can never be in error, so it must be yet another salesman who’s worn himself out from being on the road for too long:


That is, it’s always easy for liberals to say Obama’s not leftist enough. Nonsense, but that’s the kind of thing they say to pull him further to the left. But to start questioning whether he knows what he’s doing, or if he’s even “serious” about his jobs bill — that’s tougher stuff.

We always see this, but usually not until after a failed election. The moment Martha Coakley loses, it’s safe to say she’s an idiot and a horrible campaigner and out of touch and so on. Same with David Weprin from NY9.

It’s not merely safe to do this; it’s necessary. The blame must always fall on the expendable; the disposable troops get the blame. The blame must never fall on the animating doctrine of the transnational progressive movement.

It’s a tough thing, but you can throw a president under the bus. You can never throw liberalism itself under the bus.

And as Ann Althouse and the Professor note, during the first half of the previous decade John Edwards was the master salesman du jour, until he really turned out to be the second coming of Elmer Gantry.

But what is it about the left having to constantly search for omnipotent political heroes? It’s certainly not a new development. Having read Apollo, the brilliant look at the engineering behind the space program by Charles Murray and Catherine Bly Cox numerous times since purchasing it around 1990, I recently downloaded a copy for the Kindle. Last night, I came across this passage from early in the book, shortly before the one-two punch of the botched Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Soviets launching the first manned spaceflight took the immediate bloom off of Camelot:


In the second week of April 1961, John F. Kennedy was enjoying a halcyon spring, a time that Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., would later call the hour of euphoria. In fact, things were going so well that some of the new President’s admirers were beginning to worry. “The Kennedy buildup goes on,” James MacGregor Burns wrote in The New Republic that week. “He is not only the handsomest, the best-dressed, the most articulate, and graceful as a gazelle. He is omniscient; he swallows and digests whole books in minutes; his eye seizes instantly on the crucial point of a long memorandum; he confounds experts with his superior knowledge of their field. He is omnipresent. …He is omnipotent. . . . He’s Superman!” Burns disapproved. The buildup was too much, too fast. The drop, when it came, would be all the more precipitous. But Burns’s was a lonely voice. Ted Sorensen, Kennedy’s White House counsel, remembered the heady feeling that the new Administration could do no wrong. To Sorensen, just twenty-six years old, it still seemed as if they had “the magic touch.”

The sort of hyperbolic worship that cooler heads in the early 1960s avoided became de rigueur for the MSM during the early days of Obama. (Who naively lapped it all up and encouraged it.) Fortunately, he can still always rely on the restorative powers of NPR when his ego needs soothing, no matter how painful reality outside the Beltway is these days.


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