The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank is having a bad case of the Mondays.
Earlier today,I posted a tweet of Milbank’s that publicly wondered why his imperious messiah didn’t “command” loyalty from some people. The poor dear evidently felt so strongly about it that he was overcome by the urge to wag his finger in long form.
George W. Bush got criticism from former advisers (Paul O’Neill, John DiIulio), as did Bill Clinton (George Stephanopoulos, Dick Morris), but this level of disloyalty is stunning, even though it is softened with praise for Obama’s intellect.
At the start of the year, Robert Gates, Obama’s first defense secretary, wrote a memoir full of criticism of Obama’s handling of Afghanistan, saying Obama made military decisions based on political considerations. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who also published a book this year, criticized Obama for rejecting her advice on Syria and mocked the “Don’t do stupid stuff” phrase used by administration officials to describe Obama’s doctrine.
The lack of message discipline is puzzling, because Obama rewards and promotes loyalists. But he’s a cerebral leader, and he may lack the personal attachments that make aides want to charge the hill for him.
After admitting that it has happened to other presidents, Milbank never explains why, “this level of disloyalty is stunning,” or even what “this level” is. He then defaults to the hardcore Obama media lapdog explanation/excuse for everything: He’s just too smart.
Sorry, press puppies, he’s just smarter than you.
At a time when pretty much every other American breathing is questioning the foreign policy of a president whose approval ratings have gone so far south they’re running into spring again, Milbank’s childlike devotion is the only thing that is stunning here. Somebody might want to run some concussion tests on the guy.
The saddest part of this little tantrum, for both Milbank and President Obama? Milbank says that the president’s most “loyal mouthpiece” right now is Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep.