Fish Wrap: Debate Shows Obama’s Pretty Much Politics As Usual

The NY Times attempts to pretty much tell us, oh so gently, that Hope-n-change was pretty much all mule fritters, and Obama is nothing more than a typical inside the beltway politician. Were Obama a Republican, the Times would excoriate him for having run as a transformational figure who would do away with all the partisanship rancor in Washington, as a guy who do things different from the past way it was done in Washington. But, since he has a D next to his name, the Fish Wrap gently chides him in what I assume a manner to make him change his ways: Debate Shows Obama Plays by Washington’s Rules

It is not just that the left wing of the party thinks that its centrists hold too much sway and are too quick to cave when faced with pressure from the right. It is also that this White House, stocked as it is with insiders, people whose view of politics is shaped by the compromises inherent in legislating, is confronting a liberal base made up largely of outsiders to the lawmaking process who are asking why they should accept politics as usual.

Hmm, stocked with insiders. Washington as usual.

As much as Mr. Obama presented himself as an outsider during his campaign, a lesson of this battle is that this is a president who would rather work within the system than seek to upend it. He is not the ideologue ready to stage a symbolic fight that could end in defeat; he is a former senator comfortable in dealing with the arcane rules of the Senate and prepared to accept compromise in search of a larger goal. For the most part, Democrats on Capitol Hill have stuck with him.

I do have to take exception with “not an ideologue” notion the Fish Wrap pushes. He is very much an ideologue. It is just that he is too incompetent a leader, having never had a real job leading people and learning how to do it, to get his partisan agenda passed. Hence, his outsourcing of virtually everything to the Dem leaders in Congress.

The Fish Wrap tries to highlight the differences between Howard Dean and Barry in the story, and goes to

Of course, it is easier to be an outsider when you are on the outside, which is where Mr. Dean is these days, after making an unsuccessful effort to win a post in the Obama White House.

It’s also easier to give a speech from a teleprompter about post-partisanship, changing the way Washington acts, etc and so on, you know the deal, than actually perform. Personally, I’m still waiting for the seas to recede. Though, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind if the ocean was a hundred miles or so closer to Raleigh, though, it could be difficult surfing through all those buildings and trees.

Still, Mr. Obama’s approach to this battle should not be a surprise to anyone who has followed his career or his campaign for the White House. He served in the United States Senate and in the Illinois Senate. His choice for chief of staff – Mr. Emanuel – was the No. 3 person in the House Democratic leadership, and many of his top West Wing aides came out of staff jobs in the Senate.

They couldn’t have told people that Obama was basically a standard old inside the beltway politician two years ago?

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