If you were planning to do a hit job on Sarah Palin, this was not a great week to do it. A failed fiction writer released a novel at a time when Palin is still a private citizen and the most favorable story to your side is on the website of a Fox News contributor. By the time this blip in the news cycle blows over, Palin will still have plenty of time to announce a candidacy. Without even running, she’s within the margin of error against President Obama.
Speaking of him, Jackass is not faring so well this week. The fast and the furious gunrunning scandal is only on the back burner because of the even more graft-related Solyndra debacle. If you’re talking about literature, a new book looking inside the White House is painting the picture of a small man with small ideas.
Anita Dunn, one of the early targets of Glenn Beck, became embroiled in a new story this week. First, she told Ron Suskind that the White House was an example of a hostile workplace, then denied it, then had her lies exposed with a tape of the interview. These days, you need the tape. That’s why Andrew Breitbart is a hero of the Right.
Not only do we have a defeated president, we have a fundamentally weak president who is getting closer to the corruption he spoke against in his campaign. When Bill Clinton lost Congress in 1994, he moved the line a little to the right, but he drew it hard. The Republicans knew exactly how much they could get after a while. When Bush lost Congress in 2006, he de-Rumsfelded his Iraq plan, but dared the Congress to withdraw funding. They relented.
Obama has done nothing of the kind. His first battle against Fox ended with him interviewed on The O’Reilly Factor. He passed trillions in new spending with almost no Republican votes, even though the resulting legislation was frequently filled with what his critics would consider Republican compromises. Since 2011, John Boehner gets the better of him at nearly every opportunity. The new strategy of base stimulus will almost certainly end in capitulation.
Maybe the president hasn’t shrunk. His approval ratings have. His prestige has waned. People who held him in reverence now consider him a punchline. Sycophants are now spending their time defending him instead of going after the other side. Maybe Obama was always small. Some people just had to grow up.