The New York Times‘ Peter Baker has written a long article for the Sunday Magazine examining President Obama and his White House staff nearly two years after the 2008 election, titled The Education of President Obama. It’s the kind of thoughtful, analytical piece that should be a reaffirmation of everything for which the Times helped elect Obama — showcasing his wisdom, his wit, his amazing policy successes, and his bright prospects for 2011 – 2012 and his expected second term.
Instead, it’s a total downer, highlighting Obama’s opacity, arrogance and inability to accept that Americans have rejected his entire agenda. He and the White House staff are depicted as insulated from, and dismissive of, the nation’s mood nearly two years into his failed presidency. (If the Times allowed this to be published, what must the Left be saying in private about their messiah?) Obama’s lack of self-reflection or willingness to consider opposing viewpoints shine through, in statements like this one:
As we talked in the Oval Office, Obama acknowledged that the succession of so many costly initiatives, necessary as they may have been, wore on the public. “That accumulation of numbers on the TV screen night in and night out in those first six months I think deeply and legitimately troubled people,” he told me. “They started feeling like: Gosh, here we are tightening our belts, we’re cutting out restaurants, we’re cutting out our gym membership, in some cases we’re not buying new clothes for the kids. And here we’ve got these folks in Washington who just seem to be printing money and spending it like nobody’s business.
“And it reinforced the narrative that the Republicans wanted to promote anyway, which was Obama is not a different kind of Democrat — he’s the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat.”
Exactly so — he is a tax-and-spend liberal Democrat, only much worse. How can he not understand this at all?
If you’re into Schadenfreude, you’ll enjoy reading the entire piece. This quote, however, sums up the tone and message that Baker is telegraphing to Obama and the Democratic Party:
Obama advisers who left the White House recently have been struck how different, and worse, things look from the outside. As he made a round of corporate job interviews after stepping down as White House budget director, Peter Orszag was stunned to discover how deep the gulf between the president and business had become. “I’d thought it was an 8, but it’s more like a 10,” he told me. “And rather than wasting time debating whether it’s legitimate,” he added, referring to his former colleagues, “the key is to recognize that it’s affecting what they do.”
Orszag’s remark, “rather than wasting time debating whether it’s legitimate,” explains this president’s major problem in governing: he still can’t be convinced that anyone with a differing opinion just might be correct, and Obama wrong. Again I must ask, how can he not understand this at all? Is Obama truly a narcissist, or perhaps even a sociopath, as some have claimed?
Just before uploading this, I noticed a new post on Business Insider, headlined “Liberals Disgusted At Obama Over His Latest NYT Profile”. And the far-left David Corn, on his Mother Jones blog, this morning asks, “Could the White House have picked a worse time to open up to the New York Times about its mistakes?” (If the Left is saying this in public….)