Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bob Woodward: The President as Will, Representation and Idea

     You know the phrase "slipping into madness" which is more like the direction the Republican party has been going in for years. Woodward on the other hand is slipping into vapidity as his fellow "Centrists" like David Gregory and David Brooks.

     No matter what happens, Woodward concludes that the President failed to "exercise his Will." Will something very powerful evidently  He believes in the power of Will at least the President's Will so much, you'd almost think he is starting a new life as a German Idealist. I haven't heard so much talk of Will since reading Schelling and Schopenhauer.

    However, I started to write this late last night. Since then Woodward and fellow Very Serious Person, David Ignatius have turned it up a notch. While I accused him of slipping into vapidity, he this very morning accused the President of slipping into a kind of madness. Huh? Well, it's "mad" according to Woodward not recognize the bully pulpit of his office. See if you can figure that one out.

    "Bob Woodward, who has been engaged in a fight with the White House over blame for the sequester, on Wednesday called the administration's decision not to send the aircraft carrier Truman to the Persian Gulf because of looming defense spending cuts a "kind of madness."
"Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there saying, 'Oh, by the way, I can't do this because of some budget document?'" Woodward said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "Or George W. Bush saying, 'You know, I'm not gonna invade Iraq, because I can't get the aircraft carriers I need?' Or even Bill Clinton saying, 'You know, I'm not going to attack Saddam Hussein's intelligence headquarters' -- as he did when Clinton was President -- because of some budget document? Under the Constitution, the President is Commander in Chief and employs the force. And so we now have the President going out, because of this piece of paper and this agreement, I can't do what I need to do to protect the country. That's a kind of madness that I haven't seen in a long time."

     It's not clear exactly when this happened but Woodward has long since jumped the shark. It there something with the name David? So many of the VSP are Davids-first you have their titualar leader David Brooks, then David Gregory, now David Ignatius; then along came Bob. 

     As suggested, we're now seeing a full blow Obama Derangement Syndrome out of the VSP establishment. They just can't get over the idea that-for some reason-it's all Obama's fault. Woodward likes to pontificate profoundly into the exact nature of something he calls Leadership and working the Presidential Will. 

     "I love Jonathan Chait’s phrase “the fever swamp of the center”; it really is true that self-identified centrists are sounding crazier and crazier, as they try to reconcile their fanatical devotion to the proposition that both parties are equally at fault with the distressing reality that Obama actually advocates the policies they claim to want. And today’s WaPo editorial on the sequestertakes the fever to a new pitch. The editorial admits that Obama is calling for exactly the polices the WaPo wants, while Republicans are off the deep end in refusing to consider any revenue; but the piece is nonetheless written as a criticism of Obama, because
Mr. Obama has presented entitlement reform as something he would do grudgingly, as a favor to the opposition, when he should be explaining to the American people — and to his party — why it is an urgent national need.
    "Oh, Barack, you’re telling me what I want to hear, but you don’t sound as if you mean it! Is this policy analysis, or a lovers’ quarrel?"
     Fever Swamp of the Center-has an accurate ring to it. What they can't do is just admit this meme doesn't work. Meanwhile Woodward's book still claims that Obama was the cause of the "Grand Bargain" breaking down, even though Cantor now is one the record as admitting that, yeah, he killed the deal because he thought it would benefit the GOP politically. 
     "Cantor was one of the most influential political forces in Obama’s first term. In June of 2011, the President and the Speaker began working toward a Grand Bargain of major tax increases and spending cuts to address the government’s long-term budget deficits. Until late June, Boehner had managed to keep these talks secret from Cantor. On July 21st, Boehner paused in his discussions with Obama to talk to Cantor and outline the proposed deal. As Obama waited by the phone for a response from the Speaker, Cantor struck. Cantor told me that it was a “fair assessment” that he talked Boehner out of accepting Obama’s deal. He said he told Boehner that it would be better, instead, to take the issues of taxes and spending to the voters and “have it out” with the Democrats in the election. Why give Obama an enormous political victory, and potentially help him win reĆ«lection, when they might be able to negotiate a more favorable deal with a new Republican President? Boehner told Obama there was no deal. Instead of a Grand Bargain, Cantor and the House Republicans made a grand bet."

     Read more:



1 comment:

  1. Again, great article. This whole Woodward thing is just baffling to me.