I admit it — I was looking forward to reading Maureen Dowd. Would she go into “Wall Street is worse, so get over it” mode? Or would she turn on the hapless President? She starts off with the latter:
It took Daschle’s resignation to shake the president out of his arrogant attitude that his charmed circle doesn’t have to abide by the lofty standards he lectured the rest of us about for two years. . .
Mr. Obama’s errors on the helter-skelter stimulus package were also self-induced. He should put down those Lincoln books and order “Dave” from Netflix.
When Kevin Kline becomes an accidental president, he summons his personal accountant, Murray Blum, to the White House to cut millions in silly programs out of the federal budget so he can give money to the homeless.
And then she channels John McCain — or CATO:
“Mr. Obama should have taken a red pencil to the $819 billion stimulus bill and slashed all the provisions that looked like caricatures of Democratic drunken-sailor spending.
As Senator Kit Bond, a Republican, put it, there were so many good targets that he felt “like a mosquito in a nudist colony.” He was especially worried about the provision requiring the steel and iron for infrastructure construction to be American-made, and by the time the chastened president talked to Chris Wallace on Fox Tuesday, he agreed that “we can’t send a protectionist message.”
Alas, she can’t resist — and takes a detour into Wall Street bashing. But let’s not move on so quickly.
Have we reached the perfect political consensus? If Dowd and conservative blogs can agree, maybe Congress can. It goes like this: dump the tax cheats (Larry Kudlow says that means you, Mr. Geithner), forget the ethics waivers, avoid protectionism (I guess we’re not renegotiating NAFTA after all), and cut out all the junky spending from the stimulus.
One of the many TV anchors on the White House PR blitz should have thought to ask whether President Obama has been a spectator at his own presidency — watching as Pelosi makes off with his bipartisan stimulus bill and waiting for the Gray Lady to chase Daschle out. Nevertheless, he did bring about some bipartisan consensus. Unfortunately for the President, the consensus is that most of what he’s done in the first two weeks should be redone.
So rather than “Dave” we need “Groundhog Day” — and the chance to see whether he can get it right if we start all over again.