Commentary Magazine


Contentions

What Would They Do if They Weren’t Campaigning?

Karl Rove details the litany of half-truths, exaggerations, and hardball attacks coming from the president’s team, and advises:

Team Obama is suffering from Extended Campaign Syndrome. In an election, campaign staffers are often just trying to survive until the next week or the next primary. They cut corners because they are fatigued or under pressure. They can be purposely combative and even portray critics as enemies.

Carrying this mindset into the White House can get you into trouble, a lesson the Obama administration is now learning the hard way.

All this is true, and equally so is that this is simply what Obama and his team do. In fact, it is all they do. Obama has no record and apparently no interest in devising complex legislation himself. He has no interest in modifying the liberal wish list so as to incorporate his opponents’ ideas or address their concerns. He doesn’t much care about bipartisanship. He’s been clear: he won, and he’s not about to let opponents or voters (or facts, for that matter) slow him down.

Since Inauguration Day he, more than any president in recent memory, has played a hyper-partisan brand of attack politics. George W. Bush is the object of perpetual scorn and blame. Robert Gibbs attacked media figures and attempted to “Limbaugh-ize” the GOP. The Republicans were labeled as obstructionists—even as their suggestions were given the back of the hand.

We elected a man whose greatest achievements were not legislative but campaigns. The Democrats selected someone who outmuscled the Clintons. We should therefore have expected a White House that treats citizens as stooges, opponents with contempt, and the Oval Office as just another war room. Some might have hoped Obama would grow while in office. But instead, he’s simply become more of who he has always been—a Chicago pol with some extraordinarily slick packaging.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.