Now Dowd?

Dropping like flies, they are. David Brooks, David Gergen, Chris Buckley and now Maureen Dowd are all falling off the Obama bandwagon. The idealized and idolized figure who they imagined would transform the presidency and the country isn’t living up to their expectations. What’s Dowd’s beef? She also sounds like a CPAC speaker:

In one of his disturbing spells of passivity, President Obama decided not to fight Congress and live up to his own no-earmark pledge from the campaign.

Well, maybe the Iraq part wouldn’t have been there, but just about everything else comes from the list of conservative complaints about the president (e.g. hypocrisy, irresponsibility, fiscal sloth). So do Dowd and all the other critics now get the White House back-of-the-hand, “you’re peddling failed ideas” treatment? It gets harder for Robert Gibbs to spit out the ad hominem attacks when the critics increase in number and political diversity.

I don’t think it’s realistic to expect any president to retain the level of approval and devotion with which he begins his presidency. Sometimes that popularity, or political capital, is lost by making distinct choices and obtaining certain legislative goals that offend or disappoint one group of voters or another. But, here, the goodwill is being lost for no good reason — out of laziness or lack of courage to take on the old bulls in Congress. Obama is not getting anything in return and he’s losing friends and emboldening opponents.

When combined with the gigantic and overreaching budget, his support for the omnibus travesty leaves the impression there is simply nothing he won’t spend money on — for important or unimportant items. And, more critically, it shows he lacks the political will or muscle to resist the Washington inertia which was the target of candidate Obama’s campaign. Dowd and other starry-eyed followers must be asking, “What was the point?” Meanwhile the fiscal conservatives from both parties are in revolt. All in all, that $410B is proving awfully costly.