Interesting post from New York here, that looks at how the coverage of debt issues has shifted over the past few months, toward being actually somewhat evenhanded on debt issues. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased they’ve gotten around to this. Of course, there’s no good reason why they shouldn’t have back in 2010, and doing so could have made life easier for everyone.

Incidentally, it’s interesting to see this shift occurring at about the same time that pretty much everyone has given up on the Obama Administration’s ability to operate on budgets. I actually see this as a positive sign, a very positive sign in fact. It means that liberalism is indeed capable of overcoming the hero worship seemingly inherent in presidential rule, and instead taking a realistic appraisal in the Administration. Republicans would have been much better off if, in 2005, they’d just admitted that Dubya had zero ability to manage U.S. foreign policy. But they couldn’t, since too much of their party’s identity was tied up in the heroic heroism of George W. Bush to see what a morass Iraq and Afghanistan have become. It was all they talked about in ’04, after all. Democrats have less invested in Obama as an economic miracle worker, I suppose. But much of Bush’s coalition was perfectly happy to excuse the disasters on his watch because he was taking aggressive action against the horrific affront to humanity that is Islamofascism*–they were happy with the basic thrust and didn’t need to hear about all those small details–while Obama’s miscalculations mostly involve a complete inability to understand his opposition and make sound decisions on that basis. He never learns and he never gets better. The basic flaw here, again and again, is the thing in Obama that makes him assume that his opponents approach problems from the same basic way of thinking (if not the same assumptions) as he does, and if he just takes care of the substantive issues they have, then a big deal ought to happen. They don’t have that philosophy, and to the extent that Obama gives in on their substantive demands, they’ll just demand more outrageous ones. Virtually everyone from the center leftward gets this except for Barack Obama, and I have little confidence he’ll learn it anytime soon.

* How did this not become a meme? Just toss fascism onto whatever thing you don’t like. Still, this does make for an interesting parallel. Bush’s disasters were supported by his base because they liked the aggressiveness directed at a target they hated. Obama’s critics frequently wish for a more assertive, tough, practical governing philosophy. I don’t really think toughness and aggressiveness alone would accomplish more of his objectives, though the lack of it has dampened enthusiasm among his base for sure.

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