Shame on the Washington Post

The Washington Post owners and editors should be ashamed of themselves for publishng on the home page of the paper’s website an opinion piece by pollsters Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Shoen calling for President Obama to immediately announce that he will not seek re-election. Why should this president take the recent midterm election as a kind of plebiscite on the future of his presidency after only two years? Did any serious person suggest the same when recent past presidents came out of the midterms with bad or mixed results? The Democrats still hold the US Senate and the Presidency, after all.

How come there is a special need for Barack Obama to decline to seek a second term? If he gets a nomination challenge from within his party, then the Dems can deal with that, like LBJ did in 1968.  To give headline-seekers like Caddell and Shoen such prominent play is embarrassing for the Post. Are the nation’s problems so grave that only the President falling on his political sword can save us? What about asking the conservatives to compromise with the President? Where’s that op-ed? The price of their cooperation is his possible second term? Let’s have every member of Congress join in the announcement to resign as of December 31, 2012, to really get a post-partisan buzz on and free everyone up to make tough decisions in the next 23 months. What’s good for one is good for the other, no? How about McConnell, Boehner, Rand, and Coats and the rest taking the pledge, too?

This smells to me like the kind of nullification tactics that the conservatives practiced for the past two years, in a sense refusing to acknowledge the election of Obama. This has been the conservative game for a while now when a Democrat is elected President. They went so far as impeachment for Bill Clinton when they could not defeat him at the polls. In 2000, the Supreme Court did the job for them, taking out Al Gore before those Florida votes could really be examined. The conservatives seem to think they are entitled to the White House, otherwise they will take their ball and go home. They think the Democrats (all of them labeled liberals, naturally, by the conservatives despite the party’s big tent) aren’t the kind of Americans who can be trusted with the Presidency.

For the Post to include as identifiers for Caddell and Shoen that they polled for Democratic presidents adds to the stink, somehow suggesting they are credible Democratic voices. These guys have been knocking President Obama and even admit it in the op-ed. They cloak their call for him to opt out in a “for the good of the country” rationale. Is this going to be the start of a media drumbeat to drive Barack Obama from office early? Are Fox’s audience numbers scaring the rest of the media outlets, or is the insatiable media beast now bored of Obama and in need of a new storyline to keep people looking for the next headline? Washington Post? I thought I had landed on the front page of the Washington Times instead. I’m not even going to link to the opinion piece.

13 Responses to Shame on the Washington Post

  1. Bob Forrant says:

    Nearly 150 years after the start of the Civil War, we’re still fighting it and Caddell and Shoen and the Washington Post aid and abet the code-worded yelpers who whine about ‘taking the country back.’ What’s next, prominently placed guest pieces calling for the repeal of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments and a do over of major civil rights legislation?

    Oh, and ‘sad Bush II’ nearly balling talking to buzz cut Matt Lauer about how badly he felt when unstable Kanee West called him racist believing this was his lowest point in office, as opposed to the actual way he did not respond to Katrina – part of the same package of dangerous junk food. Does anyone believe for a second if the Bush compound in Kennebunckport had been hit by such a flood, Bush II would have ignored it the way he did New Orleans?

  2. Prince Charming says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head about Fox’s numbers. Clinton also had his butt handed to him during his first term’s midterm elections. Remember Gingrich? Clinton had a rocky start and went on to become an effective President. The same will happen here as long as Obama moves toward the center and doesn’t play into Fox’s tea-stained hands.

  3. DougD says:

    I think you’re missing the most salient point of all – the current president is incompetent as a leader of our nation.

  4. Steve says:

    I don’t agree that Obama should not run for a second term. He may have to move to the center as many have suggested. That being said, it bothers me when I hear people assuming that if you’re a vocal critic of Obama’s programs you’re a racist. The people who talk about “taking the country back” say that what they mean is that they’re against big government and the ever increasing debt that both parties have incurred.

    When people are genuinely afraid of the direction the country is heading, or afraid of anything, and try to express their concern, I think the worst thing to do is attack them as being racist or unpatriotic or whatever. People see the role of government very differently, and they’re quite passionate about it on both sides. There’s no surprise there. But I’d be very wary of attributing motives and trying to recognize racist code words, because if you say someone is racist, you’re absolved from the responsibility of even listening to what they’re saying.

  5. Bob Forrant says:

    So DougD, you’d have called after two years of Bush One, Bush Two, two years into Nixon’s second term, that they to resign?

  6. Greg Page says:

    Steve, thanks. I ran out to do a bunch of errands and had meant to make that point about “code words” and criticism of the President, but by the time I got back I saw you had already written it, and said it better than I would have.

    Just to further back it up, we don’t have to go too far back into American history to see all the awful, personal attacks that were made against Clinton and Bush. How many times were they hanged in effigy, even within our borders? How many times were they compared to History’s worst tyrants?

    Also, Caddell and Shoen didn’t call on the President to resign…they were saying that he should announce he wouldn’t run again and then focus on a centrist agenda. That falls somewhere within the realm of political advice (albeit bad political advice). Still, a few hours’ time on the Internet could probably yield just as many wacky political prescriptions offered unsolicited to nearly anyone who has ever served in the Oval Office.

    Also, just to add to Steve’s last paragraph — when every criticism (or even every misguided political stratagem) somehow becomes “racist,” then the eventual follow-on effect is to stifle ALL disagreement. If that starts to happen, well I’d say that’s a direction I wouldn’t want the country to go in…

  7. DougD says:

    So Bob Forrant, I didn’t mention Bush, nor Nixon?? This is not about the Republican Party vs the Democrat Party. I’m not in favor of Obama resigning, just not run for re-election. Announcing it now would make him a lame duck – a perfect first step towards addressing our many problems. Obama is a great campaigner (in fact, he hasn’t stopped campaigning ), but clearly he has not DEMONSTRATED the ability to lead our great country – only demean it in the eyes of the world. This is consistent with his life experiences – we elected in incompetent narcissist.

    And Steve, forget it if you expect Obama to move to the center – he will talk that way but he is not predisposed to change in order to protect his liberal base. Just replay any of his ‘hope and change’ campaign speeches and ask yourself where he actually has provided leadership??

    best regards

  8. Bob Forrant says:

    To somehow not think race is a central feature of any discussions about the Obama presidency and that somehow everyone so eager to ‘save the country’ and ‘take back the country’ is immune from this as part of the story-line, for me at least, represents a misreading of how race has always been a tangled part of our national story, from the founding. ‘Taking back the country’ reads to me like Southern Dems after the Civil War wanting their South back and the federal government to not be there to enforce the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments and it also reminds me of white parents of southern school age children in the 1960s being more than willing to close down pubic schools across the South rather than have them be integrated. ‘Race’ as part of the conversation can not be kept out; it is intrinsic to the country’s history and thus unavoidable.

  9. DougD says:

    After vainly attempting to follow and contribute to this thread, I now conclude the discussion has gotten way off track and I will sign off with a closing comment:

    The pollsters feel Obama has lost it and want him declare that he will not run again in order to rally the country and move forward in unison. All of this disagreement with your views is racism traceable to the Civil War? Can’t we just start with the basic premise of the article that Obama is woefully under- performing in his role as president of the greatest nation in the world??

  10. PaulM says:

    DD–You may see President Obama as under-performing, but others have a different view. Here is the view at Rolling Stone, from an article this fall:

    “Less than halfway through his first term, Obama has compiled a remarkable track record. As president, he has rewritten America’s social contract to make health care accessible for all citizens. He has brought 100,000 troops home from war and forged a once-unthinkable consensus around the endgame for the Bush administration’s $3 trillion blunder in Iraq. He has secured sweeping financial reforms that elevate the rights of consumers over Wall Street bankers and give regulators powerful new tools to prevent another collapse. And most important of all, he has achieved all of this while moving boldly to ward off another Great Depression and put the country back on a halting path to recovery.

    “Along the way, Obama delivered record tax cuts to the middle class and slashed nearly $200 billion in corporate welfare — reinvesting that money to make college more accessible and Medicare more solvent. He single-handedly prevented the collapse of the Big Three automakers — saving more than 1 million jobs — and brought Big Tobacco, at last, under the yoke of federal regulation. Even in the face of congressional intransigence on climate change, he has fought to constrain carbon pollution by executive fiat and to invest $200 billion in clean energy — an initiative bigger than John F. Kennedy’s moonshot and one that’s on track to double America’s capacity to generate renewable energy by the end of Obama’s first term.

    “On the social front, he has improved pay parity for women and hate-crime protections for gays and lesbians. He has brought a measure of sanity to the drug war, reducing the sentencing disparity for crack cocaine while granting states wide latitude to experiment with marijuana laws. And he has installed two young, female justices on the Supreme Court, creating what [historian Douglas]Brinkley calls “an Obama imprint on the court for generations.”

  11. Bob Forrant says:

    Doug I don’t think I used the word racism, I was attempting to make the point that ‘race’ is part of the dialogue. wWhether we would like it or want it to be, makes no difference-it is there in the nation’s history and part of the air we breathe. To get better as a nation we need to deal with this straight ahead and while I agree we should not ever use the knee-jerk cry of racism as the answer to a particular thorny problem – we do need to where it fits, think through the question of race and how it relates to whatever the subject matter at hand. My opinion, for what it is worth

  12. Righty Bulger says:

    Thanks for that referrence to Rolling Stone Paul. If that’s the best you can do to defend the Rock Star President, no wonder your party lost all those seats at the state and federal levels.

    Bob, you’re being disingenous here. You may not have used the word racism, but you clearly imply racism by saying George Bush would have acted differently had Kennebunk been flooded. You also specifically mentioned still fighting the Civil War, which was fought over slavery, and repealing Civil rights, which was all about racism. You might as well have used the word racism, because that’s what’s implied.

  13. Steve says:

    I know a guy who is rabidly anti-Obama and constantly complaining about his “socialist agenda.”
    He’d like to “take the country back,” but when I asked him who he’d like to vote for for president, he said immediately, “The candidate I could really support is Alan Keyes.”
    So as I said, I don’t like to attribute motives to people.