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.