The Corner

‘Creeping’ to the Center

My latest New York Post column is up. The subject is the death of the DLC and the media’s ludicrous meme that President Obama is somehow “creeping” to the center — even though he flatly denied that to Bill O’Reilly on Super Sunday. 

The DLC lost its political influence and donors because, as part of his well-choreographed and thoroughly dishonest “creep” to the center, President Obama and his media flunkies have co-opted its image and message — without the slightest intention of implementing its philosophy.

What Obama & Co. learned from Clinton wasn’t anything substantive, such as his landmark welfare reform, but the smile and the shoeshine that got him past the shoals of Monica Lewinsky.

In other words, Shinola, not substance.

How else to explain the ludicrous Time magazine cover last week depicting Ronald Reagan with his arm around Obama — as if the two presidents had anything in common except affability?

It’s all in a day’s work for this lighter-than-air administration, which has long since mastered the ability to talk out of both sides of its mouth simultaneously. The juvenile “fierce urgency of now” has left Guantanamo still open, troops still in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan still raging, the Bush-era security policies still largely in place. In Egypt, Obama’s flirtation with the Muslim Brotherhood and his petulant, foot-stamping demand that the transition to a post-Mubarak era must begin now has been met with head-cracking in the streets of Cairo, and it appears likely that Mubarak, 83 and ill with cancer, will leave in September as planned. So much for now.

And yet, confident of a compliant press corps still in thrall to the “narrative” — “first black president triumphs over endemic American racism, girds for battle royale with dead-ender Tea Party” — Obama and his crew treat the public like a newborn: all news is new news, entirely devoid of context. All preceding statements are inoperable.

None of this should come as a surprise. Whatever Obama’s personal merits, the fact remains that this is his first executive position. A man whose remarkable rise to political power has been smoothed by the removal of his opponents from the ballot and by the mysterious release of sealed divorce records, has never faced any significant challenges (including the McCain candidacy), and it is not surprising that he continues to see himself as the Speechmaker-in-Chief, secure in the knowledge that the healing words of his teleprompter are the balm that will make political disagreements disappear in a fog of applause-line rhetoric.  

Michael Walsh — Mr. Walsh is the author of the novels Hostile Intent and Early Warning and, writing as frequent NRO contributor David Kahane, Rules for Radical Conservatives.


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