Thursday, March 05, 2009


Chatter continues on Rush Limbaugh, which I routinely switch away from. But I am catching one question, raised most loudly by Chris Matthews, as to why the Obama White House is elevating Rush and using him for political purposes--because he is vastly unpopular with most of the country, he doesn't strengthen or certainly expand GOPer power. But why is the Obama White House engaging in this, when Obama made such a point of post-partisan bi-partisan consensus?

Well, of course I wouldn't know but I can guess. President Obama went to great lengths to get cooperation on the Recovery Act. He and Democrats didn't debate it on TV when they were talking with Republican lawmakers. But the GOPers did go public. While they were pretending to confer, they were already aligned against Obama and the bill. They drank at the White House and had coffee at the Capitol, but they'd already decided to enforce a united GOPer front. They were playing the President for a patsy.

So for awhile all the cable chatter was about why Obama was in the swamp of bipartisanship when he should just face facts and go forward with a Democratic bill, and stop trying to compromise.

Well, trying to play the President for a patsy has consequences. And this rush to Rush may be it. By tagging GOPers with Rush's leadership, the White House is forcing the GOPers in Congress to defend themselves. It's actually pretty funny that the host of Hardball doesn't see it when it's in front of him. Now he complains that this is beneath Obama. But now that the budget and health care are on the fast track agenda, GOPers are in some disarray, and they must realize that Obama isn't going to always be on defense, or a patsy.

As for the cable and blog chatterers, they could actually choose to ignore the Rush stuff but they've played their part with such predictable perfection that they are the patsys. And when their grandchildren find out they were hosts or bloggers for HuffPost and ask them about reporting on the great transformations and policy debates of the Obama administration, what are they going to say? Actually we didn't cover that. We talked about Rush.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Getting Used to This

I suppose we're all still getting used to this: we've got a President who is doing weird things, like keeping campaign promises. Like changing things.

Some seem to still be having problems coping with the fact that we have a Democrat in the White House. Somebody on Keith pointed out--I think it was that guy in the v-neck sweater from the Nation--that despite the change in party of power, Washington and its media is still geared up to serve Republicans. But it seems so is Keith. Most of "Countdown" is still railing against Republicans and the right. Hey, Keith--how about more on what Obama is doing, instead of what the Republicans are saying? It's the same moronic blather, and it doesn't do anything anymore.

Meanwhile, Obama is doing so much so fast, with such huge changes comparatively, that it would be nice to see more about that. Is anybody equipped to do that kind of reporting, after eight years in the Bush? A newspaper in England not exactly in tune with a Democratic agenda has noticed a few things.

Tomorrow Kathleen Sebelius is supposed to be announced as the choice for Health and Human Services. Politically it may not seem like the smartest move. If she stayed in Kansas and ran for the Senate in 2010, it probably would mean a crucial Democratic seat. Meanwhile, Howard Dean doesn't have a job. But Governor Sebelius is praised as an administrator--and that's what HHS needs. So it may well be better for the country.