Sunday, January 18, 2009

And Lo, The Village Idiots Spake...

If it's Sunday, it must be time for a backhanded hit piece on Obama from Politico, and this week they don't disappoint.
With Barack Obama's approval ratings in the 70s and his visage plastered on every shop window and Metro card in Washington, it's hard to remember that 58 million Americans voted for the other guy.

Even President Bush — who presumably counts himself among that group — said last week that Obama's inauguration is "a moment of hope and pride."

That's not exactly how Michelle Malkin describes it.

"Jan. 20 has turned into a schlock inauguration, (where) every last moocher has come to cash in on Obama," says the conservative blogger and pundit. "There are some of us who want to bang our heads against the wall."

While most Republicans now in office are saying all the right things about Tuesday's proceedings — roll tape on "peaceful transfer of power" and "historic moment for the country" sound bites — some conservatives can't quite get themselves in the "We Are One" mood.

Not even for a day.

On his radio show last week, Rush Limbaugh railed against "people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, 'Well, I hope he succeeds. We have to give him a chance.'"

"Why?" Limbaugh demanded. "They didn't give Bush a chance in 2000. Before he was inaugurated, the search-and-destroy mission had begun. I'm not talking about search-and-destroy, but I've been listening to Barack Obama for a year and a half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don't want them to succeed."
Let's get things straight. The Village has one job now: to make George W. Bush's presidency look better than Barack Obama's.

Honestly, why is El Rushbo and Malkinvania hating Obama news enough for a Sunday Politico column? The millions of people out there this week braving the cold to get a glimpse of Obama at this historic juncture are just not representative of America, apparently. Malkinvania and El Rushbo are, however.

The country being truly grateful for getting rid of Bush just doesn't compute to these guys. Obama has to be taken down. Your "liberal media" is going after Obama hardcore now, and he's still not even President yet.

The Bush Legacy

Matt Yglesias sums up the last eight years (emphasis me.)
Thinking back to George W. Bush’s farewell address it’s striking that the best thing the man can say about his record in office is that only once during his term in office were 3,000 people killed by foreign terrorists. And it’s really striking that other people in the conservative movement seem to take this “accomplishment” very seriously.
There's a reason why conservatism is dead right now. It's on the slab and the Republicans along with it are not going to be able to stop Obama. Why? BooMan explains (again, emphasis me).
It's mostly raw numbers. The Democrats have the votes to do almost anything they want. But there two other factors that are new and poorly understood. The first is Obama himself. The Democrats haven't seen a president like this with this much congressional support since LBJ, and we all remember the Great Society was the result. The most important factor though is that the Republicans have suffered a total collapse on all fronts. They have lost elections, partisan support, the ability to raise money, the ability to redraw districts in their favor, their credibility on the budget, taxes, national security, and family essence, they no longer have a coherent ideology to rally around.

The Republicans also lack a national leader. They don't even have a Barry Goldwater. Therefore, Republican politicians are rudderless and will increasingly find the safest course is to look out for themselves and their own interests. And the only way for a Republican to be relevant in this Congress, and to make tangible achievements that they can bring back to the voters in their states or districts, is to work with the Democrats on their committees as they draft new laws. They will have to work with the Democrats on energy, financial regulation, agriculture, transportation spending, non-proliferation, and education, and then they will have to vote for that legislation.

This is especially true in the Senate, where the Republicans are more inclined to work in this way and, in any case, they still have some relevance. But the idea that Minority Leader McConnell will be able to filibuster Democratic legislation is absurd. He will never kill off bills that his members have had a say in crafting. And this is why Obama's refusal to make hard ideological stands and demands is not a signal that he is going to move to the center. He's not moving to the center, he's co-opting the center and making it part of his coalition. If you don't believe, just watch. Obama is going to be the most powerful president since LBJ, and he will leave a similar legacy of progressive legislation.

That's a nice thought. We'll see if it holds true. There's a reason why Bush's approval rating is 22%. He's the worst President of anything, ever. The man that follows will hopefully be one of the best.

He has to be. If he's not, America is in serious trouble.

Sue For Peace

Hamas and Israel have agreed to a temporary cease-fire in Gaza. Of course the meaning of "cease-fire" is "Israel still occupies all of Gaza and will resume attacking at any time."
Palestinian militants agreed Sunday to a one-week cease-fire against Israel, Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said.

The Hamas announcement came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced a unilateral cease-fire in the country's assault on Hamas in Gaza.

"We in the Palestinian resistance movements announce a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip," Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official in Syria, said on Syrian TV. "And we demand that Israeli forces withdraw in one week and that they open all the border crossings to permit the entry of humanitarian aid and basic goods for our people in Gaza."

The agreement covers all Palestinian armed factions, not only Hamas, said CNN Jerusalem correspondent Paula Hancocks.
Israel has no intention of withdrawing from Gaza, of course. The inevitable result is another round of hostilities by both sides after a week or so.

Village Stupidity

Via BooMan, today's front page story in the Washington Post explores the newest D.C. party scene accessory: Black people.
Except for the first time, the face of ultimate power is African American. With a black first family in the White House and a diverse group of appointees and Cabinet nominees, the all-white dinner party feels all wrong. Certain hosts are suddenly grappling with a new reality: They need some black friends. Overnight, black politicians, lawyers and journalists are hot properties, receiving engraved invitations from people they never got invitations from before.

Blacks have gone from barely being on the list to being in charge of the list.

"Everyone knows that his campaign was about inclusion," Jarrett said. "We would expect that spirit of inclusion to also reflect on Washington's social scene."

A swift shift is underway in this exclusive set of those who deal with the highest level of federal government. That's a signal of wholesale change, said A. Scott Bolden, managing partner of law firm Reed Smith's Washington office and a longtime politico in a city where professionals work side by side by day, but socialize separately at night.

"You see those 'What's In and Out' columns every year?" he asked with a laugh. "With Obama and the first family in town, arguably being black is 'in.' "

This? This right here is why I despise the Village. Washington, D.C. is one of the most heavily African-American cities in the country, and only now with a black President is somebody noticing after 230 years something might be wrong with an all-white dinner party in a mostly-black city.

Jesus wept. "Well, up until now the D.C. cocktail circuit was a bunch of racists. Now it's okay!"

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