President Obama has watched the blood-dimmed tide drowning the ceremony of innocence, as Yeats wrote, and he has learned how to emotionally connect with Americans in searing moments, as he did from the White House late Friday night after the second bombing suspect was apprehended in Boston.Unfortunately, he still has not learned how to govern.How is it that the president won the argument on gun safety with the public and lost the vote in the Senate? It’s because he doesn’t know how to work the system. And it’s clear now that he doesn’t want to learn, or to even hire some clever people who can tell him how to do it or do it for him.It’s unbelievable that with 90 percent of Americans on his side, he could get only 54 votes in the Senate. It was a glaring example of his weakness in using leverage to get what he wants. No one on Capitol Hill is scared of him.Even House Republicans who had no intention of voting for the gun bill marveled privately that the president could not muster 60 votes in a Senate that his party controls.
Dowd's staggering ignorance of how Washington works betrays her own insecurities and inabilities to pin the problem on the real culprit: the 41 Republican senators who blocked Manchin-Toomey. These folks blocked the measure because they hate Obama and want to destroy him, not because they "fear" him. They blocked the measure because screaming Village airheads like Dowd serve as useful idiots who blame Obama regardless of the actual culpability of a party dedicated to the destruction of anything the President decides to do.
Any thinking observer would notice immediately that the Republicans in the Senate never had any intention of approaching gun violence legislation in good faith. If anything, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Republicans took advantage of the situation, got the President and Senate Democrats to commit to Manchin-Toomey by stringing along the notion that hope was alive, and then burned them all for political advantage.
It's easy to say that "What Republicans fear is the NRA" but it's more than that. What they fear is being replaced by people even more recalcitrant and more hateful than they are themselves toward not just the President, but more vitriolic towards the very idea that federal governance is even possible. Dowd bemoans the President's supposed inability to govern and his ability to learn how to. She should be going after the people making it impossible to govern at all.
We're trapped in a hell of our own making, where the only possible movement of one party is toward more nihilist extremism, not away from the brink of chaos, and Maureen Dowd is spouting empty nonsense about how good government is found in a Michael Douglas movie. If she hasn't figured out by now that she's part of the problem with the government she complains about not working by disgorging this pile of fever-bright crap allowing the real culprits to escape blame, all while raging impotently at the only guy who can possibly fix the problem, she never will.
At this point, Maureen Dowd has to be considered part of the reason why Washington remains ungovernable. At the very least, she remains part of the reason it is considered by those outside the Beltway as pathetic.
[UPDATE] Walter Russell Mead absolutely levels Dowd in his column today.
Column writing is dangerous work and long success in the game can lead to the stifling of that Editor Within who keeps you from looking too stupid in print. A rich self esteem, fortified by decades of op-ed tenure and dinner party table talk dominance, has apparently given Ms. Dowd the confidence to believe that she is a maestro of political infighting, a Clausewitz of strategic insight and a Machiavelli of political cunning rolled up into one stylish and elegant piece of work. From the heights of insight on which she dwells, it is easy to see what that poor schmuck Barry Obama can’t: those 60 votes on gun control were his for the taking, if he was only as shrewd a politician as Maureen Dowd.
Do read the rest. Dowd is the prototypical emoprog, whose only real defining trait is that they believe they know everything better than President Obama, manifesting itself in a blind hatred for the man that rivals the worst Republican lunatics.