Potomac’s Postpartisan Depression
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: February 7, 2009
Maureen Dowd has been reading fairy tales again and she always loves a Royalty Metaphor™.
Once upon a time, America thought Prince Charming would glide in and kiss her, reviving her from a coma induced by a poison apple of greed, deceit, carelessness, recklessness and overreaching.The problem is that post-modern Prince Charmings are no longer what they are cracked up to be. In the Shrek movies Prince Charming is a vacuous villain. In Disney’s Enchanted, he is, while still quite charming, not quite up to the transition from 2-D to 3-D. In Maureen Dowd’s version of the tale, he’s also a bit of bumbler.
But then the prince got distracted, seeing Lincoln in the mirror, and instead gave the kiss of life to a bunch of flat-lining Republican tax-cut fetishists.According to Dowd, Obama is getting run roughshod by the House Republicans.
Somehow the most well-known person on the planet lost control of the economic message to someone named Eric Cantor.Rep. Cantor (R-VA) is the House Whip, a job with a metaphorical title that Dowd feels Obama should be employing.
The president and his aides seemed a bit snow-blinded by the White House, overwhelmed and slow to understand that they were losing the high ground and the whip hand.Her other favorite leadership metaphor is the carrot and stick (discussed at length here).
But the carrot-stick ratio was way out of whack.She feels the stick should be used to whack a mole, or perhaps a groundhog.
Just as Michael Bloomberg learned the perils of cuddling a groundhog when it bit him, Mr. Obama learned the perils of coddling conservatives.Which is the first of a couple of Dowdversions® used to describe this shift in the power structure.
In his first weeks padding around a White House that still has nails on the walls waiting for new pictures, and phone and e-mail kinks, Barack Obama could not locate the bully pulpit and ended up being bullied.She points to the bungled Daschle nomination as where Obama lost his mojo with this zenlike observation.
They wanted him because he was the ultimate insider and they lost him because he was the ultimate insider. Now Daschle’s punishment for getting too rich with special interests will be to get richer with special interests.Maureen’s advice was to be just a little less ambitious in rescuing the damsal and be a little more of a schlemiel.
Mr. Obama should have written up a kosher (as in pork-free) bill that Americans could trust — and Republicans couldn’t as easily mock — and jammed it through.So after all this whipping and whacking and bullying and jamming, where does that leave Obama? All alone.
President Obama doesn’t need to leave his new home to be isolated. That’s the specialty of the White House.Heavy is the head that wears the crown, no matter how charming the prince is.