Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Guest Posting by Casey

An excerpt from a Politico article:

"What if Bush had done that?

- A four-hour stop in New Orleans, on his way to a $3 million fundraiser.
- Snubbing the Dalai Lama.
- Signing off on a secret deal with drug makers.
- Freezing out a TV network.
- Doing more fundraisers than the last president. More golf, too.

President Barack Obama has done all of those things — and more. What’s remarkable is what hasn’t happened. These episodes haven’t become metaphors for Obama’s personal and political character — or consuming controversies that sidetracked the rest of his agenda. It’s a sign that the media’s echo chamber can be a funny thing, prone to the vagaries of news judgment, and an illustration that, in politics, context is everything. Conservatives look on with a mix of indignation and amazement and ask: Imagine the fuss if George W. Bush had done these things?
And quickly add, with a hint of jealousy: How does Obama get away with it?
“We have a joke about it. We’re going to start a website: IfBushHadDoneThat.com,” former Bush counselor Ed Gillespie said. “The watchdogs are curled up around his feet, sleeping soundly. ... There are countless examples: some silly, some serious.”

Indeed, Bush got grief for secret meetings with the oil industry, politicizing the White House and spending too much time on his beloved bike. But it’s not just Republicans who notice. Media observers note that the president often gets kid-glove treatment from the press, fellow Democrats and, particularly, interest groups on the left — Bush’s loudest critics, Obama’s biggest backers.

But others say there’s a larger phenomenon at work — in the story line the media wrote about Obama’s presidency. For Bush, the theme was that of a Big Business Republican who rode the family name to the White House, so stories about secret energy meetings and a certain laziness, intellectual and otherwise, fit neatly into the theme, to be replayed over and over again.
Obama’s story line was more positive from the start: historic newcomer coming to shake up Washington. So the negatives that sprung up around Obama — like a sense that he was more flash than substance — track what negative coverage he’s received, captured in a recent “Saturday Night Live” skit that made fun of his lack of accomplishments in office.
“There may well be almost an unconscious effort on the part of the media to give Obama a bit more slack because he is more likable, because he is the first African-American president. That plays into it,” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political analyst at the University of Southern California.

Democrats find the complaints of Obama “getting a pass” hard to stomach in light of the way the press treated Bush — particularly on the single biggest mistake of his presidency, relying on the faulty intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq. Now, Obama’s aides say, the positive coverage simply reflects the fact that their efforts are succeeding."


  1. This has nothing to do with Casey's blog, sorry Casey for hijacking it...but I felt I had to post this. Its an item for sale on woot.com today and for some reason all I could hear was Jake's voice as I was reading the description.

    "They were the future. There was Laserdiscs, Laser Tag… They even had an American Gladiator named after them.

    Now look what tasks the once-mighty laser’s been reduced to: Zapping hirsute women’s mustaches off, entertaining domestic cats, and parking cars.

    Honestly, parking cars? This is a job for burnout teens, not for lasers.

    That’s not to say that lasers don’t do it well. They do it great. This system here, it automatically activates when you open your garage door, then it guides you to the absolute perfect parking spot with—what else? Laser precision.

    It’s just kind of depressing, you know? It’s like if you went into a restroom and discovered John Glenn was working there as the attendant. Don’t get us wrong, restroom attendant is a perfectly honorable job. But John Glenn? Or—it’s what it must have been like to see Joe Louis in his pro wrestling stage. Or Johnny Rotten on Judge Judy.

    Our grandpa had an excellent parking system that he used for decades. It was a tennis ball he hung from the rafters in his garage at just the right spot so that when it bumped his windshield, he was all the way pulled in. It worked great. Just think about that. Lasers. Lasers. Doing a job that a tennis ball is qualified for.

    We weep, man, we really do."

  2. I'm not sure why you heard my voice...but seriously, lasers are the future. As a sidenote, I wish lasers was spelled with a Z instead of an S so that the word was a cool as the thing it describes.


  3. A few points:

    A. In Bush's first few years in office, before everyone realized how incompitent and underqualified he was, he could have gotten away with way worse.

    B. Jake himself has pointed out that Fox News has many shows that are not really even news, which is what the chief of staff pointed out. Not only is that true, but with the disrespectful and ridiculous remarks that come off of that channel I give the administration credit for only going that far.

    C. Here's a newsflash for everyone. The United States is in bed with the Chinese government. We owe them like a trillion dollars and will most likely need more money from them in the future. This is not Obama's fault, and no one even knows why the president really didn't meet with the Dalai Lama. And if they would have met, would we all be living in a better world? No.

    D. So if Obama would have spent an entire day in New Orleans as opposed to 4 hours, then everything would be cool, right? Give me a freakin break. Who cares. He has been to New Orleans many times in the psat. I'm sure he has people that he talks to that keep him in the loop on what is going on. Why does anyone care how much time he spends there? Perception is meaningless.

    E. Why does Obama get flack for fundraising? The only reason why he has had more fundraisers than Bush is because he is way more selective with who he takes money from.

    I'm not saying that there is nothing to critisize Obama on. I'm sure there is. But get out of here with this crap. Basically what this article is pointing out is that Obama should do a better job at appearing as though he is doing a good job. Give me some substance already.