Monday, January 18, 2010

i'm with woodward...just barely.

two vastly different points of view on the coakley/brown race in massachusettes, the obama administration, and where the country is as a whole.

andrew sullivan seems ready to throw in the towel:
Even if Coakley wins - and my guess is she'll lose by a double digit margin - the bill is dead. The most Obama can hope for is a minimalist alternative that simply mandates that insurance companies accept people with pre-existing conditions and are barred from ejecting patients when they feel like it. That's all he can get now - and even that will be a stretch. The uninsured will even probably vote Republican next time in protest at Obama's failure! That's how blind the rage is.

Ditto any attempt to grapple with climate change. In fact, any legislative moves with this Democratic party and this Republican party are close to hopeless. The Democrats are a clapped out, gut-free lobbyist machine. The Republicans are insane. The system is therefore paralyzed beyond repair.

Yes, I'm gloomy. Not because I was so wedded to this bill, although I think it's a decent enough start. But because if America cannot grapple with its deep and real problems after electing a new president with two majorities, then America's problems are too great for Americans to tackle.

And so one suspects that this is a profound moment in the now accelerating decline of this country. And one of the major parties is ecstatic about it.
bob woodward is not so gloomy. here's a bit from sunday's meet the press:
I did some research.

Remember Ronald Reagan? If you look at Reagan now, liberals, Democrats, academics say he had a very successful presidency. Pretty universally agreed. Whether that's right or not, we'll, we'll see what the next bounce of history is.

But Lou Cannon, who is the White House correspondent for The Washington Post, wrote the--he's the premiere biographer of Reagan, and after Reagan left two terms, he wrote his monumental work on this. But after a year in the Reagan presidency, Lou also wrote a book which I'm sure he doesn't want remembered, and it was just called "Reagan." And I got it out, and this is what Lou Cannon said right at this time in the Reagan presidency in 1982:
"Reagan was, for all his optimism, running out of time. His reach had exceeded his grasp. Age and events had dimmed a sense of leadership."
Now get this:
"By 1982 it was an axiom in the White House that Reagan, like so many of his modern predecessors, would be a one-term president. I believe that Reagan will not run again."
Now, now, now what's important about this, we don't know with Obama, but it's also possible for--you know, Lou Cannon was the best. Always kept his, kept his head about Reagan's positive traits, negative traits. He had it wrong.

So, you know, all of these pronouncements about disappointment and so forth I think are crap.

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