Posted 10 months ago on Aug. 21, 2012, 4:55 a.m. EST by throaway
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A shocking development is rocking the Obama campaign, as a reliably supportive media outlet has published a cover story with the shocking caption, "Hit the Road, Barack: Why We Need a New President." This from Newsweek, a magazine which all too recently published a cover depicting Mr. Obama with a rainbow colored halo and the caption "The First Gay President."
Even more important than the devastating content of the cover story is where it was published. Newsweek is published by Tina Brown, long a fixture of the media social scene, a trendsetter. The cover story represents a serious breach in the cofferdam erected around Obama and the progressive cause. It constitutes recognition that this particular emperor actually has no clothes.
The American media, including most polling organizations, are continuing to present the story that this is a close race, or even Obama's to lose, because of his sheer personal wonderfulness. The facts on the ground -- such as the poor turnout for Obama rallies contrasted with the large and enthusiastic crowds greeting Romney and Ryan -- are generally downplayed or completely ignored, while polls which oversample Democrats are pumped out. The media simply does not want to admit Obama looks like a loser, one who deserves to lose as badly as Carter did, because his policies have been disastrous, and his executive skills reflect his complete lack of experience running anything bigger than his mouth before entering the Oval Office as president.
Once the labels "failure" and "loser" start to attach themselves to Obama, it will become far more difficult for the Democrats to drive turnout among their base voter groups. Enthusiasm is difficult to manufacture when the stink of failure is wafting through the media air.
So why would Newsweek publish such a story? I rather doubt that Tina Brown has awakened to the dire consequences of Obama's term. More likely it is the dire state of Newsweek's readership and finances. The magazine was sold for $1 to The Daily Beast, after all, and one hears that circulation and advertising have not improved since Tina took over.
This cover will appeal to conservatives, a group long ignored by Newsweek, and it just might bring in more revenue than another lapdog piece on Michelle or Barack Obama's coolness. The big worry of the Obama camp must be that other troubled media (such as the general interest magazine industry and broadcast television news) will follow trendsetting Tina's excursion into the Dark Side.
The current story, written by Harvard and Oxford Professor Niall Ferguson, lays out the many failures of the Obama presidency, and some of the peril that lies ahead, should he be returned to office for a second term. Ferguson, a brilliant historian, stipulates that he served as an advisor to the McCain campaign in 2008, presents the devastating picture of Obama's track record. The entire article is worth reading, but some of the highlights include:
The inside story, however, is that the president was wholly unable to manage the mighty brains-and egos-he had assembled to advise him. [snip]
the fiscal train wreck has already initiated a process of steep cuts in the defense budget, at a time when it is very far from clear that the world has become a safer place-least of all in the Middle East. [snip]
For me the president's greatest failure has been not to think through the implications of these challenges to American power. Far from developing a coherent strategy, he believed-perhaps encouraged by the premature award of the Nobel Peace Prize-that all he needed to do was to make touchy-feely speeches around the world explaining to foreigners that he was not George W. Bush. [snip]
...the public mistakes his administration's astonishingly uninhibited use of political assassination for a coherent strategy. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, the civilian proportion of drone casualties was 16 percent last year. Ask yourself how the liberal media would have behaved if George W. Bush had used drones this way. Yet somehow it is only ever Republican secretaries of state who are accused of committing "war crimes." [snip]
The real crime is that the assassination program destroys potentially crucial intelligence (as well as antagonizing locals) every time a drone strikes. It symbolizes the administration's decision to abandon counterinsurgency in favor of a narrow counterterrorism. What that means in practice is the abandonment not only of Iraq but soon of Afghanistan too. Understandably, the men and women who have served there wonder what exactly their sacrifice was for, if any notion that we are nation building has been quietly dumped. Only when both countries sink back into civil war will we realize the real price of Obama's foreign policy. [snip]
one thing is clear. Ryan psychs Obama out. This has been apparent ever since the White House went on the offensive against Ryan in the spring of last year. And the reason he psychs him out is that, unlike Obama, Ryan has a plan-as opposed to a narrative-for this country.
We should be treated to quite an amusing spectacle as Obama supporters turn on Tina Brown and Newsweek. The campaign may have entered a news stage, if this approach to media survival -- treating conservative critiques of Obama as worthy of attention -- catches on.