Tag Archives: Jonathan Chait

Obama Causes Stir After Calling CA AG ‘Best Looking Attorney General’

President Barack Obama walks with California Attorney General Kamala Harris, center, and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, after arriving at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012.

Obama Derangement Syndrome has been on auto pilot in America since 2006 when President Barack Obama first announced his candidacy…

TPMDC

President Obama caused a stir Thursday when he commented on the appearance of California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

“She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated, she’s tough,” Obama said at a DNC fundraiser in Atherton, Calif., according to a White House pool report. “She also happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general….It’s true! C’mon.”

After the remarks began to surface on Twitter, Politico media reporter Dylan Byers decided to chime in, defending Obama.

That prompted New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait to take Byers to task for suggesting that comments about women’s looks are harmless.

“For those who don’t see the problem here, the degree to which women are judged by their appearance remains an important hurdle to gender equality in the workforce,” Chait wrote. “Women have a hard time being judged purely on their merits. Discussing their appearance in the context of evaluating their job performance makes it worse.”

Chait continued, taking on the president for setting a bad example. “It’s not a compliment. And for a president who has become a cultural model for many of his supporters in so many other ways, the example he’s setting here is disgraceful.”

This isn’t the first time Obama has taken flack for a comment describing a woman. In 2008, he ultimately apologized after calling a female reporter “sweetie.”

Continue reading here…

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Obama the master strategist: How conservatives see the fiscal-cliff deal

Beneath that devil-may-care exterior lies a ruthless political Jedi... at least according to some conservatives.

With each of us possessing our own opinion about a host of political issues, the author of this instant article is pragmatic enough to know that everyone will not agree with him.

I happen to be one that does but undoubtedly I accept that I may well be in the “exception to the consensus” category.

I like the following article.  The young columnist, Ryu Spaeth‘s analogy comparing the POTUS’ fiscal cliff victory to a masterful Jedi move is both his reality and frankly, mine too…

The Week

To liberals, Obama is a hapless bungler when it comes to high-stakes negotiations. But the president is a ruthless operator in the conservative mind

Like beauty, politics is in the eye of the beholder. To wit: President Obama has been assailed by some liberal commentators for his supposedly incompetent handling of the fiscal cliff negotiations, particularly his inability to keep to his pledge to raise taxes on those making $250,000 a year. “The World’s Worst Poker Player,”read a headline on Paul Krugman’s blog. And as the budget battle in Congress moves toward the debt ceiling, many have suggested that Obama, abetted by his baffling inability to think strategically, has painted himself into a corner. “Obama claims, and seems to genuinely believe, that he won’t let Republicans jack him over the debt ceiling,” says Jonathan Chait at New York. “But if Republicans could hold the middle class tax cuts hostage, they’ll try to hold the debt ceiling hostage.”

In this view, Obama is the equivalent of Boy Blunder: He was not only incapable of winning big when his hand was strong, but has potentially set himself up for a bloodbath at the hands of the GOP. But if we take a trip to the other side of the op-ed page, a starkly different narrative merges. According to some conservatives, Obama is the most brilliant political operative in town — ruthless, cunning, unstoppable. This is how Charles Krauthammer at The Washington Post seesObama’s handling of the fiscal cliff talks:

Now he’s won. The old Obama is back. He must not be underestimated. He has deftly leveraged his class-war-themed election victory (a) to secure a source of funding (albeit still small) for the bloated welfare state, (b) to carry out an admirably candid bit of income redistribution and (c) to fracture the one remaining institutional obstacle to the rest of his ideological agenda.

Not bad for two months’ work. [Washington Post]

This version of Obama enjoys nothing more than to crush his enemies, see them driven before him, and revel in the lamentations of their women. Per Peggy Noonan at The Wall Street Journal:

He doesn’t want big bipartisan victories that let everyone crow a little and move forward and make progress. He wants his opponents in disarray, fighting without and within. He wants them incapable. He wants them confused…

The president intends to consistently beat his opponents and leave them looking bad, or, failing that, to lose to them sometimes and then make them look bad. That’s how he does politics….

In part it’s because he seems to like the tension. He likes cliffs, which is why it’s always a cliff with him and never a deal. He likes the high-stakes, tottering air of crisis. Maybe it makes him feel his mastery and reminds him how cool he is, unrattled while he rattles others. He can take it. Can they? [Wall Street Journal]

At this point, we would usually say something like, “The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.” But in this case, the answer is obvious: Obama is clearly the love child of a Jedi Master and Sauron.

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Obama’s Hope-a-Dope Strategy

Mother Jones

Progressives are furious that Obama, yet again, pulled his punches. The White House says it’s all part of the master plan.

You may remember the moment when Barack Obama declared war on the Republican game plan—or so it seemed. Five days after negotiating a budget-cutting deal that averted a government shutdown in April, Obama gave a speech at George Washington University, slamming the GOP over the slash-and-burn budget proposal of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Republicans, he declared, were pushing a “deeply pessimistic” vision of America’s future: “This is a vision that says even though Americans can’t afford to invest in education at current levels or clean energy, even though we can’t afford to maintain our commitment on Medicare and Medicaid, we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy.” Such a vision, Obama vowed, would not prevail “as long as I’m president.”

Fighting words—and liberals were elated.  Jonathan Chait of The New Republic cheered, “He beat Ryan and the Republicans to a bloody pulp.…He expressed moral outrage in a way I’ve never heard him do before, and in a way I didn’t think he was capable of.”

Then came…nothing.  Or not much.  And this week, Obama cut a controversial deal with hostage-taking tea party Republicans, who insisted on severe spending cuts before they would consent to the previously routine action of raising the debt ceiling.

Rather than waging a titanic battle against Republicans after Obama delivered that passionate speech, the White House hunkered down with Republican leaders to try to cobble together a deficit deal to prevent the extreme GOPers from pushing the nation into default. What happened to the pulpification? “We moved to the negotiations process,” a senior White House aide explained. “It was up to others to push this piece of it.” After the equivalent of Henry V’s St. Crispin’s Day speech, it was back to the grind.

Continue reading here… 

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MSNBC’s Ed Schultz Suggests Republican House May Impeach Obama

Mediaite

With the Republicans almost certain to take over the House of Representatives, some left-of-center opinion media outlets are gravely concerned about the future of their country. Case in point: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz, who used the occasion to ask the soon-to-be House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) if he would pledge to take impeachment of President Obama “off the table.” Of course, Mr. Boehner was not present for this comment, and Mr. Schultz was making news in his own inimitable way. But an interesting question was asked, nonetheless.

As we reported earlier last month, the most recent issue of The New Republic features an article by Senior Editor Jonathan Chait that suggested a Republican controlled House will most certainly try to impeach President Obama, regardless if the future offense merits such action or not.

Mr. Schultz must have had that article in mind when he made the following impassioned plea:

Four years ago, in the midst of an avalanche of criticism of the Bush administration, Nancy Pelosi took impeachment off the table. I want to ask Mr. Boehner tonight, are you going to take impeachment off the table? Or are we going to go down this road of divide, are we going to go down this road of investigations?

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