A dear, now deceased, relative used to say, "My problem is I'm too good," without realizing the humor of that self-evaluation. I was reminded of that this week, when for the first time President Obama acknowledged he just might have a teeny flaw.
"The mistake of my first term - couple of years - was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that's important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.
"It's funny - when I ran, everybody said, well he can give a good speech but can he actually manage the job?"
bgates and hit & run , those wise guys, chimed in immediately.
"I also shouldn't have skimped on those bargain basement vacations, and it wouldn't have killed me to play some golf or watch some basketball once in a while either."
"And I should have been tougher on those kikes."
Barack Obama: Needs to talk more
Nancy Pelosi: Too reverent towards our founding documents
Magic Johnson: Not enough time spent with the ladies
Hit & run:
"I also shouldn't have accepted so much personal responsibility for the lack of any meaningful recovery in the economy and endeavored to blame other people and events more. Oh, and technology. I should have blamed technology more."
ABC noted that this sort of self-analysis by politicians often lends itself to lampooning:
Call it "too much substance, not enough style?" President Barack Obama says his biggest mistake since getting to the White House three and a half years ago has been his tendency to tackle the job as national policy wonk rather than the inspiring figure he cut in the 2008 campaign. [snip]
Presidents - politicians in general - tend to sidestep questions about their biggest mistake in office, though they sometimes stumble spectacularly over them ( as George W. Bush did in April 2004), or offer up a self-serving answer that might be lampooned as "I just love America too much." Obama seems to be saying that, dagnabbit, he just took the job too gosh-darn seriously. Republicans wasted little time in mocking the answer. Republican National Committee spokesman Tim Miller tweeted "I'd go w/ utter economic failure."
I wonder what the media would do if asked what its major flaw was.
I'd put at the top of that list, the failure to do much work. Washington's press corps is made up of people who run with Democratic party handouts and strategic self serving leaks from their buddies in office. Andrea Mitchell is a model of this sort of media slug so it is understandable that this video of John Sununu filleting her over the nonsensical, false claim about "outsourcing" was a hit online:
At the same time, the media consistently papers over Obama's lies and broken promises.
It's not just conservatives who are fed up with the lazy, partisan, Democratic megaphones passing themselves off as "journalists." Gallup reveals the extent of the disaffection, the wide swath of Americans who have soured on network news:
Americans' confidence in television news is at a new low by one percentage point, with 21% of adults expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it. This marks a decline from 27% last year and from 46% when Gallup started tracking confidence in television news in 1993.
The findings are from Gallup's annual update on confidence in U.S. institutions, conducted June 7-10 this year. As such, the findings preceded the erroneous initial reports by cable-news networks CNN and Fox News regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's June 28 decision about the constitutionality of the U.S. healthcare law.
Among 16 U.S. institutions tested, television news ranks 11th, following newspapers in 10th place. The 25% of adults who express a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in newspapers is down slightly from 28% last year. Confidence in newspapers is now half of what it was at its peak of 51% in 1979.
This year's updates mark a setback from last year for both television news and newspapers, when Americans appeared to be regaining some confidence in these institutions, though they are more in line with 2007-2010 readings.
Liberals' and Moderates' Faith Plummets Below Conservatives'
Liberals and moderates lost so much confidence in television news this year -- 11 and 10 points, respectively -- that their views are now more akin to conservatives' views. This marks a turnaround from the pattern seen since 2009, in which liberals expressed more confidence than conservatives. Conservatives' views of television news were last similar to liberals' in June 2008, before the last presidential election. However, moderates are significantly less confident now than they were then, 20% vs. 28%.
But there was one bright star in journalism this week. The Wall Street Journal had reporters who actually sifted through the dry LMRDA reports that unions must file with the Department of Labor, and reported that unions contributions to politicians and their campaigns are far greater than their direct contributions, which is what most of their journalistic colleagues have looked at when reporting that contributions to Romney or to PACs are outstripping contributions to Democrats. Everyone here in Washington who cares about such things has known this for decades. It's about time the rest of us were in on the secret.
The Journal's article was behind a pay to view wall, so I'm quoting from the Forbes account of it:
If Big Money In Politics Offends You, Then You Must Loathe Labor Unions
The AFL-CIO is spending about $52 per union member these days, up from around $39 in 2005-2006. (snip)
Until this week, though, $3.3 billion dollars of political spending from 2005 to 2011 was hidden, jammed down deep beneath the sofa cushions of public life. A blockbuster Wall Street Journal report revealed that Big Labor has been filing most of its disclosures with its friends at the Department of Labor (which, due to its mission to produce jobicidal regulations, is about as accurately named as a funeral home called a Department of Life). Unions' disclosures to the Federal Election Commission, where you would ordinarily seek information about spending on elections, comprise only one-fourth of their total spending on politics.
All political reporters who missed the true figure (which is to say, all political reporters until now) should be nominated for an anti-Pulitzer. Let's call it the Abel Tasman award, after the explorer who discovered the Australian island of Tasmania but neglected to notice Australia 150 miles away.
Union spending has reached $4.4 billion over six years, not the $1.1 billion previously reported. [snip]As the Journal explains, spending by corporations and their employees tends largely to be a wash; some spending tugs left, some pulls to the right, but the net advantage gained tends to be small. In both 2008 and 2010, for instance, spending by corporate PACs went equally to the Left and the Right. Complaining about corporate PAC spending robbing us of our democracy then, would be like complaining about a gang of guilt-stricken bank robbers that cleans out the vaults every Tuesday but then feels bad and restocks them completely on Thursdays.
Not so with unions: 92 percent of their money goes to Democrats. And unions, unlike most other campaign donors, don't just try to influence the politicians but successfully steer their members into voting as a bloc. Studies suggest that between 68 and 74 percent of union members simply vote as their leadership orders. So if you believe, as Common Cause does, that political spending is worrying to the extent it "affects public policy and spending priorities," unions should be the most troubling source of funding.
[snip] [Y]ou might say that a few pro-free market politicians have finally started to fight back against the nonstop attacks on it by the unions, whose operating principle is simply that its members, unlike the other seven-eighths of the population, should be paid more than the marketplace says they are worth. Their success in instead framing the issue as one of "fairness" to the "little guy" leaves them free to impose an ever-increasing tax on everyone who purchases their services, including those who do so involuntarily through the government.
Slowly but increasingly, the game seems to be up. Even Californians seem to have caught on to the public unions' scamming and ripping off of the public purse.
That wasn't the only good news this week.
It seems the Supreme Court's failure to rescue us from the voters' folly in putting Democrats in charge is lighting a fire under them to force a legislative repeal of ObamaCare, rather along the lines of Chief Justice Robert's suggestion that we take charge of our own affairs. Jeffrey H. Anderson in the Weekly Standard:
The latest Quinnipiac poll shows that -- by a 15-point margin -- the Supreme Court's Obamacare ruling makes voters less likely, rather than more likely, to cast their vote for President Obama. Twenty-seven percent of registered voters say that the ruling makes them "less likely" to vote for Obama, while only 12 percent say that it makes them "more likely" to do so. Only 9 percent of independents say that they are "more likely" to vote for Obama because of the ruling, compared to 27 percent who are "less likely."
Among Catholics - a large percentage of whom are historically swing voters - 35 percent say that the ruling makes them "less likely" to vote for Obama, while only 10 percent say it makes them "more likely" to vote for him.
Most voters (55 percent) say that the candidates' positions on Obamacare will be "extremely" or "very" important in influencing their vote for president.
The poll shows that, by a 6-point margin (49 to 43 percent), registered voters want to see Obamacare repealed. Independents favor repeal by an 8-point margin (49 to 41 percent). Catholics favor repeal by a 22-point margin (58 to 36 percent). Repeal is supported by men, women, those between the ages of 18 and 34, those between the ages of 35 and 54, those who are 55 or over, those who make less than $30,000 annually, those who make between $30,000 and $50,000, those who make between $5 0,000 and $100,000, and those who make over $100,000.