By Mark Halperin Monday, Oct. 11, 2010
Barack Obama is being politically crushed in a vise. From above, by elite opinion about his competence
. From below, by mass anger and anxiety over unemployment.
With the exception of core Obama Administration loyalists, most politically engaged elites have reached the same conclusions: the White House is in over its head, isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless
about how to get along with or persuade members of Congress, the media, the business community or working-class voters.
Moreover, there is a growing perception that Obama's decisions are causing harm
— that businesses are being hurt
by the Administration's legislation and that economic recovery is stalling because of the uncertainty surrounding energy policy, health care, deficits, housing, immigration and spending.
But Obama has exacerbated his political problems not just by failing to enact policies that would have actually turned the economy around, but also by authorizing a series of tactical moves intended to demonize Republicans and distract from the problems at hand
. He has wasted time
lambasting his foes when he should have been putting forth his agenda in a clear, optimistic fashion, defending the benefits of his key decisions during the past two years.
Throughout the year, we have been treated to Obama-led attacks on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Congressman Joe Barton (for his odd apology to BP), John Boehner (for seeking the speakership — or was it something about an ant?) and Fox News (for everything). Americans seem to think that the Obama Administration hasn't much to offer either, except more of the same that isn't working. http://www.time.com/time/politics/a...2024718,00.html
90% of life is "showing up"