Frank Rich has a stunningly good editorial today in the New York Times. I highly commend it to your attention. In it, he says something that I’ve been saying for weeks: Barack Obama’s opponents always underestimate him. What’s more, his supporters do as well.
AM I crazy, or wasn’t the Obama presidency pronounced dead just days ago? Obama had “all but lost control of the agenda in Washington,” declared Newsweek on Feb. 4 as it wondered whether he might even get a stimulus package through Congress. “Obama Losing Stimulus Message War” was the headline at Politico a day later. At the mostly liberal MSNBC, the morning host, Joe Scarborough, started preparing the final rites. Obama couldn’t possibly eke out a victory because the stimulus package was “a steaming pile of garbage”…
But we do know this much. Just as in the presidential campaign, Obama has once again outwitted the punditocracy and the opposition. The same crowd that said he was a wimpy hope-monger who could never beat Hillary or get white votes was played for fools again.
More importantly, Rich shows how completely self-deluded and out-of-touch the Republicans are. Talking about the culture that has developed in their party of believing their own rhetoric, rhetoric that was honed in the world they have created for themselves, insulated from reality, Rich says:
Overdosing on this culture can be fatal. Because Republicans are isolated in that parallel universe and believe all the noise in its echo chamber, they are now as out of touch with reality as the “inevitable” Clinton campaign was before it got clobbered in Iowa. The G.O.P. doesn’t recognize that it emerged from the stimulus battle even worse off than when it started. That obliviousness gives the president the opening to win more ambitious policy victories than last week’s. Having checked the box on attempted bipartisanship, Obama can now move in for the kill.
President Obama got the economic recovery package he wanted in less than three weeks, a feat almost nobody thought possible. It is almost exactly the size he said it would be, it contains investments in renewable energy and in mass transit infrastructure and it provides tax relief for moderate-income Americans. Every one of these things were stated goals during his campaign and he has achieved them in less than 30 days.
That, my friends, is called Gettin’. Shit. Done.
Not only that, the president’s poll numbers are up, the Democratic Congressfolks’ poll numbers are up and the Republicans in Congress have approval numbers that are tanking by the day.
Welcome to the New America, where the grown-ups are in charge.
What’s funny is that after all of this, the Republicans still think they won. They actually believe that even though Americans think more of the new president and the Democratic Congressional delegation, that they somehow won the week.
The Republicans are the Party of Delusionists.
I’m just sayin’…