The Chicago Sun-Times tends to skew slightly right-of-center in its editorial reporting (though it is getting lefty), but its featured columnists are way off the left end. Competing for most ignorant is Neil Steinberg, on whom we have previously commented, who seems progressively (!) desperate to convince his colleagues that his past views on gun ownership and President Bush were a brief, misunderstood aberration.
The other day, Steinberg wrote a piece ardently hoping Sarah Palin would run for the presidency. Why? Because, ha ha, she is so stupid!
Some reasons Steinberg offers as to why she would be a disastrous president?
- Her followers salivate awaiting her next utterances without any question or logic
- She is an absolute doofus on foreign policy
- Her beliefs are so far to the extreme that she would risk destroying this country to implement them
- She is so polarizing that opponents redouble their efforts
- But her defeat would be spectacular, and push opposition back into their caves for a while so that real work could get done.
Steinberg, like many of the Last True Believers, cannot seem to let go of the fantasy that is the man Barack Obama rather than the President Barack Obama. He is hardly alone. Why, one of the reasons Obama sounds like such a putz when he goes off script is because he is too smart for us to understand. His bungling of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya proves he is a master tactician in war. And so on: they still need us to believe that Obama is the greatest guy, ever, to be Presidentthe point that the premises make no sense. Really, its as weirdening for the average American as watching someone at a race track earenstly cheering on a horse that strolls out of the gate while the others are a league ahead.
Before we get too annoyed with the inability of the press to forego the leg tingling over the Man, the awful facts about the President remain: unemployment has remained high every year of his presidency. Inflation is back. The housing market is not being allowed to respond normally. He has no consistent message on foreign policy except for speeches clarifying what he meant to say (or should have said). He has increased the number of military engagements we are fighting. He has dealt with more War-On-Terror near-incidents. On any domestic front, or on any foreign policy issue, he has been incapable, uninterested, or incompetent. His popularity as a president means that the GOP could run an iMac against him and probably win. The Democrats, using the same arsenal of false arguments and bogus candidates and assorted dirty tricks, cannot gain major ground. And there is still the small matter of the long absent budget.
How bad is it? The GOP budget proposals, although defeated, got votes. The Democratic budget proposals, thought defeated, got zero votes. This is a harbinger to anyone who is honest with himself. The GOP marketing machines have not even been turned on, and already America is begging for Ryan, Christie, or Bachmann to run for president, and is largely uninterested in Gingrich, Romney, or even Palin. This is not because the majority of the country wants younger candidates, but because at this point they want anyone new or different.
Steinberg is right, as usual, about one thing: most Americans probably prefer to see Sarah Palin stay out of the race; but it isnt because they love Obama. But because they urgently need him to be another embarrassing Democratic presidential footnote.