Mark Halperin’s myopic, apocalyptic irrationality 

Tim Graham at NewsBusters highlights Mark Halperin’s column in Time. It is an embarrassing exercise in Obama cheerleading that has probably been published at just the wrong moment:

In the run-up to the 2010 midterms we have already seen that the anti-Obama forces are expressing their disagreements with the administration in terms far more personal than political, tinged with an apocalyptic irrationality. The centrifugal force exerted on conservative leaders towards the extreme wing of their party is bound to lead to even more magnified rhetoric in the next few years. The contrast between those excessive attacks and Obama’s famous cool will serve him, and the Democrats, well…

It can’t be pleasant for Obama to be the subject of such attacks. And solving the country’s major problems in a bipartisan fashion will be difficult under these rancorous circumstances. But as long as those trying to beat him are blind to the fact that tens of millions of voting Americans actually think Obama is doing a fine job, this President has a great ally in his enemies.

Well, just because you wish it, Mark, won’t make it so in November.

The polls are quite clear that Obama’s problem is not and has never been the antipathy of the Right. Rather, it is the dramatic abandonment of his party by the independent voters who had supported it in 2006 and 2008. The Right was already panicking in January 2009. It took Obama only 10 months to spread that panic to independent voters in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts.

Despite a widespread perception (not just on the Right) of Obama as less competent, less high-minded, and more liberal than advertised, his own numbers — especially the personal approval numbers — continue to hold up relatively well under the circumstances. The problem is that voters have never really liked Obama’s policies, and voter anger has increased as they have been rolled out.

The anger is strongest not toward Obama, but toward the members of Congress who have been supporting those policies. How else do you explain an incumbent like Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., losing his primary over his health care vote and his (supposed) implicit support of cap and trade? Was that because of personal hatred toward Obama? How else do you explain longtime incumbent Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Fla., trailing by double-digits after supporting a health care and student loan package that will devastate his district? How else do you explain the lousy numbers that longtime congressional fixtures like Reps. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., and Chet Edwards, D-Tex., are posting?

If there is an echo chamber here, it isn’t one created by conservatives.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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