Jonah Goldberg: Hail to the panderer in chief
"What works" is a cruel standard for the author of Obamacare, which may be one reason the White House has taken to scrubbing the sobriquet from its website and the President's speeches in favor of the law's official name, the Affordable Care Act.
At a strategy meeting, the issue of climate change came up. The book quotes an exasperated Obama declaring: "Maybe I should just come out and say what I really feel about this. Maybe I should just go out and say what I think about everything." At a follow-up meeting, he brought a long list of priorities he wanted to be more bold on, from poverty to gay marriage to alternative energy.
Of course, when Obama says he's a pragmatist, he doesn't mean the sort of pragmatism that Halperin and Heilemann are referring to: a willingness to pander cravenly to the voters while hiding his core convictions. The President means to suggest that his policies are simply the only right and smart way to achieve good things. That's why he's so fond of saying — and so hypocritical for saying it — that his opponents are ideologues who can't "put politics aside" to do what's right.
As the New Republic's Franklin Foer notes, this fiction was always partly intended to sell voters on the idea that progressive social planners could be trusted with unprecedented state power. "It was more comforting for people to feel as if disinterested technicians, not party hacks, were going to be running the show."
Jonah Goldberg is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and editor-at-large of National Review Online. You can write to him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter @JonahNRO.
READER COMMENTS: 1
- DIY addition draws city's, neighbors' ire - 6
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Negroni family lays claim to namesake cocktail - 0
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: West Side neighborhood loses trees and backyard privacy for the summer - 1
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Southside Middle School, where nary a gripe will be heard - 5
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Take a walk through Manchester's history - 0
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Building owner says it's not easy being a landlord - 2
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: 50 years later, a constant ringing - 0
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: It's a show, it's a sport, and it's tough - 5
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: A push for the return of hometown radio days - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Portland takes first of two from NH Fisher Cats Saturday - 0
- Readers' Choice winners say public vote is meaningful - 0
- Amherst mini-golf course is readers' top choice - 0
- Twins Smoke Shop focuses on good cigars, happy clients - 0
- 'Backstage' NASCAR passes are fans' delight in Loudon - 0
- Motorcyclist killed, passenger injured when hit by car in Manchester accident - 0
- Bicyclist injured when hit by car in Hudson - 0
- Police hope for driving dream, but prepared for driving nightmare in Loudon - 0
- Police investigate serious accident in Manchester - 0
New Hampshire events starting on July 13
Houston hands Red Sox a loss Saturday
VA woes across the country led NH to reforms
The U.S. is a beacon still
With the NASCAR fans, Jr.'s The Man
Bicyclist injured when hit by car in Hudson
Red Sox's Holt has All-Star history