Alex Massie Alex Massie

Has Obama Already Failed?

Bartle Bull thinks he has! Already! His article in Prospect is a curious thing indeed. Part of it, perfectly reasonably, is deeply concerned by Obama’s economic agenda. When the numbers are mentioned in trillions, not billions it’s sensible to be sceptical of some of the more grandiose and sweeping promises the new administration is making. But some of the piece is also a mash-note to the Clintons, accusing Obama of “dismantling President Clinton’s economic legacy” as though nothing at all had happened in the last eight years.

Then there’s this:

Thus the big question in Democratic circles today: “What does Hillary do about this?” Her supporters still feel that the election was stolen from her. With capital on strike, states rebelling against the president’s dependency agenda, the treasury secretary probably soon to be replaced, many top jobs still unfilled, the liberal press anxious and poll numbers plummeting, Hillary Clinton’s departure could sink an administration that already feels like a listing ship, leaving her a clear path to the Democratic nomination for 2012.

Her relationship with the president, inherently unstable personally, erodes every day that he takes his swinging axe to the remarkable bipartisan achievements of the Clinton presidency, especially welfare reform and fiscal discipline. While the biggest shocks of this presidency to date have been at home, in the foreign sphere Hillary’s job as secretary of state is made more difficult by a distracted and inexperienced president. Bull concludes by arguing that ” the president’s real threat is from within his own increasingly restive party.” Sadly he declines to provide any evidence of this unrest let alone of the scale of its threat to the Obama presidency. And no, Kent Conrad and a handful of Democratic Senators aren’t enough to substantiate this argument.

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