Opening his Fathers Day gifts, Barack Obama must be basking in a rare moment of unconditional love as his White House is engulfed in a rising spill of criticism and disapproval from all sides.
After what Frank Rich terms a “doomed” speech on the Gulf gush, the President this weekend is being called, on the one hand, “snakebit” by Peggy Noonan, a speechwriter who ruined Bush I’s reelection chances by having him mouth “Read my lips, no new taxes” and, on the other, “incompetent and amateur” by Mort Zuckerman, a real-estate tycoon who bought his way into publishing punditry only to end up high on the list of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi victims.
To make the gloom global, Der Spiegel, the post-Nazi German newsweekly with a taste for scandal, pronounces Obama “in danger of turning into an idealistic, one-term president like Jimmy Carter.”
Amid all this, the Joe Barton “BP shakedown” flap gave Democrats only a temporary reprieve from bad news (and a hook for election fund-raising) as House Republicans shut down Barton by threatening to take away his privileged position for shaking down all the oil companies for contributions.
Meanwhile, stepping back for a longer view, the Washington Post suggests “narrative creep” in media preoccupation with the man who won the presidency less than two years ago as a quasi-mythic figure and now has to deal with a pileup of crises in the real world: