Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One-term Obama Watch, Part Two: How to read Schoen/Caddell

I find it interesting that Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell wrote a (perhaps) serious article about Obama stepping down after Larry Sabato's post last week effectively mocked every one of their premises. Lots of good takes on this (Weigel's is good, but you can't beat this one). I suppose my reaction to this is my reaction to about 99% of D.C. discourse, which is that it's pointless. This is sanctimonious and perhaps a truism, but I mean it sincerely: don't these guys have anything better to do? Isn't there something more productive they could spend their time on? I don't read the big op-eds very often, but when I do I keep picking up on this at times frantic unease, a distaste for having to play the role of an "independent" and ostensibly liberal pundit under a Democrat, which seems to involve hilarious nitpicking as to why a pundit can't just support health care reform, or calls for some new third party that they can support so that they don't have to say they support the Democrats. This is all evidently more stressful than when they're playing the same role under a Republican, when you can issue limp dissents on everything and nothing really happens, their status is protected, and the party invitations keep rolling in. This is the sort of culture that could produce an article saying that Obama should not run for re-election despite the fact that he's the most popular politician in America, bad economy and all. It's a way of showing the "independence" that all pundits apparently need.

Incidentally, the presidential approval rating today is 48%.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.