Mark Halperin’s Mistakes In Analyzing The Obama Administration

The next in today’s series of silly political articles comes from the master of the genre, Mark Halperin. He seems to think that there is something clever in comparing Obama to Bush. That’s hardly original–there’s been tons of such nonsense from the far left going back to even before the election.

At least the attacks from the far left have a grain of logic to them. While it is absurd to compare Obama’s admittedly snail-paced move towards restoring rule of law to the Unitary Executive philosophy of the Bush administration, there are some superficial similarities between Bush and Obama here. Sure these similarities are about as significant as the fact that both Bush and Obama are featherless bipeds, but at least this argument deals  with Isomething of consequence.

In contrast, Halperin focuses on totally trivial similarities. Here are his four main points:

  • No Chief Economic Spokesperson
  • Failure to Integrate Policy, Politics and Communication
  • Tying the Administration’s Fate Too Closely to His Party’s Congressional Leadership

Halperin pretty much ignores everything which really matters when he believes these superficial similarities to George Bush are of any significance, even if his arguments were correct. Jonathan Bernstein debunked each of his points arguing that “Halperin is far more focused on the ephemeral portions of the presidency, the battle over each news cycle, than he is on things that are far more important to the success or failure of a president.”

Andrew Sullivan, in a post entitled Washington Bullshit Watch, had far more to say:

No one does it better than Mark Halperin. Every single thing he cites in his latest brain-dead critique is, I believe, tangibly false, and the moronic attempt to grab some pageviews by a counter-intuitive and utterly dumb analogy – Obama is like Bush, guys! Aren’t I clever? – is Beltway hackery at its worst.

This administration has resolutely pursued policy before politics on the economy, the wars, and health insurance reform; has some real cabinet stars – Duncan, Gates and Geithner come immediately to mind – who have actually done the right thing rather than the politically expedient thing; and the president remains a completely different brand in the public mind than the Congress.

Halperinism really is part of what’s deeply wrong about Washington. Obama really is the only thing that’s still right.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Donna says:

    RT @ronchusid: Mark Halperin's Mistakes In Analyzing The #Obama Administration http://bit.ly/ctdq9M #p2

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