Are Democrats giving up on Obama?

posted at 12:01 pm on June 9, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Not on the record they aren’t, although they’re not exactly enthusiastic about Barack Obama when it comes to hitching their wagons to his central legislative achievement. Off the record, it’s a different story entirely, Ron Fournier writes at National Journal today. His most critical columns of the White House have come with Democratic rather than Republican sourcing, Fournier reveals, which reminds him a lot of the post-Katrina Bush administration:

The email hit my in-box at 9:41 p.m. last Wednesday.  From one of the most powerful Democrats in Washington, a close adviser to the White House, the missive amounted to an electronic eye roll. “Even I have had enough.”

Another Democrat had quit on President Obama.

The tipping point for this person was the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl case—not the soldier-for-Taliban swap itself as much as how the White House mishandled its obligation to communicate effectively and honestly to Congress and the public. More than that, Obama’s team had failed once again to acknowledge its mistakes, preferring to cast blame and seek cover behind talking points.

According to Fournier, this is not anything new:

“Dem Party is F****d,” wrote a Democratic consultant with strong ties to the White House and Capitol Hill during the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act website.

A Democratic House member whose endorsement in 2008 helped lift the Obama candidacy told me in January, “He’s bored and tired of being president, and our party is paying the price.”

Talented guy but no leader,” said a Democratic lobbyist and former member of Congress in March. “If he could govern half as well as he campaigns, he’d be a good-to-great president.”

The Taliban 5 swap may be the last straw for more Democrats, including some who aren’t shy about going on the record. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, spent all last week torpedoing White House excuses for cutting a worse deal with the Taliban than the one Congress rejected in 2011. She wasn’t backing down much yesterday when asked by Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation, claiming that the White House still hasn’t fully briefed her and her committee on the swap, and haven’t been honest about it either:

Feinstein also said that Obama is “justifiably proud” of bringing Bowe Bergdahl home, but prefaced that by saying that she had no idea why Obama would have made the announcement into a Rose Garden photo op had he known all the circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance. It doesn’t appear that Feinstein has much confidence in Obama’s engagement on this issue, and other Democrats feel the same way in general about Obama’s abilities as an executive or a leader.

At the same time, CNN wonders whether the Taliban 5 swap will impose a price on Democrats in the midterms:

Will foreign policy play a factor in the 2014 midterms? It is unlikely that it will be a major issue but there are ways it could have an indirect effect on the ballot box and cause trouble for Democrats when Americans turn out to vote.

At the most immediate level, the foreign policy controversy has already distracted the news media from other kinds of stories upon which congressional Democrats were hoping to focus. The foreign policy controversy intensified just as there was evidence that the economy was picking up steam and that the Obama’s health care program was gaining strength. Both signs of accomplishment were put on the back burner, overshadowed by the Bergdahl debate.

The stories also feed the perception of some voters who feel that Democrats have not done a good job managing government. This is a White House that once prided itself on competence. Obama, a well-educated politician who surrounded himself with bright staff, vowed to avoid the kind of mismanagement that had been on display with Hurricane Katrina during President George W. Bush’s term. But that reputation has slowly been undercut, especially after the botched health care website rollout and the VA scandal.

Some of the coverage of the foreign policy, including recent reports on how the deal with the Taliban was handled, have played into these kinds of criticism. The New York Times published a lengthy piece about the diminishing returns that Obama was able to obtain over the past several years in exchange for the release of the Taliban 5 and evidence of how his team had mishandled the process.

The big risk is in the dispiriting impact this will have on the Democratic base, which turned out big for Obama in his two presidential elections but failed to energize in 2010 while Tea Party anger fueled Republicans’ big win. Democrats in the Beltway who give up on Obama will be a big problem for the White House, but if that’s representative of how Americans outside of the DC clique feel the same way, it will mean disaster again in the midterm elections. And it’s not just foreign policy, but also the VA scandal that has them wondering exactly what Barack Obama thinks he does for a living.


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…has them wondering exactly what Barack Obama thinks he does for a living.

The same thing he’s been doing his entire life: Taking advantage of the fact that’s he’s a non-scary Negro. It’s that simple.

dreadnought62 on June 9, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Think pieces when Cliven Bundy supporters are murdering police officers?

libfreeordie on June 9, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Racist of HA, you hijacked the thread, which is about obama losing you.

Schadenfreude on June 9, 2014 at 2:23 PM

As a progressive, the answer is yes.

It’s not because of Bowe. On a scale of 1-10 Bowe is a negative fifty. Bowe is a made-up controversy by republicans, who, before the trade, were literally begging for Bowe to be brought back home.

There are actual conservative twitter accounts, where you can look up tweets saying “Bring Bowe back home now!!!” and in the next breath say “Bowe is a traitor and should be hanged!!”

It’s kind of pathetic.

You people (and by you people, I mean john mccain) really have to realize we have the internet now, and what you say on it, we can see that forever. Your “outrage” is so transparently fake and for petty political reasons, and everyone except you knows it.

So it’s not Bowe.

It’s because of Snowden, the war on whistleblowers, gitmo still being open, Obama abandoning the open internet, literally everything with the NSA… you want me to go on?

Here’s the thing. I would rather put up with all of obama’s BS than spend one day in republican-controlled america. Where gay reparative therapy and creationism are seen as good ideas, and separation of church and state is a suggestion, not a rule.

So you could say Democrats win votes based on what they aren’t. It’s not ideal, it’s what we got.

triple on June 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

A twisted mind and it account of psychosis is suffers from.

Bmore on June 9, 2014 at 2:41 PM

it=its

Bmore on June 9, 2014 at 2:41 PM

I would rather put up with all of obama’s BS than spend one day in republican-controlled america. Where gay reparative therapy and creationism are seen as good ideas, and separation of church and state is a suggestion, not a rule.

triple on June 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

The second sentence is nonsense, but you are more than welcome to act on the first come November 2016.

Athanasius on June 9, 2014 at 2:52 PM

It’s kind of pathetic.

triple on June 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

I tell you what, old sport, instead of paying for your gay reparative theory (and trust me, it’ll also fix that issue you have with your hemorrhoids), I’ll instead chip in to help you cure that little projection problem you got going on there.

As to L’Affaire Bergdahl, I’ve been in a long time, so allow me to offer this comparison. LCDR Speicher was shot down in 1991 and his remains were not recovered until 2009. The Navy has always been anxious to find him; even when I was in Iraq in 2008, it was a topic of discussion even though we all knew he was in all likelihood dead. Fast forward a few years: I arrive in AFG two years after Bergdahl’s Houdini act. It was commonly accepted in theater that there was something very amiss with his disappearance. There was none of that “we got to get him back” mentality that there was for the honored CAPT Speicher.

Yeah, I’m sure you can find a tweet that fits your narrative. After all, ACPOTI.

Now then, if I could direct your attention to this picture of a naked woman…

dreadnought62 on June 9, 2014 at 2:55 PM

It’s kind of pathetic.

triple on June 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

I agree that it is pretty pathetic when you leave out major elements of the story and selectively edit things to fit your agenda.

307wolverine on June 9, 2014 at 3:19 PM

“Talented guy but no leader,” said a Democratic lobbyist and former member of Congress in March. “If he could govern half as well as he campaigns, he’d be a good-to-great president.”

I know that this is hardly the main point here. But…what evidence is there that he’s smart or has any talent?

I know all these people like to say he’s bright and smart, but look at what happens when the teleprompter goes down…

He’s an unoriginal thinker who’s memorized a lot of cliches; he’s no different than your average college Marxist…I’d bet he be lucky to score 75 on a challenging U.S. history test…

And as for a talented campaigner…1) he never had to in Illinois…2)…seriously…HRC? they ran a 10 state campaign and called it 50; and 3) the only campaign worse than HRC’s was McCain’s…Romney’s was…well…4) if it weren’t for his tech wizzes, would he be president…

When this guy doesn’t get to invent his own facts, he’s a paper tiger…

He’s not bright…he’s not talented…you can find as much talent in a high school adult education class….

EastofEden on June 9, 2014 at 3:46 PM

triple on June 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

1. It’s not about bringing Bergdahl home (though, he needs to be court-martialed); it’s about giving them 5 very bad terrorists in exchange. Try to have your tiny brain digest this. It might take some time.

2. You’re right on Snowden, the NSA.

3. Then you ruin #2 by starting anew at feeding on obama-shit. It ain’t Beluga caviar and I hope you choke on it.

Schadenfreude on June 9, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Also, triple, start worrying about your fear, ’cause Nov. will be here, pronto.

Schadenfreude on June 9, 2014 at 3:49 PM

From Fournier column: “Readers, for good reason, don’t trust anonymous quotes”

When I see 15 Democratic Senators unite with all of the Republicans to push serious legislation through with a veto-proof majority, I’ll believe that some Democrats are “quitting” on Obama. Until then, this is just standard office whining with no names attached.

Even Feinstein, who at least went on the record, complained about process, not about legal authority or ultimate intentions of POTUS.

pilsener on June 9, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Duplicitous, pragmatic rats trying to leave a ship that they themselves scuttled.

Too bad for them, even American memories aren’t short enough for lying liberals to distance themselves from the damage they’ve caused. And fortunately for America, they’re sickening attempt to do so, leaves a nasty, indelible impression on everyone but the hardest-core leftists.

a5minmajor on June 9, 2014 at 4:06 PM

What exactly did these Dems think would happen when they nominated a Marxist anti-American community agitator? NOW they’ve had enough? When the damage has been done. Fools.

Whitey Ford on June 9, 2014 at 4:14 PM

triple on June 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Gosh I wish there was a prize for the stupidest remark. Good job.

Cindy Munford on June 9, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Think pieces when Cliven Bundy supporters are murdering police officers?

libfreeordie on June 9, 2014 at 12:27 PM

You Democrats have been screeching at us for 2 weeks now, telling us we need to “wait for all of the facts to come in” as far as Bowe Bergdahl is concerned.

But it’s been less than 24 hours after these officers were murdered, and yet you have already accused, tried and convicted a couple of murderers based on news stories alone.

Your hypocrisy would be astounding, but sadly here it is way-too-easy to predict.

F-

Del Dolemonte on June 9, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Here’s the thing. I would rather put up with all of obama’s BS than spend one day in republican-controlled america.

balk on June 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Where did you live between January of 2001 and January of 2009?

F-

Del Dolemonte on June 9, 2014 at 4:40 PM

“Gosh, but Dear Leader would have been SO effective, if not for obstructive Tea Party racists.”

–the hard liners, hunkered down in their bunker. Beneath MSNBC headquarters.

orangemtl on June 9, 2014 at 4:53 PM

“Talented guy but no leader,”

Huh? The guy is a BULLSHIT artist! PERIOD.

GarandFan on June 9, 2014 at 5:41 PM

They will do more than give up on Obama. The will have to destroy him to get Hillary elected…

conservativeBC on June 9, 2014 at 5:48 PM

*They

conservativeBC on June 9, 2014 at 5:51 PM

But people like you would be defending Obama even if he had agreed to give the Taliban Hawaii in exchange for Bergdahl. You’re pathetic.

blink on June 9, 2014 at 4:30 PM

I don’t have a problem with giving Hawaii away. But first I want to see the Chicago gang dragged out of the White House and shipped there.

crankyoldlady on June 9, 2014 at 6:38 PM

In the article a non named source said ‘we dont’ do the small stuff” well. Small stuff is governing. And he is right. They don’t.

Mormaer on June 9, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Crap. is = it

Bmore on June 9, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Yes, this all has to weaken the Democrats BUT Gallup has 44% still approving of Obama.

I am not far from despairing for this country.

WannabeAnglican on June 9, 2014 at 7:14 PM

You people (and by you people, I mean john mccain) really have to realize we have the internet now, and what you say on it, we can see that forever. Your “outrage” is so transparently fake and for petty political reasons, and everyone except you knows it.
 
triple on June 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

 
Thanks.

rogerb on June 9, 2014 at 7:57 PM

triple on June 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Get a grip, fella.

Regarding conversion of gays, creationism, and similar red herrings — since you found your way to a conservative board, how much discussion on such topics have you found? Does any of that really appear to be a priority for this crowd?

Back where you normally hang out, did someone maybe tell you those were the driving issues the day? And you listened, hm?

Let’s talk about things that matter. And yeah, misuse of the NSA and the IRS comes to mind, but really there are so many critical issues at this point, that are directly affecting your quality of life as well as anyone’s, that you’d have to be insane to continue empowering the people responsible.

fatherspledge on June 9, 2014 at 8:40 PM

No.

That requires analytic thinking.

WryTrvllr on June 9, 2014 at 9:21 PM

OT: Florida Governor Scott signs bill to allow illegals to pay in state tuition.

BacaDog on June 9, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Man, don’t know what to think anymore. Didn’t FL just do something to the effect that welfare recipients were to be drug tested in order to continue receiving benefits? Fail and you don’t get any? Guy here at work (from Florida) was cheering that last week. Now they go and do something moronic like this? wtf.

Midas on June 9, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Governor Scott signed the bill into law in July 2011.

And then …

“Enforcement of the Florida law was temporarily halted in October 2011 through a temporary injunction issued by a federal judge after the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on behalf of a Florida resident who was denied benefits when he refused to take a drug test …”

And last December …

“A U.S. judge has struck down a Florida law requiring drug screening for welfare recipients, saying that it violated the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches. … U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven permanently halted enforcement of the law in her ruling.”

http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/welfare.asp

Alien on June 9, 2014 at 10:08 PM

triple on June 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

What you fail to realize is that once your use to the Obama regime and the Democratic party is over they’ll dump you like a john dumps a two bit whore. Don’t feel bad — they dumped the middle class long ago and are in the process of dumping the unions because their effectiveness as a money laundering mechanism and a source of reliable voters is just about over as the economy collapses.

What’s going to be fun is when the blacks finally figure out they’re being dumped by Obama and the Democrats. The black population, as a percentage of the overall population, hasn’t grown since the 1970′s and the Democrats need more voters so all those undocumented Democrats pouring over the border are the new residents of the Democratic plantation. They’re easier to control, are less demanding and most come from Marxist Banana Republics with totalitarian dictators so are used to the drill.

Nahanni on June 10, 2014 at 12:56 AM

triple on June 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

So much inadequacy in your deflection of the facts. Ask any military person who has been to AFG and they will tell you that Bowe’s situation was his own and he created it. So it is about Bowe and what dear leader thought would win the public over. You, along with dear leader have really got your finger on the pulse of what is real /sarc.

Where exactly does one find separation of church and state in the Bill of Rights or any documentation, aside from liberal rants?

Tracker3 on June 10, 2014 at 7:02 AM

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