One of the dark ironic consolations of a Democratic adminstration will be tracking the ways in which they engage in Bushian behavior and receive some very un-Bushian treatment for it from the media. Here we find Captain Smarm actually threatening a co-equal branch of government with a loss of benefits if they don’t do as he tells them, a power the president almost certainly lacks and which, per one lefty blog, probably violates the 27th Amendment given the time frame Edwards is imagining here. That’s our Silky, though: always up for a cheap populist gimmick, whether or not it’s feasible or, um, legal.
Keep your eye on this meme of Democrats behaving Bushly and the media rolling over for them, as it’s already starting to bear juicy fruit. You’ve all seen the bulletin on Drudge this morning about Hillary’s camp trying to bully Wolf Blitzer into not doing anything boorish at the next debate, like asking follow-up questions. Trust me when I tell you that you can’t appreciate it unless and until you’ve read this story from yesterday’s TNR, laying out the myriad creepy types of intimidation practiced by the World’s Smartest Woman and her acolytes on the press. My favorite is the incident with hated Times reporter Anne Kornblut, where the Glacier herself drops a dark hint to Kornblut about knowing her whereabouts. “It’s one of the few times I’ve seen journalists respect someone for beating the hell out of them,” says one Dem operative, referring to the generally sweetheart coverage Her Majesty gets despite the campaign’s brass-knuckles approach. Note too the aside near the end of the piece about being aggressive to appeal to the fight-fight-fightin’ nutroots. The silver lining is that she’s risking a backlash, but one that can’t and won’t come until Obama makes a race of it: no one in the media’s going to risk alienating her and jeopardizing their access to a second Clinton White House so long as she looks like a sure thing and you’d better believe they’re not going to turn on her once she has the nomination and the only alternative is Mitt or Rudy. So it’s now or never. If Obama can close the gap, what a sweet dam burst it could be.