Roger Simon’s piece is getting most of the links but he’s not the only one who’s pushing this meme. Jon Meacham, soon to be ex-editor of Newsweek, is exiting with an ode to the fact that great presidents, alas, often aren’t recognized for their genius until they’re out of office.
Much like Jesus, my friends, The One’s simply too good for this political world.
A recent CNN poll found that 68 percent of Americans do not want a mosque built close to ground zero. Which should mean: end of story. That’s all she wrote. Let’s move on to the next crisis.
It appears, however, that at least on this occasion, Obama does not care what the polls say…
And what’s the point of doing the right thing if your party is going to lose seats because of it?
Maybe Obama is disconnected. After all, as a former professor of constitutional law, he actually knows what the Constitution says.
His opponents have no such fetters. They know what they want the Constitution to say: yes to guns, no to gay marriage and never to mosques close to hallowed ground, though churches and synagogues are OK.
What’s so wrong with that? I’ll bet they poll great.
I like the idea that the Second Amendment merely reflects what the wingnuts “want” it to say, almost as much as I like his lie that Obama’s opponents want the Constitution to ban construction of the Ground Zero mosque. (61 percent say the owners have the right to build, including 57 percent of Republicans.) On the larger point, though, this is, of course, the logical conclusion of the left’s fixation on “messaging” and “optics” as an all-purpose excuse for the momentous public opposition they’re now faced with. It’s the one and only concession they’ll make vis-a-vis their total intellectual superiority: Their policies may be ingenious and their motives may be virtuous beyond reproach, but sometimes they simply don’t understand the scummy primitives of the American electorate as well as they should. Or, per Simon, maybe they do understand them but feel compelled by their inner goodness to Do The Right Thing anyway and accept the consequences. Tempted to come down off the cross about the mosque, The One refused and achieved salvation — until, er, the next morning, when he clarified that he’s taking no position on whether the mosque should be built. Truly, we don’t deserve him.
As a gloss, read James Poulos’s post on how this sort of sanctimony and epistemic closure contributes to (not causes) a reactionary backlash on the right. Speaking of which, Jesse Jackson took time to inform the Sun-Times’s readers this morning that while criticism of the president is fine, we need to dial down the rhetoric a bit and show some respect for the office. What a valuable lesson to learn … in 2010.