By Dave Andrusko
Every so often it’s worth discussing when one of President Obama’s legion of media groupies publicly talks about (as Ruth Marcus did in today’s Washington Post) “Obama’s ‘Where’s Waldo?’ presidency.” You can find her lament at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/01/AR2011030105489_pf.html, so let me just make a couple of quick points.
First, Marcus argues that Obama has oodles of excuses (“legislative strategy, geopolitical calculation or political prudence”) for being passive (“more reactive than inspirational, more cautious than forceful”), which upsets her as “someone who generally shares the president’s ideological perspective.”
She does offer a possible alternative explanation. If some people see him as an out-of-control liberal while others (Marcus?) see him as “gutless fight-ducking,” maybe, Marcus concludes, “he’s doing something right.” But clearly she doesn’t believe this.
Connect the dots, Marcus writes, and they “form an unsettling portrait of a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ presidency: You frequently have to squint to find the White House amid the larger landscape.”
Second, contrary to those who loved to compare the youthful President Obama to the youthful President John F. Kennedy, Obama has never been a profile in courage. In his short political career, he’s often been MIA on tough votes.
But, from our single-issue perspective, this only heightens the unfortunate truth that there is an exception. While Obama may vacillate, slip-slide, evade, bob and weave on a hosts of issues, he is forceful in one area: everything that relates to those we are trying to protect.
Obama may occasionally give “lip service” to “abortion reduction,” as NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson points out (see Part Three), but the truth is that the Abortion Establishment is as happy with the Abortion President as we were with pro-life President George W. Bush.