Everything you need to know about the state of political discourse nowadays is contained in these two opinion pieces about Barack Obama’s Excellent Healthcare Summit:
Piece #1: Joe Klein’s post on Time’s Swampland blog:
Shame on me. I was elsewhere yesterday and missed the health care summit. I’m catching up now, and the tea leaves seem to indicate that Obama came out well ahead of the Republicans. How do I know that? From Matt Drudge, of course. I mean, Drudge’s takeaway from the summit is that the President talked a lot--actually, the President, the Congressional Democrats and Republicans each spoke an equal amount–the Times of London found it boring and the networks turned to other programming.
Reading between the lines, you can conclude that the Republicans had nothing very interesting, or clever, to say (and were never able to get the President’s goat). And that the President was his usual, unflappable, well-informed self.
Cut to Piece #2, Peggy Noonan’s Weekend Wall Street Journal column:
The way the meeting was arranged, the president was the teacher, the lecturer. Arrayed before him were the bright if occasionally unruly students. He was keen to establish that it was his meeting—he decides who speaks next and who should wrap up, he decides what is and is not “a legitimate point.” He was Mr. President, they were John and Lamar. He wielded a shiny pen like an anchorman eager to show depth and ease. He even said, “There was an imbalance in the opening statements because—I’m the president.” Yowza. Grace shows strength, accommodation shows security. This showed—well, not strength. When Rep. Eric Cantor attempted to make a sharp point, the president took the camera off him by calling for his aides and conferring with them as Mr. Cantor spoke.
So the right says Obama is booring and boring (remember that Times of London piece).
And the left says Obama is unflappable and well-informed.
Welcome to the Fun House.