National Review editor in chief Rich Lowry, in his syndicated column today:
[F]allout from the stimulus and auto bailouts are stoking a distaste for deficit spending and government activism that is remarkable in what is touted as a statist golden age on par with 1933 or 1965. In a Wall Street Journal poll last week, 58 percent of people said the government should keep the deficit down, even if it slows economic growth. Fifty-five percent opposed the bailout of General Motors, and nearly seven in ten expressed worry about the government’s interventions in the economy.
Compared to health care, both the stimulus and the auto bailout are great diversions, for which Democrats are now paying the price. They strain mightily to find a way to keep their legislation under $1 trillion and to actually pay for it, because they already had one enormously expensive freebie this year. With a more measured approach, Obama would have asked for a smaller stimulus and steered clear of the wreckage of the auto companies, saving his strength for the most important policy battle of his presidency.
Andrew Malcolm, in the LA Times today:
Here's the scary thing for the new White House: the terrifying words "Jimmy Carter" have started appearing in print and on the air, recalling the ex-Georgia governor's ineptness and apparent powerlessness in handling his Iranian (hostage) issues in the late 1970s. That impression lead to 12 years of Reagan-Bush Republican White Houses.
Over the weekend Democratic stalwart Sen. Dianne Feinstein was also suggesting on TV that even with 60 seats in the Senate, the president might not have enough support to pass his beloved massive healthcare reforms. Not to mention some modest slippage in Obama's poll numbers.
Advantage: Me, again.
Moving away momentarily from the gratuitous self-back-patting, I ought to point out James Taranto's catch of a better (if still on the weak side) Obama statement on Iran, which was inexplicably cut out of the actual CBS broadcast from last Friday. Like Taranto (and Allahpundit, who uncovered the quotes in the online transcript), I have to wonder just why CBS buried the actual story they had literally in their hands. Were they that clueless? Did the White House ask for those lines to be cut in the name of "not meddling?" Either way, whomever left out Obama's tenative statements of support for the protestors looked pretty dumb when the White House released that (still-milquetoast) press release after the Iranian goon squads did their thing on Sunday.
No matter what the actual reasons were, it was quite a fumble by CBS.