George Will: Never persuaded by the promise of national consensus, Will
lambastes the administration's multi-facted, dithering approach to the
Andrew Sullivan: Once full of hope, he has recoiled at the budget. Cracks in Sullivan's Obamaphile armor are beginning to show.
David Brooks: Never persuaded by the president, but now he's had enough
of the "über-partisan" spending plan. Brooks also epitomizes the
popular moderate critique that Obama is trying to do too many
peripheral things -- like health care reform -- while the bank crisis
requires his utmost attention.
Peggy Noonan: Inauguration plaudits have given way to accusations of
"unbearable lightness" on the economy. Noonan is tough to pin down on
Obama, because it's clear throughout her writing that she respects his
style but not necessarily his substance.
EJ Dionne: Always a fan, Dionne defends Obama from the moderate
critique that he's trying too much, because, hey, isn't government
about doing things?
Maureen Dowd: Obama's caution -- long her concern -- has become
passivity, and she fears he lacks the gumption to reel in congressional
Paul Krugman: From hope-doubter to budget-lover to bank plan-objector,
Krugman's loyal opposition seeks revolutionary changes over what he
considers Obama's incrementalism.
January 25: "What we have so far, mainly, is an Inaugural Address, and
it suggests that he may have learned more from Reagan than he has
sometimes let on. Obama's speech was unabashedly pro-American and
March 16: " "Public distaste for both the Bush and Obama
administrations' handling of the financial crisis seems to be
January 23: "He's Bill Clinton, master politician, but without the
hunger. Clinton craves your adulation (the source of all his troubles).
Obama will take it, but he can leave it, too. He is astonishingly
self-contained. He gives what he must to advance his goals, his
programs, his ambitions. But no more. He has no need to ... By
connecting himself in this historic address to Washington rather than
Lincoln the liberator, Obama was legitimizing the full sweep of
American history without annotation or mental reservation. If we ever
have a post-racial future, this moment will mark its beginning."
February 27: The "Obamaist Manifesto" claimed that "Obama has radically
different ambitions...The spread between Europe and America in
government-controlled GDP has already shrunk from 14 percent to 7
percent. Two terms of Obamaism and the difference will be zero."
January 21: "His presidency begins as an exercise in psychotherapy for
a nation suffering a crisis of confidence. But neither the nation nor
the government that accurately represents it is constructed for
consensus. And he will be unable to fault his office for his
frustrations because, more than any predecessor except the first, the
44th president enters office with the scope of its powers barely
circumscribed by law, and even less by public opinion."