The Dread Base

The best thing about David Ignatius hit on Barack Obama is that amidst his lengthy whine that Obama hasn't done enough to "anger any of the party's interest groups" he doesn't offer any examples of group-angering action that he wishes Obama would take. After all, once you reach a certain lofty peak of beltwayishness, you're above petty demands to think about policy. Rather, your role is to castigate interest groups, especially liberal ones, as the bane of all existence. After all, where do these people get off forming groups to advocate for their interests?

Maybe Obama should have become a global warming denialist? Advocated that we intensify legal discrimination against gays and lesbians? Steps like those sure would have socked it to the interest groups! I mean, I dunno . . . he's spoken in black churches about African-American homophobia, he's spoken to auto executives about the need for higher fuel efficiency standards, he likes charter schools, he tells Jewish leaders you don't need to "adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel", etc. What does Ignatius want? It hardly seems fair to penalize Obama for the fact that the base of his party isn't fanatically devoted to the virtues of torture, thus depriving him of a shot to gain base-bucking points for standing up for hundreds of years worth of conventional wisdom.