The New Yorker magazine carries the best cartoons in the industry. The humor is mostly apolitical without a hint of underlying agenda beyond getting the reader to smile. However, that is where the magazine’s objectivity ends. Judging by Talk of the Town which opens every issue, one would think Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi were the publishers. If you want to know how an honest liberal thinks, read the New Yorker. (That is not to say that Reid and Pelosi are honest liberals.)
Ryan Lizza is the Washington correspondent for the magazine. Lizza poured through 11,000 pages of Washington documents and wrote a 13 page article for the New Yorker entitled The Obama Memos with the tagline The making of a post-post-partisan Presidency. Post-post-partisan? Isn’t that a double positive making it a negative? Yes, it is. Lizza contends that no President has been more willing to find common ground and work with the other side than Barack Obama has. He came into office, Lizza says, with the hope and every intention of putting partisan bickering aside and becoming a post-partisan President. When it didn’t work as he expected, Obama gave up the idea, reversed his strategy and became a post-post-partisan President. Lizza may be right about that, but if Obama really thought he would get Republicans to accept some of his far left socialism it wasn’t out of naïveté, it was sheer hubris.
Conservatives have long known the Democratic Party to be the party of personal destruction. From a lowly plumber named Joe to a lofty Supreme Court Justice, many a conservative has felt the injustice of the Party’s character assassination. That is what makes this excerpt from Lizza’s article so interesting.
Another hard-edged decision helped make him [Obama] the Democratic Presidential nominee. In early October, 2007, David Axelrod and Obama’s other political consultants wrote the candidate a memo explaining how he could repair his floundering campaign against Hillary Clinton. They advised him to attack her personally…, that all campaign slogans, even the slogan “Change We Can Believe In”- had to emphasize distinctions with Clinton on character rather than on policy.
The memo went on to say we must
“frame the argument along the character fault line, and this is where we can and must win this fight.” [We will say] “Clinton can’t be trusted or believed when it comes to change because she is driven by political calculation not conviction.”
Neera Tanden is now the President of the Center for American Progress. She was the Policy Director for Hillary’s primary campaign then later became Barack Obama’s campaign director in the general election.
“It was a character attack,” Tanden said recently, speaking about the Obama campaign against Clinton. “I went over to Obama, I am a big supporter of the President, but their campaign was entirely a character attack on Hillary as a liar and untrustworthy. It wasn’t an issue contrast, it was entirely personal.” And of course it worked.
That’s the sad part, it works. And who is to blame for that? The voters.