Worth Reading #4: Tim Fernholz: Barack Obama Is Not Your Dad! (Why-Oh-Why-Can't-We-Have-a-Better-Press-Corps? for March 16, 2010)
The American Prospect: I visited the op-ed pages today for the first time in a while, and boy, was I disappointed.
Fred Hiatt's latest is just something: Even though Obama is a "secure, self-confident adult" who "cares about policy," his presidency would be improved were he more visibly happy with the decisions he is making. (Needless to say, Hiatt's editorial page would no doubt be the first to accuse him of unseriousness were he joking around in the Oval Office.) Hiatt's carping seems to come in the grand journalistic tradition of late-night topic desperation, but he's also betraying the never-ending search on the right for a president who will fulfill their emotional needs as well as their presidential ones. By most accounts, Obama does have happy moments in his job, but Hiatt's concluding example is Obama talking about the sobering decisions he makes as commander in chief. Do we really want any president to take those duties lightly?
In other op-ed page madness, did you know that, thanks to budget reconciliation procedures in the Senate, "the remnants of person-to-person relationships, with their sympathy and sentiment, will be snuffed out"? Me neither, but you can thank David Brooks for this truly whacky effort, which manages to place a simple majority vote in the same category as the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide, and sectarian schisms in Islam. As the great Scottish poet Robert Burns once said, "Man's reconciliation to man/ Makes countless thousands mourn!" Or something. I hope it makes Barack Obama happy.