Thursday, June 14, 2012

The man in the arena

The opening line of Jonathan Capehart's column yesterday summed the last few days up pretty well.
No one does panic like Democrats.
Of course he was responding to the "hair on fire" reactions initiated by talk from James Carville and Stan Greenberg as captured in a column by Karen Tumulty.
Is it time for Democrats to panic?

That’s what a growing number of party loyalists are wondering, amid a rough couple of weeks in which President Obama and his political operation have been buffeted by bad economic news, their own gaffes and signs that the presumed Republican nominee is gaining strength.
My response is to remember the days when Mr. Carville went into a panic criticizing President Obama about his response to the Gulf oil spill. Two months later, he didn't exactly issue an apology, but was forced to eat a little crow.
Any fair assessment would have to conclude that in spite of some people's criticism of the early response, (and by "some people" I mean Ms. Nippy's firstborn son James), one also must give credit to a much improved and vigorous response to the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf...

I don't know many people -- and no Democrats -- who were as tough on the Obama administration as I was when the oil started gushing.

But for now I'll take Mississippi governor -- and chairman of the Republican Governors' Association -- Haley Barbour saying President Obama has "done more right than wrong." In fact, I'll up Gov. Barbour's bid one and say that as of late, President Obama has done a lot more right than wrong.
Its been a long time since I trusted James Carville - but that's a long story for another day. Suffice it to say that he has always been a critic of President Obama's approach to campaigning, be that because of having a totally different style, his loyalty to the Clinton's, or jealousy at being replaced by David Plouffe as the latest campaign guru in Democratic circles...who knows?

But these folks are just the tip of the iceberg. As Capehart alluded to, a whole bunch of Democratic pundits now see it as open season on panic and time to shower the Obama campaign with their "words of wisdom" about how things should be done.

Of course Politico is going to pounce on a story like that - even going so far as to bring back people we haven't heard from for awhile like Drew Westen (puhleeze!). And every pundit like Michael Tomasky, who has spent their life sitting on the sidelines commenting on what others do, is now all of the sudden a genius at strategy.

I figure that if every one of these yahoos would take a page from the book of someone like Steve Benen and just write about the issues rather than try to assume the role of "campaign consultant," we'd be doing a MUCH better job of getting the message we want out there. In other your f*cking job rather than constantly auditioning for Plouffe's.

Finally, I'm taken back once again to this marvelous quote from Teddy Roosevelt.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


  1. They do know the election's in November don't they? They kill me with the extreme emotional states. I believe it's safe to trust Axlerod and Carney by now. The half wits in the D.C. bubble don't seem to understand that people don't watch them on tv or read their blogs. The only person that listens to Carville right now is Carville.

    I look at Romney and see someone that's not really a good politician. He had to overspend to beat the idiot brigade. He gets run out of black neighborhoods. What does Romney think is going to happen to him during the debates? Mitt's working on that hole right now.


  2. "In other your f*cking job rather than constantly auditioning for Plouffe's."

    This! Totally this!

  3. Once again a voice of calm and reason among all the panic. Thanks - I needed that. I especially like the suggestion to ask the press to report on the facts instead of give opinion. I had not made that connection until reading this article. If the facts could somehow get out there, the President would win in a landslide.