Today's jaw-dropper came from Karen Hughes on NBC's "Meet the Press" this Sunday. (Watch it here. Read it here.) The roundtable was discussing how BO has done in his first year and Ms. Hughes, former aide to guess-who, had something really dumb to say. And this is after, by the way, defending Dick Cheney's inappropriate and hypocritical criticisms and calling for criminals to be unilaterally declared enemy combatants and stripped of their rights, which we won't get into.
Bob Woodward had just put the lie to the idea that Obama is some kind of European-style socialist. (Thanks for that, Bob, by the way.) I'll give you the full context.
MR. WOODWARD: But, you know, what's interesting from, who is Barack Obama as president? And, and, and there are people who tried--there was a column The Washington Post Friday in which Charles Krauthammer tried to essentially say he is a European-style socialist because of health care and he's trying to do these other things. Now, I'm trying to do a book on President Obama, and calling him a European socialist is just not even in the ballpark. It's like taking and calling President Bush, because he arranged and worked with Teddy Kennedy on No Child Left Behind, or a prescription drug plan for the elderly, calling George Bush a European socialist, which would be absurd.
MS. HUGHES: Well, I'm not in the name-calling game...
MR. WOODWARD: Barack Obama is not that.
MS. HUGHES: ...but, Bob, would you, would you admit that he has governed far to the left of the way he campaigned? He campaigned as a centrist and has not governed that way.
WHAT? To the left? Far to the left? What the hell are you smoking? You people were all complaining about how left-wing his campaign was. Now, when it's convenient to do so, you act like you all liked him way back when and he's so disappointed you by not being that person you met and fell in love with not so long ago. Come on.
I've noted many times that there is spin and then there is utter bullshit. This falls squarely on the bullshit side, particularly as she states it as if it's just common knowledge and poor Bob Woodward has to just come out and admit it.
Campaigner Obama pledges to end the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
President Obama has talked about pulling troops out of Iraq but hasn't done so. And he has severely escalated the war in Afghanistan.
MOVEMENT: To the right.
Campaigner Obama pledges to cut taxes for folks making under $250,000 per annum and raise them a little for folks making more.
President Obama does just this.
Campaigner Obama pledges to shut down Gitmo within a year, end torture, release those held without charges and prosecute terrorists the old-fashioned way, through our highly useful legal system that we used to be so proud of.
President Obama has not yet shut down Gitmo. He has made the decision to prosecute some, but not all, suspected terrorists in the courts. Many more are still being held without charge or sent to military tribunals. And we'll just have to take his word that they aren't being tortured. Let's hope not.
MOVEMENT: To the right.
Campaigner Obama pledged to fight for universal health care.
President Obama not only didn't put universal health care forth as the starting point (with an expectation that compromise would be necessary) but he started with a simple public option, which was then jettisoned along with almost every thing else worthy of the word "reform". And the bill is still in danger of not passing. And he doesn't seem all that concerned about the situation.
MOVEMENT: To the right.That's most of what anybody gives a crap about these days. He's moved the country slightly to the left. (It was already so far right under the Bushies that this is not even an accomplishment.) But to even make the suggestion that he's governed to the left, let alone the far left, of what he campaigned on is the most ridiculous nonsense one could possibly hope to spout. He's either done exactly what he said he would or he's gone to the right. If anyone can tell me one area where he's gone left of what he campaigned on, I'm all ears. But I'm not seeing it.
Good to see you, Karen. (Not.) You haven't changed a bit.