I don’t view Maureen Dowd as a particularly bright individual. I don’t view her as a particularly honest individual. And I don’t view her as a good writer; her columns always look as though they were crafted by a 14 year old of somewhat less-than-average intelligence. But I will concede that she has a genius for discovering what the zeitgeist is. And when it comes to politics, her juvenile antipathy towards Republicans notwithstanding, Dowd has decided to bandwagon along with those who realize that President Obama is too weak to be an effective leader. Of course, this admission is hardly earth-shattering–lots of people have noticed that this President is hardly a fighter (though I must admit that I personally expected more political dexterity and toughness from him), and Paul Krugman has been banging the drum for quite a while about the President’s tendency to get rolled by Republicans–but when someone like Dowd is forced to admit as much in the New York Times, the message that the Obama Administration capitulates at just about every turn filters down to non-policy wonks as well. And unlike most non-policy wonks, I daresay that those who read the Times are more apt to vote and be involved in the political process.
All of which means that the image of President Obama as a weak political figure is hardening in the eyes of those most willing to support him. Which is bad news for the Administration. I realize, of course, that there remain plenty of people willing to bitterly cling to the notion that the President’s political problems are everyone else’s fault, and that the President himself bears no responsibility for his parlous political position (about the only thing dumber than James Wimberley’s desperate attempt to blindly pin the Obama Administration’s bad political position on racism are the commenters who strain to justify Wimberley’s evidence-free “argument”). But they are increasingly becoming a minority, aren’t they?