I am sure that Mark Halperin, co-author of Game Change and Senior MSNBC Political Analyst would have preferred Obama skip his vacation in order to convince the country the mosque must be built. His criticism here, however, strikes at the heart of the problem with the festering mosque controversy. President Obama went out and took what was widely perceived as a bold stance on the building of a mosque near Ground Zero only to walk back his "bold stance" the next day.
That this mosque/educational center seems a long way from being funded or being built seemed to be of little consequence to a president who has been known to jump in with both feet on issues he knew little about in the past. Despite the fact there was no clear consensus among his advisors as to a position on this mosque Obama went off and stirred a cauldron of controversy based on the advice of a few of the usual suspects - namely Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod. When Democrats facing an already explosive electorate reacted the next day, Obama backed off and headed for vacation. Now cheerleaders like Halperin are forced to face what has been obvious to most of us all along, leadership matters and Obama is no leader:
The Anchoress points to the same sentiments behind the realization "we miss Bush:"
One of my husband’s friends–hated Bush, loved Obama and defended him vociferously for the first year, less passionately the second–told him over lunch this week that he’s done with Obama and “I never thought I’d say this but I miss Bush. We knew that he said what he meant, even if we didn’t want to hear it. We knew who he was, even if we didn’t like him. And we never had to wonder whether he liked us. He always did.”Read the rest as The Anchoress is spot on in her assessment. I must, however, quote her conclusion as to what Bush would and would not do if faced with a similar predicament:
And that is it, in a nutshell. Bush is missable, because we miss having a president whose affection for his country and its people–even the ones who hated him–was never in doubt.
We miss Bush because he never lectured us or harangued us, and when people disagreed with him, they were not immediately called names in an attempt to simply shut up debate.
I am absolutely certain however that in the face of angry, hurt opposition President Bush would not have permitted or encouraged his party to charge 60% of the nation with bigotry and xenophobia, because Bush never hated his opponents, and he never believed the worst of his countrymen; he believed the best.
Believing the worst of his countrymen sometimes seems to be President Obama’s default mode.