David Brooks calls out Obama’s permanent campaign

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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David Brooks’ latest piece profoundly and succinctly describes the parlour game we have gotten so used to seeing in Washington, that we have become almost so inured to it — almost to the point of no longer noticing it.

He calls out Republicans and Democrats, but his description of President Obama’s tired schtick is especially worthy of sharing:

“Under the Permanent Campaign Shimmy, the president identifies a problem. Then he declines to come up with a proposal to address the problem. Then he comes up with a vague-but-politically-convenient concept that doesn’t address the problem (let’s raise taxes on the rich). Then he goes around the country blasting the opposition for not having as politically popular a concept. Then he returns to Washington and congratulates himself for being the only serious and substantive person in town.”

(How long until someone calls Brooks use of the term, “shimmy” a racist dog whistle?)

Obama’s routine has been repeated countless times, and is currently playing out over the sequestration battle.

Of course, Republicans play games, too. But President Obama was elected to lead the nation. In 2008, he ran on the “Hope and Change” mantra. Yet, Obama’s main goal seems to be to win the PR battle — and destroy the GOP (not to fix our nation’s problems).

That’s not change you can believe in.

President Ronald Reagan once said: “I’ve often wondered … if I’d spent more time and worked harder as a student how far I might have gone.” That was a joke, of course, but in Obama’s case, I can’t help but wondering how much more he might have accomplished if he had only applied himself.

Another famous Reagan line is: “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

If only Obama agreed.

Matt K. Lewis