In the Arena

Bring it On?

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Former Bush Deputy Commissar for Rove-Inspired Propaganda Pete Wehner has weighed in on the President’s “kick ass” comment to Matt Lauer and he was just shocked–shocked–by it. I agree it was pretty stupid and transparent: it smacked of Obama trying to prove that he was really, really pissed off about the oil spill. He probably is, but going about threatening to “kick ass” is not who this President is, at least not by repute…and he should understand that if Americans get anything about politics, they sense inauthenticity. This smacks of desperation.

Wehner chides Obama for trying to act like Clint Eastwood. But Obama’s venture into faux machismo has nothing on George W. Bush’s lethally–and I mean that literally–stupid dare aimed at the Iraqi insurgency–”Bring it on”–in the early days of that conflict. How cowboy of him! But no commander who has ever faced live ammunition would ever seek to have his troops fired upon; for a Commander-in-Chief to express that sentiment was generally seen, among the soldiers and marines I talked to at the time, as feckless in the extreme.

But Wehner’s memory is selective, to say the least. And his rather hilarious descent into punditry-without-perspective proceeds apace.

Update: It seems as if Jon Chait is as tickled by the artless transparency of Wehner’s frequent Obama-Sky-Is-Falling effusions as I am. And I just can’t resist this: Bush’s Freedom Forward Agenda–a Wehner pet project, a high-minded, if belated, attempt to rationalize the Bush-Cheney invasion of Iraq–is what gave us the Palestinian elections, which neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority wanted…and which gave us Hamas rule in Gaza.