A relic, no doubt, of my Catholic boyhood, I am sometimes masochistic. This may explain why, yesterday afternoon, I turned the car radio to listen to Jay Severin pump out the septic tank of his brain on WTKK. The topic was the manifest failure of Barack Obama as president. “Didn’t we, Best and Brightest, know,” Severin intoned, “that this guy didn’t have the experience, wasn’t ready for prime time?” This brought to mind the articles penned by Dave Barry-then a red hot columnist-about the “failed Clinton Administration”. In January,1993. Barry wrote:
ALLOW me to be the first professional news commentator to point out that the Clinton administration has failed. Look at the evidence. Bill Clinton has been president for over two weeks now, and:
— The national debt is still enormous.
— The world is still rife with oppression, famine and genocide.
— George Steinbrenner is still at large.
The time has come to ask: What went wrong? How could failure have come so quickly to Bill Clinton, who started out with so much promise, so many ideas, such a large volume of hair?
Of course, the only difference between our own Jay Severin of 2009 and Dave Barry of 1993 was that Barry was joking. And what’s broadcast in Boston reflects what’s happening nationwide. So while Obama’s cabinet choices all strut and preen and talk about bipartisanship, the Republicans are already declaring war. And since the Democrats are playing kissy-face and the Republicans murder, the war will be a-symetric. Just a few weeks ago pundits were declaring the Republicans wholly marginalized, if not actually dead. Yeah, right.
In August, 1974, succeeding the just-resigned and disgraced Richard Nixon, the new President, Gerald Ford, declared, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.” President-elect Obama might well consider including in his inaugural address ten days hence, “My fellow Americans, both economically and politically, our long national nightmare is just beginning.”
And our boy Jay, having supported Mitt Romney (!) right to the end, and now dutifully following the right-wing playbook, has a new lease on life