Monday, May 09, 2016

Feelbad Headline of the Day

Okay, this is NSFW, but here you go:

The orifice of Delphi
Usually Foreign Policy is a pretty sedate publication, so what has Thomas Ricks using such an Anglo-Saxon description of Mr. Rhodes?
Rhodes comes off like a real asshole. This is not a matter of politics — I have voted for Obama twice. Nor do I mind Rhodes’s contempt for many political reporters: “Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

But, as that quote indicates, he comes off like an overweening little schmuck. This quotation seems to capture his worldview: “He referred to the American foreign policy establishment as the Blob. According to Rhodes, the Blob includes Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, and other Iraq-war promoters from both parties who now whine incessantly about the collapse of the American security order in Europe and the Middle East.” Blowing off Robert Gates takes nerve.
It's been evident for a long time, especially in the case of Iran, that this administration had a plan and had no compunction about gaslighting people to get what it wanted. Doubt that? Consider the evidence:
Watching Rhodes work, I remember that he is still, chiefly, a writer, who is using a new set of tools — along with the traditional arts of narrative and spin — to create stories of great consequence on the biggest page imaginable. The narratives he frames, the voices of senior officials, the columnists and reporters whose work he skillfully shapes and ventriloquizes, and even the president’s own speeches and talking points, are the only dots of color in a much larger vision about who Americans are and where we are going that Rhodes and the president have been formulating together over the past seven years. When I asked Jon Favreau, Obama’s lead speechwriter in the 2008 campaign, and a close friend of Rhodes’s, whether he or Rhodes or the president had ever thought of their individual speeches and bits of policy making as part of some larger restructuring of the American narrative, he replied, “We saw that as our entire job.”
There's enough here to pick at for days. I would encourage you to read the entire piece from the Times that I've linked directly above. Eventually we are going to understand why Thomas Ricks has chosen the right description for the man who supported the president that Ricks voted for twice.


Benster said...

What is even more incredible about Ben Rhodes is that his brother David is the president of CBS News. So that begs the question of how much leeway does Scott Pelley have to be critical of the Obama administration when it comes to foreign policy? Yet another reason why politicians should be at arms length from the press.

Bike Bubba said...

Connections with the media, yes, but I would hope that no matter how strong those were, men of honor would say "hey, lives are at stake here--skip the echo chamber!".

Maybe I'm a Pollyanna here, but I would have hoped....