Yes, despite the fact that progressives were not listened to—when not openly mocked—and the fact that the White House basically bent over backwards to appease the Republicans, Scherer is blaming them.
even as Obama aides were aware of a growing disconnect, it didn't seem to worry their boss. Instead, the ambitious legislative goals usually trumped other priorities. Both in the original stimulus package and then in the health care and energy measures, the White House ceded most of its clout to the liberal lions who controlled the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. That maneuver helped assure passage of reforms, but it also confirmed some of the worst fears about how Washington works. "I'd rather be a one-term President and do big things than a two-term President and just do small things," he told his team after Republican Scott Brown was elected Senator in liberal Massachusetts and some in the Administration suggested pulling back on health reform.Not that anybody couldn't have seen that happen. It's the village. They love punching hippies.
It's obviously not just the way the right wants to tell the story--it's how the Village wants to tell the story. The evil liberals got their way and forced Obama to overreach on all these policies--never mind that there is no public option, that the energy bill is a shell of what it should have been to either address energy independence or climate change, and the stimulus was about half a billion less than most liberal economists (and WH advisor Christina Romer) thought was necessary and less than what the more liberal House wanted.Scherer doesn't CARE if they're actually liberal lions or not. That's not the game. The game is to reinforce the prevailing narrative and, by doing so, cement your status as a "serious journalist". Fame (and well-advertised book releases) will follow.
One has the feeling that Michael Scherer wouldn't recognize a liberal lion if it bit him on the ass. Say what you will about the stimulus, health care reform, the as-of-yet unpassed energy reform bill, you can't say that they ended up looking like the proposals progressives put forward.
No, if he cared, he would have had to have addressed progressives' sense of resignation and betrayal, and realized that "overreach" wouldn't properly explain that. He'd need to look to reasons why Obama disappointed everybody, which is quite a bit tricker than simply wanking on and on about those filthy hippies in the Democratic Senatorial caucus.
(The truly bizarre thing is that the guy acknowledged that the stimulus was too small on his blog. Yet not a word of this appeared in the piece.)
The real story here was, is, and will remain the fact that the Republicans understand just how well obstinacy works. That they can block whatever they please, and it's the Dems that will catch hell for it. That the media is lazy, and will listen to whoever has the loudest voice and repeats the most instead of doing actual reportage. And that the deep pockets of secretive ideological zealots can make all the difference.
But that won't make you friends in Washington. It's just the truth. And who gives a rat's ass about that?