The Director of National Intelligence James Clapper put on a dismaying performance with Diane Sawyer on Tuesday, one which would have led to frenzied calls for resignation if George W. Bush’s DNIs, John Negraponte or Michael Hayden, had been caught so flat footed.
That gap in the “questions” from the White House press corps at yesterday’s meeting with the president was astonishing enough, but so too was the treatment of the Gitmo issue. Mike Emanuel asked a question, but left out the stunning rebuke and major defeat delivered the president in yesterday’s Defense Authorization bill. Politico’s Josh Gerstein has a good report of this major repudiation of a core objective of the Obama Administration, but not a single hard push on this from the press corps, and general indifference to it in the papers today.
The MSM generally and the White House press corps especially care about the DADT and the Dream Act, and as the MSM is overwhelmingly lefty, they overemphasize these stories and ignore or downplay the president’s defeats such as with Gitmo and the trial of terrorists in the U.S.
But DADT is not a political game changer, and the president’s spin about opposition to the Dream Act is not only wholly dishonest, it also underscores his opponents critique of the president’s inability to really seek middle ground or to care seriously about border security.
The economy and national security are the key issues of 2012, and the president is off to a terrible start on both, ceding the debate about taxes generally to the GOP and being pummeled by a bipartisan coalition in a lame duck Congress controlled by his own party.
The MSM isn’t going to bring you that story or ask the president about DNI Clapper, for as Mark Steyn said on yesterday’s program, “they may be saying Merry Christmas, but actually as far as they’re concerned, it’s Easter, that their messiah has risen from the dead.”
But neither does the MSM phalanx surrounding the president protect him from the public’s clear-eyed assessment of his hard-left ideology and his competence. The new media will keep the facts flowing about the president and his agenda, the malignancy of Obamacare and the decline of America’s standing and influence in the world. The GOP need only keep its eyes on the facts, and not worry about MSM spin.