I’m loathe to say this, but there is a generally decent piece by Halperin on the Obama administration in Time. I say generally, because it does contain some of the awful both sides nonsense:
Before the jabberers on the right (What about the huge debt, the broken tax pledge, the paucity of overseas accomplishments?), the yammerers on the left (Guantánamo hasn’t been closed, gays aren’t serving openly in the military, and too many policies cater to business interests) and the chides in the media (POTUS and party poll numbers are down, and Washington is more partisan than ever), look at the two key metrics that underscore Obama’s accomplishments.
And then there is this jawdropper:
Unlike Bill Clinton, especially early in his presidency, Obama has largely maintained control of his public image, preserved the majesty of the office (a job that has become harder than ever because of the toxic freak-show nature of our politico-media culture) and maintained good relations, in public and private, with the armed services brass, the intelligence community and law enforcement.
Halperin just spent the better part of the last year cashing in on a book that was nothing but unsourced rumors, gossip, and anonymous insider accusations, dressed up as “deep background reporting.” In fact, when I think of the “toxic freak show nature of our politico-media culture,” Morton Halperin’s son is the first person I think of- right in front of Howard Kurtz and almost all of the Washington Post op-ed contributors.
And for the record, the Lewinsky scandal, the thing that tarnished Clinton’s “public image,” didn’t happen early on, it happened halfway through his second term. And with his tarnished public image, Clinton left office with a 66% approval rating. Halperin just has to get that one last dig in at the Clenis, and can’t be bothered to get the basic facts right. “Toxic freak show nature,” indeed.