The New York Times is allowing anonymous sources in politics to slime a political leader. But this time it’s Barack Obama.
In a Saturday story by Jonathan Martin and Ashley Parker on “new urgency about the need to address” Democratic prospects, an anonymous “Democratic lawmaker” said Obama was becoming “poisonous” to the party’s candidates.
Martin and Parker said that when two White House aides went to the Senate Democrats to talk Obamacare, “they were met with angry questions about why Mr. Obama’s well-funded advocacy group, Organizing for Action, was not airing commercials offering them cover on the health law.” They added:
Other Democrats are openly critical of the health care law in their advertisements. In one ad promoting Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, Democrat of Arizona, the narrator says she “blew the whistle on the disastrous health care website, calling it ‘stunning ineptitude,’ and worked to fix it.”
Democrats also face a contradiction: As woeful as they are about their prospects in 2014, they are buoyant about their chances for winning the White House in 2016. Polls show that Hillary Rodham Clinton has clear leads over possible Republican challengers.
This sentence may be the funniest one for conservatives: "Republicans also seem to be benefiting from the argument — reinforced by advertising and by their media surrogates — that Mr. Obama has presided over an activist government that has overreached and proved incompetent."
Somehow, Republicans have hornswoggled the country into thinking Obama has pushed “activist government” for five years. Here’s how the Times story began: .
WASHINGTON — Democrats are becoming increasingly alarmed about their midterm election fortunes amid President Obama’s sinking approval ratings, a loss in a special House election in Florida last week, and millions of dollars spent by Republican-aligned groups attacking the new health law.
The combination has led to uncharacteristic criticism of Mr. Obama and bitter complaints that his vaunted political organization has done little to help the party’s vulnerable congressional candidates.
The latest in a cascade of bad news came Friday when Scott Brown, a former senator from Massachusetts, announced an exploratory committee to challenge the incumbent Democrat in New Hampshire, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and when the Republican-aligned “super PAC” American Crossroads said it would spend $600,000 to help his effort.
The reporters note that historic trends point to a negative result for the president’s party, especially if the president’s approval rating is under 50 percent. But it’s also true that relying on trends might have suggested President Romney was a shoo-in given the high unemployment rate.
Nevertheless, after the high hopes of the GOP in 2012, it's important to hear the liberal media channeling high anxiety among Democrats, if there really is going to be any noticeable Democratic losses in November.