Syndicated columnist George Will made a statement on the Laura Ingraham Radio Show Friday that should make people on both sides of the aisle and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue take notice.
"I think the President has at long last so gone over the top in his rhetoric that he’s even losing the mainstream media" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
GEORGE WILL: Well, I think the sequester argument is extremely useful because it’s very educational for the American public. When the Obama administration increases on average 17 percent the budgets of the domestic agencies that now are facing a 5 percent cut, and they say, “This is intolerable,” they reveal that the basic position of liberalism is this: whatever the size of the government is at any moment, it’s the bare minimum standing between us and chaos and misery, which just strikes the American people as facially preposterous. I mean, if you turned to any American family and said, “Could you find 2.3 percent savings,” they’d say, “Of course, we can do it by noon.”
So, I think the President has at long last so gone over the top in his rhetoric that he’s even losing the mainstream media here.
And as I told NewsMaxTV's Steve Malzberg Friday, February may have been a tipping point in Obama's relationship with media.
Consider as additional evidence NBC's David Gregory on Friday saying the President doesn't like the Washington press corps and the feeling is mutual.
Obama is never going to be up for election again, and with the midterms not until next year, the media have almost ten more months to hold his feet to the fire without there being any political consequence to their agenda.
This could make for a very prickly year for a man who's grown to expect astonishingly favorable coverage from his many admirers in the press:
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Well, the fact that we have someone like Bob Woodward who today on the Today show said, “Look, they want to create a sideshow on the issue of how they treat someone like me. I’m a big boy, I can take it.” But even Woodward said there is no attempt or appetite to cut entitlements which has to happen in order to truly get on a pathway of economic reform. Even Woodward is saying that.
WILL: Well never mind entitlements, they don’t want to cut anything.
WILL: They have a kind of Brezhnev Doctrine. Remember that Brezhnev said, “Wherever socialism is planted it shall never retreat from that spot?” Wherever the government exists, it shall never retreat. This is their Brezhnev Doctrine for domestic American politics.
Look, if you went to the International House of Pancakes with the President, and he’s sitting across from you in the booth, and you both have in front of you a big stack of pancakes, and you said, “Mr. President, would you pass the syrup?” He’d say, “No.” He’d say, “I think we ought to have a balanced approach to passing the syrup, and therefore you have to pay me in new revenues to get the syrup.”
This is an absolutely verbal tic of his, a reflex, and it’s built in, it’s hardwired into his system. He did not come to Washington, he did not enter politics to shrink the role of government. Period.
INGRAHAM: Do you think the Republicans have in this instance of the sequester, have they adequately explained their position or educated, you know, the American people on what’s really at stake? Because I think most people are so busy, George, they hear the word “sequester,” they’re like, “That’s just so Washington. We’re not even going to pay attention to it.”
WILL: Well, you’re absolutely right. The normal, average, healthy American is raising children, washing the car, raking leaves, cleaning the gutters, going about his or her business. And so a lot of this is like audible wallpaper. They hear it, but they don’t really notice it. But what I think the American people are beginning to cotton on to is that the President, who has spoken so incessantly for the last five years, has so devalued presidential rhetoric that they’ve hit the mute button. That’s one thing Americans are really good at is hitting the mute button on the political class, and they’ve done this with the President.
Have the Republicans adequately explained it? Yes. Has their adequate explanation been communicated by the media to the country? Probably not, but they just have to keep saying it over and over again. And our education began at midnight last night when the sequester happened and the sky didn’t fall. And if the administration makes the mistake - as it is in the power of the executive branch to do – to deliberately aggravate the American public by making the sequester cuts unnecessarily nuisances, then it seems to me it’ll be up to the journalists to follow this up and say, “Well, you know, this really didn’t need to happen at your airport security of your child vaccination center.” Something like that.
And that's when we're going to find out if the honeymoon really has finally ended, or if the marriage between Obama and the media just hit a rough patch.
If the adminstration intentionally makes these tiny budget cuts more damaging to the American people and the press exposes the treachery, it could be a very long year for the President.
On the other hand, if they cry wolf along with him and echo his claims that all the problems are being caused by the sequester, we'll know the honeymoon continues.