Thursday, August 19, 2010

To Understand Why I Like Frank Rich, Read His Review of Jonathan Alter's Book The Promise (I Also Agree Mostly With Their Assessments of Obama)

On average, I see Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter a couple of times a week during the run of the various MSNBC opinion shows. I am confident that our politics are likely closer than they are not, since I don't find myself yelling at his pronouncements like I do, say, Pat Buchanan (I really don't know why he is still on television). Naturally, Alter's book The Promise: President Obama, Year One has been hawked by all those folks on MSNBC. I will admit that I didn't really have an interest in it. However, I was over at the New York Review of Books site, and I saw that Frank Rich wrote a review of Alter's book.

The review is an excellent read, and I think that the combination of the information Alter apparently provides in the book and the commentary of Rich's review have made me interested. I think that both supporters of Obama and reasonable opponents of Obama (who knows how small a fraternity that may be) could agree on some of the shortcomings of this administration. I will admit that I felt a little vindicated regarding my criticism of Obama's economic team (mostly Geithner and Summers), when I saw an expansion of my basic problems with those gentlemen in Rich's review.

Like Rich, I believe that Obama was the right person for the job when we had to choose in November, but that his shortcomings, as well as those of this administration, have hurt the brand that he spent '07 and '08 building. And I agree with the assessment that, if Obama lacks sentimentality, as has been said, then he may yet do what he needs to do to right his administration (let the firings commence), and do right by those who put him into office (and even do right by those who still claim that he is a fascist, socialist, Marxist, communist, racist (against only white people), Muslim, anti-Christ, Kenyan who isn't an American citizen).

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