[Posted by Karl]
The populist outrage over bonuses paid to executives at troubled insurance giant AIG is depleting Pres. Obama’s political capital and threatens to derail public and congressional support for his ambitious agenda. Treasury and Federal Reserve officials said they had known about the bonus program as far back as last fall, but Treasury secretary Timmy Geithner was out of the loop until last week, and Pres. Obama was not told until the day before they were paid.
The furor has Congressional Democrats in disarray, as the Treasury and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) pointed fingers at each other over responsibility for the legislation that protected the AIG bonuses.
Nevertheless, Pres. Obama is bent on pursuing the broadest left-wing agenda possible, ramming it through via the budget reconciliation process if necessary, even though members of Congress and old political hands want him to focus on the immediate economic issues.
Although the AIG bonuses — and the Obama Administration’s botch job of them — are the hot issue of the moment, the incompetence question goes well beyond the economy. For example, Obama’s dishonorable trial balloon to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries has enraged veterans’ groups and even Congressional Democrats, who must be stunned at the political tone-deafness.
However, Fox, CNN, USA Today, the Boston Globe and McClatchy seem to be the only big news outlets reporting on this debacle. As I write this, the broadcast networks, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the L.A. Times have been missing in action. (update: the WaPo and LAT finally ran stories today.)
But wait… there’s more!
The New Ledger briefly summarizes the administration’s Carter-esque foreign policy, which thus far seems oriented toward snubbing our allies, making thoughtless overtures to our adversaries, and trying to place a conspiracy theorist in charge of preparing our intelligence estimates. That summary excludes a consideration of Russia, which is rearming, as the Obama Administration plans deep cuts in defense programs (and the jobs attached to them). It also excludes the administration’s failure to halt the dropping support for our mission in Afghanistan, a particularly egregious failure when one considers that support is lowest among Democrats (shocka).
The big establishment media have largely ignored these stories, though they have had plenty of time and space to devote to criticism of Jim Cramer and Rush Limbaugh on behalf of the White House. Indeed, CBS News is still busy manufacturing Limbaugh coverage. However, what the AIG bonus story demonstrates is that incompetence has a way of biting the incompetents — and that the lapdog media is eventually forced to report it.
Update: London’s Telegraph comments on doubts regarding Pres. Obama’s performance, adding: “Mr Obama is lucky that his Republican opponents in Congress are disorganised, incoherent and without ideas of their own.” Indeed. (via Allahpundit.)
Update x2: The Politico has more on Congressional Democrats pushing back against Obama’s “too much, too soon” agenda. (Where have I heard that phrase before?)
Update x3: Hot Air has video of Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) ripping Geithner and comparing the government to the Keystone Kops.
Update x4: Obama retreats from the proposal to charge veterans’ insurance companies for the treatment of veterans with service- and war-related injuries. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was the first to announce it.