I read this last night and couldn’t quite believe it got printed. Helene Cooper in the New York Times:

Democrats often complained about President George W. Bush’s frequent use of a rhetorical device as old as rhetoric itself: creating the illusion of refuting an opponent’s argument by mischaracterizing it and then knocking down that mischaracterization.

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Now that there is a new team at the White House, guess who is knocking down straw men left and right? To listen to President Obama, a veritable army of naysayers has invaded Washington, urging him to sit on his hands at the White House and do nothing to address any of the economic or national security problems facing the country.

“There are those who say these plans are too ambitious, that we should be trying to do less, not more,” Mr. Obama told a town-hall-style meeting in Costa Mesa, Calif., on March 18. “Well, I say our challenges are too large to ignore.”

Mr. Obama did not specify who, exactly, was saying America should ignore its challenges.

I mean, really? This is an example of the commanding political intellect and keen powers of observation at work at the NYT? Every right wing knock on Obama for the first hundred days always insinuated "he’s doing too much." I find 37,000 examples in one quick search. (Publius has a fine collection, too.)

And it’s not like this was some selective observation of the left. Here’s Rammesh Ponurru at The Corner:

I suspect that I will not have many opportunities to defend President Obama from New York Times reporters, so I will seize this one. The related notions that Obama has too much on his plate, that he is overloading the political system, and that he is spending too little time on the economy and too much on health and the environment are staples of centrist and center-right commentary about the president, and have been for months.

If this was her first column after being in a coma for the past four months, they should have mentioned it.

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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