I’d also add that the optics of President Bush may have changed liberals’ perception of what the president can do. At every turn, we either heard that President Bush was doing “X” thing, or claiming “X” power, and without the context of a unified Republican Congress or a pliant executive branch, it was easy to believe that Bush was accomplishing these things through sheer force of will, when he simply wasn’t.I think one of the issues here is just sloppiness of language, leading to sloppiness in thinking, and I'm hear to plead: Guilty!
Earlier today, I said the following:
- "if Barack Obama actually managed to capture and/or kill Osama bin Laden"
- "By killing al-Qaeda leaders -- by possibly killing bin Laden -- Obama is..."
- "if by some chance Obama curtails the drone strikes, or is in any way defeated by bin Laden"
So, I'm going to recommit to trying to be careful about language and the presidency, just as I urge everyone to be careful about attributing to Obama only those things that he actually does. I have to say, though -- it's hard.