According to long time liberal Washington hand Elizabeth Drew writing in Politico, a dark cloud surrounds the White House over the demise last week of White House Counsel Greg Craig. At issue is the shabby treatment of a respected Washington hand, long-time Clinton associate, and early Obama supporter, as he was slow-drip-leaked out of the White House:
President Barack Obama is returning from his trek to Asia Thursday to a capital that is a considerably more dangerous place for him than when he departed.
While he was abroad, there was a palpable sense at home of something gone wrong. A critical mass of influential people who once held big hopes for his presidency began to wonder whether they had misjudged the man. Most significant, these doubters now find themselves with a new reluctance to defend Obama at a phase of his presidency when he needs defenders more urgently than ever.
This is the price Obama has paid with his complicity and most likely his active participation, in the shabbiest episode of his presidency.
What caused so many Obama supporters’ stomachs to turn was that Obama could have stopped the leaking at any time; he or White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel could have arranged a dignified departure.
Yes, we knew, or should have, during the campaign that the supposed idealist Obama had a bit of the Chicago cut-throat in him, but there was little sign that he could be as brutal and heedless of loyalty as he was in the Craig affair. An unexpected climate of fear emanates from the Obama White House. [emphasis added]
Craig’s replacement as White House Counsel fits right in with the climate of fear, as National Review details:
…what is even scarier is that we now have a White House counsel who has asserted that anyone who talks about voter fraud, including the type of massive voter-registration fraud committed by ACORN, should be investigated and prosecuted by the Justice Department for voter intimidation… Given the serious concerns about the politicalization of the Justice Department under Eric Holder, perhaps we should all be worried that the prosecutorial power of the Justice Department will be used against members of the opposition political party on this issue.
Holder himself is hanging on to the side of the bus, Treasury Secretary Geithner is under pressure this week from both sides to resign, and one Democrat Congressman has called for both Geithner and Larry Summers to resign. Not to mention pressure from the right on the Patrick Gaspards, Mark Lloyds, Cass Sunsteins and John Holdrens of the White House, who would have been flushed out in a more moderate administration.
The President, for his part, when asked this week about his plans for 2012 said “there are a whole series of choices that I’m making that I know are going to create some political turbulence.” It appears there is already more than enough turbulence to go around.
The combination of a true-believer ideologue surrounded by incompetent ministers and a radical second tier, all protected by a gang of Chicago back-room boys, makes for a turbulent and nasty brew in the White House.
You got trouble Folks!
Right here in River City.
Trouble with a Capital T …
(from The Music Man)