Rolling Stone has a fascinating, sprawling interview with President Obama, who sees the tea party as an amalgam, says Gen. Stanley McChrystal didn’t meet his standards, and defends his administration as “the most successful ... in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward.”
The interview exemplifies why Obama is such a frustrating character. On the one hand, he is so casually brilliant that he can kibitz about the brevity of the journalistic golden age between Hearst and Fox News. At the same time, he is dense as a stone when it comes to his economic team (Larry Summers didn’t work at Goldman Sachs, he protests—no, he just pocketed its $135,000 payoff, er, speaking fee).
The president is clearly frustrated that he hasn’t gotten credit for his legislative accomplishments. And even if he can understand that his base is disappointed, Obama does not believe such disappointment excuses apathy in the coming election, as you can see below. —PZS
Rolling Stone via TPM:
The idea that we’ve got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible.
Everybody out there has to be thinking about what’s at stake in this election and if they want to move forward over the next two years or six years or 10 years on key issues like climate change, key issues like how we restore a sense of equity and optimism to middle-class families who have seen their incomes decline by five percent over the last decade. If we want the kind of country that respects civil rights and civil liberties, we’d better fight in this election. And right now, we are getting outspent eight to one by these 527s that the Roberts court says can spend with impunity without disclosing where their money’s coming from. In every single one of these congressional districts, you are seeing these independent organizations outspend political parties and the candidates by, as I said, factors of four to one, five to one, eight to one, 10 to one.
We have to get folks off the sidelines. People need to shake off this lethargy, people need to buck up. Bringing about change is hard—that’s what I said during the campaign. It has been hard, and we’ve got some lumps to show for it. But if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.
White House / Pete Souza