Jonah Goldberg is right on target, as usual:
…a man who came into office hell-bent on restoring faith in government is on the verge of inspiring a libertarian revival.There have always been (at least) two Barack Obamas. There is the man who claims to be a nonideological problem-solver, keen on working with anybody to fix things. And there is “The One”: the partisan, left-leaning progressive redeemer.
The dilemma for Obama is that neither is panning out because both incarnations rely on trust. The president never had much trust among Republicans, and he lost what he had when he opted to steamroll the stimulus and, later, Obamacare, on a partisan basis.
Of course, that’s not how most Democrats have seen things. They’ve seen the last five years as a tale of Tea Party–fueled madness and racism. The conviction that conservatives are crazy, stupid, and/or bigoted in their opposition to Obama is what has allowed the two Obamas to exist side by side. Both iterations could blame the Republicans for any shortcomings or failures.
And then the floodgates opened. The IRS compromised the integrity of the domestic agency that is supposed to be the most immune to politics. Worse, the White House’s best defense was that it was simply asleep at the switch as the agency went rogue — in ways that just happened to align with the president’s oft-expressed ideological and political preferences.
This one’s hard to clip from because every paragraph is worth reading. So hop to it!