I have what is bordering on an unhealthy antipathy for Time Magazine's Hacktaculous, Mark Halperin. A few weeks ago I wrote a diary about his hackiness. You can find it here.
Tonight I want to provide more evidence of Halperin's Sheer Hackery. Recall that it was just in December that Hack Halperin wrote these prescient words:
The coalition that got Barack Obama elected President just two years ago has been shattered. Gaming out the trajectory of the next two years can be done any number of ways, but Obama's efforts to rebuild a politically robust alliance will be the most telling. It may be the biggest challenge of his career — and he will need happenstance along with skill if he is going to get it done.
A survey of the political landscape shows that many groups who were part of the 2008-09 Obama coalition have turned on him. Liberals believe he is an overcompromising wimp. (See blistering recent columns by progressive icons Paul Krugman and Frank Rich of the New York Times for a taste of what the left thinks of "their" President now.) The business community considers Obama ignorant about markets at best, a socialist at worst (O.K., some business people entertain an even harsher assessment). The media, after aiding and abetting his ride to the White House, now see the President as incompetent and overwhelmed. The independents and Republicans who backed him for office currently feel he is too liberal and too weak to do the job. These trends are all worse in Washington and among opinion leaders than they are in the country at large, but the views of elites are clearly shaping how the President is perceived by the nation in general.
What does the Hacktaculous Halperin have to say today? Here is his assessment of the state of Obama before the State of the Union address:
In terms of the address itself, President Obama (through planning and happenstance) approaches his State of the Union speech in a stronger position than any president in recent memory. Since his midterm shellacking, Obama has seen an extraordinary political recovery and expectations for the speech itself aren't too high for him to meet. The combination of his momentum, bipartisan seating arrangements and the emotion in the hall sure to be generated by guests from Arizona means the president is almost certainly going to have a boffo evening that plays to his political strong suits. Now he just has to deliver.
The man is as Alex Pareene wrote in Salon "ALWAYS WRONG." If you can bear it, here is more wisdom from Mr. Hacktaculous:
Before: Economic news relentlessly bad
After: Green shoots and some solid newspaper headlines
Before: Business people thought the president had no appreciation for how markets work and the president had no plan to deal with it
After: Business people think the president has no appreciation for how markets work and/but the president has a plan to deal with it
Before: The president and Republicans had little overlap in their agendas
After: Education, tax reform, trade, deficit reduction, entitlement reform, the 1099 health care fix, Afghanistan, war on terror
Before: Pete Rouse and Valerie Jarrett
After: Pete Rouse and Valerie Jarrett
Before: Snake bit, bad press, caught up in the power of the right-wing, politico-media Freak Show
After: On a roll re-beloved by the press, (although not close to 2008 levels), laughing at, de-fanging, and/or ignoring the Freak Show
Before: A perpetual fat 'n' juicy target for the right -- and thus easily pushed out to the political center
After: Has BoehnerCantorRyan in a "no, after YOU" trap over spending cuts
Based on Halperin's track record, I expect Obama to be impeached by mid-February...