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Some Things Obama Must Explain

Even as President Obama spends most of his time trying to fix the problems former President George W. Bush created or overlooked, his administration is nevertheless embracing the Bushian way of doing business on a handful of issues, most notably those that involve secrecy.

Obama's approach to transparency, for instance, can charitably be described as schizophrenic. When it's good, it's good, but when it's bad, it's really, really bad. See Friday's post for a real howler.

The big question, then, is: Why? When Obama's Justice Department, for instance, puts forth a legal opinion full of the kind of arguments Obama formerly characterized as extreme -- startling even rather jaded federal judges -- what is going on?

Is this just inertia at work? Are holdovers from the Bush era still somehow holding out? Are top Obama appointees being circumvented or outwitted? Is this just a temporary phenomenon? Or is this actually policy coming from the White House? And if so, from exactly how high up does it come? The counsel's office? The chief of staff's office? The Oval itself?

I've been calling since at least April for Obama to address a growing list of apparent hypocrisies and reversals. How, for instance, does he see DOJ's continued assertion of a hugely broad state secrets privilege or his embrace of preventive detention conforming with his previously stated views of the U.S. Constitution?

There's one way reporters could hasten such an explanation: They could ask for one. And as luck would have it, another opportunity is now upon us. The White House announced today that Obama is holding his first Rose Garden press conference tomorrow at 12:30 ET.

Most of the questions will appropriately be about Iran and health care, but I also want to hear about secrecy, preventive detention and -- while we're at it -- DOJ's defense of a law forbidding federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

Meanwhile, McClatchy Newspapers and Newsweek offer up a few more case studies.

Michael Doyle overstates the case for McClatchy:

President Barack Obama is morphing into George W. Bush, as administration attorneys repeatedly adopt the executive-authority and national-security rationales that their Republican predecessors preferred.

But he does put forth some compelling evidence:

In courtroom battles and freedom-of-information fights from Washington, D.C., to California, Obama's legal arguments repeatedly mirror Bush's: White House turf is to be protected, secrets must be retained and dire warnings are wielded as weapons.

"It's putting up a veritable wall around the White House, and it's so at odds with Obama's campaign commitment to more open government," said Anne Weismann, chief counsel for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a legal watchdog group....

On policies that are at the heart of presidential power and prerogatives... this administration's legal arguments have blended into the other. The persistence can reflect everything from institutional momentum and a quest for continuity to the clout of career employees.

"There is no question that there are (durable) cultures and mindsets in agencies," Weismann acknowledged.

Doyle notes that Obama is following Bush's lead by defending the federal marriage law, seeking to keep White House e-mails secret, seeking to keep visitor logs secret, and of course deciding to withhold photographs of detainee abuse.

And Michael Isikoff writes for Newsweek:

[L]ast week public-interest groups were dismayed when his own administration rejected a Freedom of Information Act request for Secret Service logs showing the identities of coal executives who had visited the White House to discuss Obama's "clean coal" policies....

After Obama's much-publicized Jan. 21 "transparency" memo, administration lawyers crafted a key directive implementing the new policy that contained a major loophole, according to FOIA experts. The directive, signed by Attorney General Eric Holder, instructed federal agencies to adopt a "presumption" of disclosure for FOIA requests. This reversal of Bush policy was intended to restore a standard set by President Clinton's attorney general, Janet Reno. But in a little-noticed passage, the Holder memo also said the new standard applies "if practicable" for cases involving "pending litigation." Dan Metcalfe, the former longtime chief of FOIA policy at Justice, says the passage and other "lawyerly hedges" means the Holder memo is now "astonishingly weaker" than the Reno policy.

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 22, 2009; 1:40 PM ET
 
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Comments

Doom, it is not that hard to figuire out. It is harder to govern than it is to be a candidate. It takes time to work through the paradigm to make it shift. You have to start with what is there. Also, consider the implications of all the scary stuff the CIA and others, including the inertia you mention, are submitting to Obama. Restated, Obama has to work through the mine field that exists before he can create something else. There is simply too much opportunity for a "gotcha" moment that would seriously derail the administration. I think perhaps the better argument against Obama is that he is trying to please everyone and get as many folks as he can into the tent. He is smart and bidng his time, until we are ready, and he is fully leveraged to bring the changes home. What else should a politician do in the long term? Your thinking here is too short term.

Posted by: amaledemocrat | June 22, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Still here Froomy? Shouldn't you be packing your bags?

Posted by: trjn30 | June 22, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Dan, please, don't use "schizophrenic" in this way. It's a common misconception that schizophrenia = split personality (which is a dubious and probably non-existent condition anway). Sorry this is not your main point but it is something that always irks me.

Posted by: catherine3 | June 22, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I have a question for some reporter who would like to become famous to ask President Obama...Did you register for the Selective Service Draft at age 18, and if not why not?

Posted by: TheIggynoonewants | June 22, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Why does such an otherwise excellent summary of Obama's duplicity in regards to government transparency (Obama talks the talk, but does not walk the walk) have to include a push for gays, as if the DOJ should be pushing a minority (very vocal minority at that) agenda that the voting masses have overwhleming rejected each and every time it shows its ugly head for a vote? I voted for Obama and am dissapointed that he he is governing just as tyrannically as Bush did, adopting most of Bush's third-world dictatorial tactics. Apart from trying to push gays in front of us (most thinking Americans are getting sick of hearing from these vocal perverts) this article does a good job of exposing Obama and his blatant tyrannical tendencies.

Posted by: bastanow | June 22, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Actually, catherine3, the word schizophrenic doesn't only apply to the clinical psychological definition. Perhaps its origin is through a misnomer long ago, but the word can also mean containing contradictory elements. After all, the Greek root schizo- does mean "break".

That said, I'm not happy with Obama's record so far on executive privilege and government opacity in general. I guess it's not too surprising that he wouldn't keep every promise, and in some directions I'm very glad about what he's doing. Though I don't agree, I can see some justice in the argument to keep the photos sealed: they'd inflame world opinion and put the troops at risk. I say, the national embarrassment is exactly what's needed to keep such things from happening in such a widespread way again. And the WH visitor logs...another disappointing choice.

Posted by: whizbang9a | June 22, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree with your analysis mostly but still can't bring myself to think that Obama is not unlike Bush, there's gotta be something more to this on why he's doing this. Is it short term vs. long term goal setting? Picking up the battles you can win without exposing a flank? Or is his guiding principle the need to minimize conflict at any cost?

Posted by: anonie | June 22, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

(1) Hang in there Dan.

(2) Amaledemocrat: No, your thinking is too short-term. The administration is leaving in place--indeed endorsing in legal briefs--some very pernicious instruments that can be used by future autocrats. As Dan observes, we don't really know yet where those decisions are being made, but the President is ultimately responsible for what goes on in the Executive Branch. And all of these key issues lie within that domain, not with the legislature.

You are apparently content with Hope. You hope that opacity, state-secrets, and surveillance abuses will end at some indeterminate point the future after Obama succeeds in 'trying to please everyone'. You hope that Obama will, at some point, take these issues off the back-burner and take actions that will actually match his rhetoric.

Well, I want Change. I'm disgusted that Obama is marching lockstep with the theories and rationales advanced by George Bush, Dick Cheney, and their creatures.

Posted by: IceNine | June 22, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Dan, I thought they fired you. Why are you still here? I once had the same problem with mildew in a downstairs closet. Turns out, leaving a simple lightbulb on, to shed some warmth and light, cleared up the problem. Your lightbulb is on, Dan. Dry up and blow away.

Posted by: hill_marty | June 22, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

It's worth considering whether President Obama's successful effort to present himself as confident and self-assured gives a full picture of the man.

Frankly, if it did he'd have to have less to him than most people do. I don't mean this in a negative sense, but look honestly at what Obama did before deciding to run for President. In the foreign national security and fields -- let alone in the intelligence area -- it wasn't much. It shouldn't surprise anyone that a new President with such a limited background would incline toward being deferential to those on his team presumed (often quite accurately) to know more than he does.

Moreover, the campaign process itself is not a great preparation for the business of governing. Campaigning, certainly at the Presidential level, involves a great deal of thought about what people want to hear. Small groups of voters who care passionately about one issue are worth the trouble to talk to in exactly the language they use themselves -- hence the campaign promises Obama made last year, some of which certainly reflected his own considered thought, and some of which did not. I rather doubt that investing Justice Department time and political capital in trying to get the courts to overturn a law respecting the definition of marriage was ever high on Obama's "to-do" list, for example.

Lastly, campaign politics emphasize message discipline, which is all about getting out what you want to say, how you want to say it, period. Transparency and campaign message discipline are mutually exclusive concepts. A White House team, schooled and connected to Obama through campaign politics and aware that embarrassing disclosures about the executive branch will now be blamed on them rather than on the former Republican administration, will often find the path of least resistance to be one of less disclosure, not more.

I actually agree with Dan that this will sometimes produce indefensible policies -- not always, but sometimes. I don't excuse those, but do suggest that they are easier to understand if one begins with a mature understanding of Obama the man, his background and experience, rather than with a mental picture of Obama the image.

Posted by: jbritt3 | June 22, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I've been calling since at least April for Obama to address a growing list of apparent hypocrisies and reversals. How, for instance, does he see DOJ's continued assertion of a hugely broad state secrets privilege or his embrace of preventive detention conforming with his previously stated views of the U.S. Constitution?
______
Thus it proves Obama doesn't listen to far Left loons like Froomkin. What's so hard to understand MOST people were never angry with GITMO, interogations, wire tapping etc, basically all the things the far Left wants to nail Bush on. And Obama is going to go with what the majority of Americans want. Bush/Cheney was never going to be prosecuted and Obama is going to keep the Bush policies that worked. Ending waterboarding and closing GITMO at some future date which most likely will change was easy, and something McCain would have done if he was elected. Anyone, and that means Froomkin, who thought Obama was going to come in and tear the CIA and what Bush did apart because of some speeches.. is clueless...

Posted by: sovine08 | June 22, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

@bastanow:

It's a fair observation that gay rights seem out of place in an article that otherwise focuses almost entirely on executive power issues. But I take issue with implying that a "minority agenda" is invalid because, as you say, "the voting masses have overwhleming [sic] rejected" it. Not to imply that the analogy is entirely parallel, but was denying equal rights to African Americans appropriate because the "voting masses" said so? Of course not, because it's morally wrong for a majority to deny civil rights and equality to a minority.

There may be a coherent argument to be made against gay rights, but the one you made is not convincing.

Posted by: chris_d | June 22, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

First off, I want to second catherine3's comment on the use of the term schizophrenic. Look it up; it has nothing to do with split personalities as your column suggests. People with schizophrenia have a hard enough life without having to explain what it is *not* all the time.

My take on the situation is that he is trying to put off many decisions that will certainly make conservatives go ballistic while he is trying to get key legislation passed. Releasing all torture memos, pictures, etc. will just completely change the subject in Washington. As much as I'd like to see some of the former occupants outed, I'd rather get the economy fixed, healthcare resolved....

Having said that, let's not let the concern go away. At some point Obama will have to answer these questions. When is that? Don't know, but I am willing to accept it isn't now. Maybe year 2.

Posted by: tfspa | June 22, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, the Obama regime is at best center Right and only appears somewhat progressive when compared to crazy, reactionary, Fascist fantasy of GW! Given a Democratic Party that is essentially to the Right of the former Republican Party that used to exist after the "great" war to end all wars when it had the likes of Eisenhower, Rockefeller, Stevenson, and even Nixon with real intellectuals like Buckley; there is a need for a political party that is not in bed with the corporatist, that really believes in America and understands a viable nation is required to make things, not just “consume” them, that understands that government is for and only for doing those things for the collective good of the people which includes Universal Health care funding, Universal Education funding, Universal Retirement funding, Universal Environmental Protection funding, National “Defense” funding, and Universal basic protection of the population from greedy avarice of business, financial, and religious organizations preying on the citizenry. We need to limit the service of our self sacrificing congressional Representatives and Senators to just 2 or 3 terms to share the burden of this patriotic service to the people! We should not allow these few to serve so long; the public trust must be borne by the many…not just the few!

Posted by: Chaotician | June 22, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Dan...You have literally thousands of people following you, ancipating your next gig. I hope you bury the hatchet on WaPo, essentially exposing Fred Hiatt for the lowlife that he is. With your dedicated followers, you can wreck serious damage on this neocon rag.

Posted by: August30 | June 22, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

The Supreme Leader (USA) made 503 promises during his extended campaign, and the press almost without exception gulped them all down without even a "are ya sure?" No tax increases for those making less than $250K? SURE!! Keep your doctor if you want under my health care "reform"? SURE!! A transparent government, where there are no secrets? SURE!! A docile foreign policy, laden with apologies and pandering, which will cause all the world's despots to gather around the campfire and sing kumbaya? SURE!!!

Now, just a few reporters are beginning to wonder why he hasn't pulled off all these fairy dusted miracles.

Where were you guys when he was spouting pander after pander during the campaign? In the tank, I guess.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | June 22, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"Obama's approach to transparency, for instance, can charitably be described as schizophrenic."

Not only Schizophrenic but Stupid. They don't realize all this stuff will eventually leak out???

Leads us to believe its ten times worse than they would have us.

Posted by: Regeman | June 22, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Dan, please, please find some way to let us know where we will be able to find you on the web, in addition to Nieman Watchdog, once you leave WaPo. It is an outrage that you are being let go.

Posted by: nana1ellen | June 22, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Our executive branch-
Greatest power; Least accountability.

Voters for bush/cheney unable to admit mistake, just like bush/cheney.

Posted by: jama452 | June 22, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Your very first sentence, Mr. Froomkin, sets the tone and the case. Your ghoulish hatred of Bush, your fanatical worship of the pillars of far-left liberalism and socialism and your failure to grasp that Bush was right about a lot of things including Gitmo and all of the security measures that Bush employed to ensure safety for this nation are coming back to haunt you. Obama and several Democrats in Congress recognize the validity of many of Bush's policies. You are unable to do so. Years ago, in an organic chemistry class, the professor handed a student his graded exam with a large zero wrtten on it. The professor said: "Well, Fortson, at least you are consistent." Mr. Froomkin, you have been most consistent.

Posted by: david-mckenzie | June 22, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Whether one disagrees or agrees with gay rights (or any other matter), the fact remains that Obama has repeatedly broken numerous important promises he has made to many of us while asking for our votes. This is not simply relevant or important IF we agree with the particular promises broken. Rather, because of his about-face on numerous crucial principles (e.g. transparency and due process) one must completely doubt the man's credibility. In fact, I no longer believe a word the man says. Though I happily voted for the man and even drove my young son to DC to witness the inauguration, I now view him as cut from the same clothe as GW Bush or Dick Cheney. What a disappointment. At least those Republican criminals generally stuck to their fascist promises. Obama on the other hand says lots of pretty things, promising the stars, the moon and the sun and then does nothing other than spit in our face and pursues the same fascist principles. He's all fluff and mirrors. I would rather deal with an obvious fascist than a dishonest one -- though frankly I think they should all be prosecuted for their war crimes (these are now Obamas' illegal wars). He is in fact Change that we CANNOT believe in.

Posted by: law1 | June 22, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Catherine3 and tfspa for your thoughts regarding the use of the term
"schizophrenic." I agree. Again, this is off-topic, but since you have mentioned it, you have brought up one of the last bastions of prejudice---the one against people with mental illnesses. Anyone commits a violent crime---instantly everyone diagnosed with any mental illness is tossed into the same basket by hearing and seeing it everywhere you look---he or she must be "mentally ill." The whole political correctness thing does not apply here---mentally ill people are always in season. I don't expect the words "nutjob" and "crazy" to ever go away, but a little thought might produce a more exact term.
And remember, since most people who have a mental illness don't advertise it, and many
are able to work and function quite well---you never know who you might be offending when you misuse these terms...

That said, Dan, you're still great....

Posted by: martymar123 | June 22, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

If I may, let me please pose a question: Which would carry more long-term weight, Obama's reversal of a previous established Bush position or a judical decision striking said position down?

If Obama reverses a legal position put forth by the Bushies, what's to stop the next Republican administration from picking that position up, dusting it off, and using it all over again?

A judicial decision striking a Bush position down will establish a precedent rendering said position moot and untenable for any future administration.

If a dumb ole moonshiner in Tennessee can see this, what are y'all in the fabled Beltway lookin' at??

Posted by: tennesseemoonshiner | June 22, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I thought White House Watch was toast? Froomkin was gone? I guess not. Welcome back back???. If there was ever was a perfect situation for human cloning within the WAPO News Company it would be with you, one of you in every department to drive meaningful rifts through the overt neocon asskissing.

Posted by: yarbrougharts | June 22, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

schizophrenic, the "term" has common usage outside clinical terminology; into other realms describing anything with contradicting elements (opposites) or exhibiting eradicate behavior.

Posted by: yarbrougharts | June 22, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I think schizophrenic is an apt description of Obama's actions since coming to power. He campaigned on a platform of openness, transparency and striking departure from Bush's policies, yet despite his continued rhetoric, his actions mimic Bush.

I realize it's difficult for Obama's supporters to come to the realization that Obama is acting just like Bush, but if you look at the cold, hard facts, you cannot escape that conclusion.

I mean, can you imagine Obama refusing to turn over White House Visitor Logs of meetings with coal industry executives? This, after he hammered Cheney's secretive Energy Task Force for years... AND even after Bush lost 2 lawsuits to turn over White House Visitor Logs -- OBAMA STILL CONTINUES THIS TIRED ARGUMENT; namely, that the Citizens of this country cannot know who comes and goes in the White House.

It is unfathomable.

Posted by: winoohno | June 22, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

HI again Dan:

In light of the several dimwitted Bushies who put down their drinks long enough to send you a nasty message today, i want to repeat that you are one of the last shining examples of non-partisan journalism at the WaPo. The fact that the WaPo has let you go portends very bad things for this newspaper. Like many who have expressed support for you, I will soon dropkick this paper when you are gone. I come now only to read your column and to see whether the paper's editors ever come to their senses and "rescind" their walking papers to you (which I would hope you would then turn down and quit). You are a journalist with great intelligence and integrity in the likes of Edward Murrow who is not bound by your political values or narrow self interest. You have helped to give many of us hope through the very, very dark days of the last Administration, though this current Administration is turning out to be quite a nightmare as well. It's sad that you will not be there, surrounded by so many Republican fools at the WaPo, to call the events as you see them. But I am sure some smart paper or other media will quickly snap you up. You will guarantee an immediate surge in loyal readership/viewership that few can match. I hope our paths cross some day so I can shake your hand and tell you how I feel in person. You deserve the best of the best and the WaPo is NOT that.

Posted by: law1 | June 22, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

about damm time the washington post stops being in bed with obama
obama is a fraud i voted for him told my friends to vote him told friends to send him money made me look like sucker , a damm fool

Posted by: bois1 | June 22, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

After the recent time that you used the term schizophrenic to describe the Obama administration, I rechecked my dictionary, because the adjective does not set well with me. It may be in common usage, but when do you hear anyone described as canceric ? Kudos to catherine 3 for bringing it to your attention. Because I have an offspring with the mental illness schizophrenia, it becomes a matter close to my heart.
I know you would not wish to offend; I am a long-time reader and was astounded that your column is being exterminated. I will continue to follow wherever you post.

Posted by: marilyn123 | June 22, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

obama has told so many lies i cant see him running for reelection in 2012.
i checked on his cabinet appointmentsand, advisers damm near all are members of the tri latarel commision the bilderburgs group or the council on foriegn relations so i ask my self how in the hell will there be change if he has all the members of the ruling elite around him , one is judged by the company one keeps.
last year when his campaign plane kidnap the press following him guess where he went with hillary to the bilderburg meeting in northern virginia look it up if you think i am lying

http://digg.com/world_news/Obama_and_Hillary_attend_Bilderberg_conference_2008 check check out that link

Posted by: bois1 | June 22, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

This isn't really Bush-style secrecy. It's Chicago, (Richard Daley), obfuscation and back room dealing. Obama was and is still part of the Illinois political machine. Keep in mind that David Axelrod worked directly for Daley for years. Rahm Emanuel is also part of the Chicago machine. If you really want insight into how Team Obama manipulates the public, read John Kass of the Chicago Tribune. His latest, "Obama's political play should shock no one", 6/21/09, is particularly insightful.

Posted by: March29 | June 22, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

about damm time the washington post stops being in bed with obama
obama is a fraud i voted for him told my friends to vote him told friends to send him money made me look like sucker , a damm fool

Posted by: bois1 |
===========================================

This will become the rule rather than the exeption.

Posted by: affirmativeactionpresident | June 22, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

My day, month, year... has been made. I didn't know Froomkin was sent packing. Woo Hoo! Now if only they can do the same with Robinson and Meyerson.

Posted by: mmourges | June 22, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

i like to no why u took down my last post to much truth huh

Posted by: bois1 | June 22, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

whats up with the censorship here truths hurts huh
obama is going down he will be hated more than bush if i have anything to do with it, i will tell everybody i no how much of a fraud he is i have a big mouth

what i cant put a link up huh where am i in china

Posted by: bois1 | June 22, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

When it's politically popular or Bush/Cheney bashing, we have transparency.

When it is Chicago-style corruption (the Kevin Johnson cover-up - Obama broke the rules by not notifying Congress of the IG firing) or Chicago-style machine politics or a request for a White House visitor list we do not have transparency.

Conclusion: Need I state the obvious?

Posted by: hz9604 | June 22, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

people around obama must take us for fools to think there could get away with this crap, i started smelling a rat when he said he wouldnt go after bush ,thats when when i started to google people around him you no the old saying you lay down with dogs you will wake up with fleas, these fleas like george soros and many more

anyway i ask myself where and the hell this guy come from 4 1/2 years ago no one had ever heard of obama all the sudden he get to give the keynote speech at democratic convention i am like damm this guy must have lots of pull
how can a unknown state senator from ilinois get that prime time speech should of smelled a big fat rat then and there
the conclusion i have come to is obama is brought and paid for stooge for the power elite of this country there thought we were soo mad at bush that there have to find a black man i am a black man by the way and we would put our guard down
there found a good house negro allright

Posted by: bois1 | June 22, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm growing increasingly concerned that the President has deliberately over-promised all the interest groups that his political campaign operators determined would collectively get him elected. Now, the reality of the job as CNC has forced him to bed down with the strange bedfellows that most pedestrian politicians accept without a whimper (in this case, the policies of the previous administration).

Is inexperience a factor? Most definitely. Will he grow into the job and make the hard choices that were intrinsic to his presidential campaign? I hope so. Does he have a good reason for biding his time before he reverses the anti-transparency of the Bush years? Again, I hope so. Was there something in the security briefings he received upon assuming the office that changed his perspective and, in his mind, validated the approach to national security held by Bush and Cheney? That is the most unsettling question of all.

If not, the sequel to his book "The Audacity of Hope" should be titled "The Spinelessness of Rationalization". It bothers me to say things like this, because I want to see him succeed in solving the myriad of problems left to him by his bumbling predecessor.

P.S. to Dan: Why do you expect the White House Press Corp to suddenly change course and ask tough, persistent questions about state secrets, preventative detention and same sex marriage? The persistent skepticism that you have demonstrated over the years of writing WHW columns is fundamentally at odds with that kind of naivete.

Posted by: MillPond2 | June 22, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

First off, a lot of posters apparently aren't in the loop. WaPo has terminated the Froom's contract effective sometime late June or early July. I'm not sure if the Post ever officially announced it, but I would not be surprised that WaPo never officially announced it. Too scared of pizzing off to many people all at once.

Andrew Alexander posted it on the 18th and Froomie himself told us on the 19th.

Since it's not effective until the end of the month, give or take 2-3 days or so, Dan is still churning out his insights.


Secondly, and mainly, Froom has also been ragging on Obama for keeping too many of Cheney's policies in place. No publication of torture pix, no veto of DADT, no publication of WhiteHouse visitors' log, etc, etc. The same things that he ragged on Cheney's administration about. The same things he is now critizicing about the Obama admininstration.

Well, Dan, your following will certainly pick you up at whatever newspaper has the fortune to snag you after this. And that paper's revenue stream is sure to increase with the increased number of new readers that will follow you there. 'course, you're still on NiemanWatchdog.org, but you should also be on a mainstream newspaper.

.........

Posted by: osmor | June 22, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

face that facts milpond obama is a fraud dont give him the benifit of the doudt i no how you feel i was waking up every morning before the election to look at the latest poles its was hard for me to believe what i found out to.

my wife loves him she is mad at me now because i talk bad about him took a picture down of him from my living room again where is the change he has all these republicans there are loosers f4uk them why does he put him in his administration there didnt vote for him

Posted by: bois1 | June 22, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Why Froomie was let go:

"...That’s why the firing of Dan Froomkin now makes a perverse sort of sense. As long as the right was in power, he was in effect the Post’s designated moonbat, someone who attracted readers but didn’t threaten the self-esteem of the self-perceived serious people at the paper. But now he looks like someone who was right when the serious people were wrong — and that means he has to go."


Check out the reference to "...self-esteem of the self-perceived serious people at the paper..." If ever a perfect definition of Hiatt, Krauthammer, Kristol, and the usual suspects.

Paul Krugman, NYT
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/19/the-froomkin-firing/


....

Posted by: osmor | June 22, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

To bois1: I will face the "facts" when the facts are clear and unmistakable. The "fact" is that President Obama has been in office less than five months. He still has the majority of his first term to make good on the positive promises he made last fall, and reverse the negative messages he is sending in regard to the issues presented in today's White House Watch.

I will be among the first to repudiate this President if he is overwhelmingly remiss during his four year term in fulfilling his pledges to the American people. However, I don't expect him to satisfy every single interest group (even our greatest presidents did not have that ability, nor was it in the best interest of the country to do so - Abraham Lincoln is a good example).

That is not what makes an effective leader, nor is it necessarily the best course. So far, his biggest mistake is promising massive change to an American populace that has little patience for enduring long term correction.

Obama may well be remembered for massive overreaching and creation of social programs that this country is not capable of, nor willing to pay for.

Posted by: MillPond2 | June 22, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

he is no differnt than bush there all belong to the same club there both have the same group of people around them
look what he is proposing. he wants to give the banksters at the federal reserve more power over our lives .

the federal reserve is a privately owed bank, thomas jefferson wrote that he fears banksters more than a standing army but our dear leader king obama wants to give them more power. check out the history of the federal reserve bank it will shock you milpond.

Posted by: bois1 | June 22, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

mr froomkin got fired because the obama jerks at the white house cant stand the truth
there golden boy is being exposed for the big fat two face fraud that he is
there have there butt bodies over at MSNBC and the huffington post and the daily kos covering for them.
i went to look at move on.org web site there are selling obama t shirts have there no shame damm kiss asses
dan froomkin dared hold obama to the same standars he held bush
the truth will come out about obama no matter what there do

Posted by: bois1 | June 22, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I call it the Cheney Precedents.
Obama warned us all that once in power it's difficult to give it up.
We had our chance to impeach Cheney and his precedents and it was taken off the table.
God save the Republic!

Dan, when you leave, I'm gone too.

Posted by: samellison | June 23, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

When a reasonable person moves into a job and sees what needs to be done, they will often change what they said would be done to favor the reality of the situation. Now Dan imagines he is showing his impartiality by attacking President Obama for doing the right thing. Wrong.

Time to give it up, Dan. Your original approach was wrong and this change does not help. Attacking everything a President does is not the way to go.

You were tireless and diligent - but flawed.

Not to worry, nobody is perfect.

Take some time and think about your plans for the future. A person with your skills will have plenty of good to do.

Live well and prosper.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 23, 2009 5:00 AM | Report abuse

Thank god it's so easy to distinguish serious comments here from the lame rants of nutcases. Serious commenters raise interesting points in a well phrased manner.

nutcases mix insults and half azzed nonsense into an acid bru no sane person can digest and they dont even care 2 phrase their stupidity in a way that would show they have at least a basic level of intelligence but whos complaining this makes it easier to separate the wheat from the chaff :P

Posted by: Gray62 | June 23, 2009 6:49 AM | Report abuse

i love to see the so called blog intellectuals put popeple down
u have to watch how write like you are in school i didnt no i was in a college english writing class
i guess only the intellectuals should be allowed to blog
funny thing is the rules in this blog state no such thing gray62

Posted by: bois1 | June 23, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

boy i must of ruffled some feathers by saying bad things about the huffington post and the daily kos and msnbc the truth hurts huh
all you do is talk about my writing skills you no who you are
dont talk about my writing skills be a man say what i am writing is not the truth you cant so you have to demean me thats ok i can take it
i cant help it if iriana huffington was a republican makes me suspicious she was even married to one.
and as for markos malitsis he to was a republican check out his bio.
just find it very interesting that up until a few years ago there both were republicans is all i am saying, ay maybe there can make more money being a democrat dont no

Posted by: bois1 | June 23, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

"just find it very interesting that up until a few years ago there both were republicans is all i am saying"

The same can be said for millions of other people. In case you hadn't noticed, the right went batsh*t crazy after 9/11 and drove a lot of people out of their party.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | June 23, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

well i like to no the reason why there became democrats or did someone offer them some money to switch parties i do believe it takes money to start a blog.
ay there could be infiltrators posing as democrasts bottom line is i dont trust them any more there were all over bush now there close there eyes i had hope there would as vigilant with obama as there were with bush

Posted by: bois1 | June 23, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Secret visitor logs were BS under Bush and they are BS under Obama.

Last year ( http://bit.ly/KewnM ) I wanted reporters to ask this of the candidates directly: how much and which kinds of Bush's executive-branch power grabs would they repudiate? Because I feared exactly what is happening -- once in office it becomes hard for a president to turn aside the perceived "benefits" gained by their predecessor. The candidates last year got a pass on this by default becasue the question was never asked.

Posted by: JMarston | June 23, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

GET OVER IT...THE PROBLEMS CREATED BY BUSH,...With that logic Clinton is responsible for the 9/11 attacks...GROW UP AND LEARN HOW TO BE A JOURNALIST,,,TRY WRITING THE TRUTH....OMBAMA IS MARXIST, SOCIALIST BENT ON DESTROYING AMERICA.,,,HE Obama thinks there are 57 states in the USA...PLEASE......

Posted by: Prendv | June 23, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

been thinking more about Iriana huffington and markos malistsis 2 former republicans

ok lets say we are fighting a war and 2 soldiers just decided they turn want to surrender and join your side what would you do with them. me i would have them interagated find out what there no about the other side, then hold them as a prisoner of war.
NOT give them a leadership position in my army
like how in the hell can there become leaders in the democratic movement after just changing sides.
and where did there get the money to start there blogs.
we have another turncoat MSNBC carlos watson a republican now he calls him self a democrat i am not having it.
i like to no why are all these republicans joining the democrats what are there motives
i dont see any democrats joining the republican party mmmmmmmmmmmm i wonder
i smell some rats

Posted by: bois1 | June 23, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

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