There's a new narrative in town. Yes, I know, it's really the old narrative, but it's circulating yet again among the "liberal" pundits–whose views somehow New York Times readers just believe, well, because they're liberal aren't they?
Here's how it goes. Chapter one: Big Pundit describes the manly musk of the Republican candidate, who is a speak-from-gut, "likeable" sort of person.
Chapter two, enter the Democratic candidate: he's a too-cool-for-school, intellectual type, he's not likeable, because he intimidates you with his knowledge of things.
Skipping a few chapters and finally arriving at the election, the Big Pundit admires the mean and dishonest style of campaigning of the Republican candidate (although Big Pundit believes lying is wrong, the person is nuts, and the country will be worse off under him) and complains endlessly that the Democratic candidate is not enough like the Republican one.
So here comes the advice. Tom Friedman writes:
In a way, I would love to hear Obama say, just for shock value: “
Suck.On.This. I am so eager to do whatever it takes to fix these problems that I am ready to be a one-term president. Mine will not be a presidency that is confined to the first 100 days. But that is what we have fallen into, folks. The first 100 days have become the only 100 days. Once they are over, presidents are told that they have to trim their sails to get ready for the midterm elections, and once the midterms are over they are told that they have to trim their sails and get ready for the next presidential election. We can’t solve our problems with a government of 100 days. I am going to work the hard problems the hard way for 1,461 days.”
The rest of course is appallingly bad–count the number of times he says "I." An example:
I confess, I watch politics from afar, but here’s what I’ve been feeling for a while: Whoever slipped that Valium into Barack Obama’s coffee needs to be found and arrested by the Democrats because Obama has gone from cool to cold.
Somebody needs to tell Obama that if he wants the chance to calmly answer the phone at 3 a.m. in the White House, he is going to need to start slamming down some phones at 3 p.m. along the campaign trail. I like much of what he has to say, especially about energy, but I don’t think people are feeling it in their guts, and I am a big believer that voters don’t listen through their ears. They listen through their stomachs.
There's another chapter to this. Woe unto the liberal candidate who even appears to alter his appearance to conform to the desires of the Big Pundit–he'll be endlessly accused of "inauthenticity."