And the Best Picture Metaphor for Obama Goes To….

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Are you yet getting sick of the current Washington narrative? By that I mean the story of As the Rahm Turns. In my PoliticsDaily.com column, I note that all the DC hubbub about the White House chief of staff—is he at odds with the rest of Obama’s crew, and is he mounting an inside-the-court PR blitz to protect his own backside?—misses a key point. The president calls the shots.

Liberals disappointed with the Obama presidency—particularly its failure so far to adopt sweeping health care reform containing a public option (let alone pushing for a single-payer system)—seem to have spent too much time in James Cameron’s fantasy world:

Yes, he lent Rahm Emanuel one of the “link” machines from Avatar that allows the White House chief of staff to “drive” another being — and that being happens to be President Barack Obama.

But Emanuel’s fans in town—who are in unseemly fashion chatting up reporters—appear to believe the problem is that actually the president is not following Emanuel’s instincts.

All this Rahm-pondering aside, I note,

If anyone needs an Oscar movie reference, perhaps a better one would be The Hurt Locker, the Best Picture. In that film, Sgt. 1st Class William James is part of a bomb-disposal team in Iraq, but he’s the only member of the crew who has to confront the toughest choices: which wire to cut, when to take a chance, when to run. That’s Obama. There’s plenty of story in the tale of a powerful White House chief of staff, but if anyone is looking for someone to hold accountable for the current state of the Obama presidency, it’s the star of the production.

Then again, maybe the president is the director. I don’t know. But in Washington he sure is the king of the world.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate