Adiós a Nihil Obstat | Hola a The Catalán Analyst

Después de 13 años de escribir en este blog prácticamente sin interrupción, hoy lo doy por clausurado. Esto no quiere decir que me haya jubilado de la red, sino que he pasado el relevo a otro blog que sigue la misma línea de Nihil Obstat. Se trata del blog The Catalán Analyst y de la cuenta de Twitter del mismo nombre: @CatalanAnalyst . Os los recomiendo.

Muchas gracias a todos por haberme seguido con tanta fidelidad durante todos estos años.

martes, 2 de agosto de 2011

The New York Tímes abandona a Obama

Hace poco, "El País" abandonaba a Zapatero. Ahora es el New York Times el que empieza a abandonar a Obama. En un articlulo editorial, Ross Douthat acusa a Obama de ser un presidente triplemente fracasado.

1.- Fracasado por no presentar ningún presupuesto
2.- Fracasado por no saber liderar la guerra de Líbia y
3.- Fracasado por no hacer ninguna propuesta sobre el nivel de endeudamiento, limintándose a criticar la política cuando él es máximo líder político.

The administration would no doubt blame this judgment on the steady stream of miserable economic news. But it should save some of the blame for its own political approach. Ever since the midterms, the White House’s tactics have consistently maximized President Obama’s short-term advantage while diminishing his overall authority. Call it the “too clever by half” presidency: the administration’s maneuvering keeps working out as planned, but Obama’s position keeps eroding.

Start with the first round of deficit debates this winter. After the Republican sweep, the White House seemed to have two options: double down on Keynesian stimulus or pivot to the center and champion deficit reduction. Instead, Obama chose to hover above the fray, passing on his own fiscal commission’s recommendations and letting the Republicans make the first move.

The strategy worked, in a sense. Goaded by the president’s evasiveness, Paul Ryan and the House Republicans put forward a detailed long-term budget proposal of their own, whose Medicare cuts proved predictably unpopular. But while the subsequent policy debate favored Obama, the optics of the confrontation diminished him. The chairman of the House Budget Committee looked more like a leader than the president of the United States.

Then came the spring’s great foreign policy dilemma, the civil war in Muammar el-Qaddafi’s Libya. The president (wisely) didn’t want to put America’s blood and treasure on the line for the rebels, but he also didn’t want to take responsibility for letting Qaddafi crush the revolt. So the White House opted for a kind of quasi war, throwing just enough military power at the problem to ensure a stalemate and then punting responsibility to our NATO allies. An Obama adviser told The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza that the president was pioneering a new American way of statecraft: “Leading from behind.”

Again, the strategy worked, sort of. An immediate humanitarian crisis was averted, and Libya quickly fell out of the headlines. But it left Americans to contemplate a peculiar and unpresidential spectacle: The leader of the free world taking the country to war while pretending that he wasn’t, and then effectively washing his hands of the ultimate outcome — which, 135 days and counting later, is still very much in doubt.

The same pattern has played out in the debt ceiling debate. Instead of drawing clear lines and putting forward detailed proposals, the president has played Mr. Compromise — ceding ground to Republicans here, sermonizing about Tea Party intransigence and Washington gridlock there, and fleshing out his preferred approach reluctantly, if at all.