President Obama's "nonstop campaigning" is upsetting Dana Milbank. Obama has ratched "the permanent campaign ... to a whole new level"; he is using his incumbency's natural advantages "to promote his reelection prospects even while handling taxpayer-funded business"; he is averting his eyes from safe states while coquettishly tailoring his travel to battleground states; and he is making it "increasingly difficult to distinguish ... political events and speeches from the official ones."
But ... wait for it ...
In fairness, it’s not entirely clear what choice Obama has.... [T]he alternative is unilateral disarmament.
So, let me get this straight. "The preezy of the United Steezy is making [Milbank] queasy" because of the unspeakable state of political affairs to which Obama has no choice, no alternative. However Obama "should follow his own advice" by not subjecting "everything ... to politics" against a political foe that has laid waste to every Obama initiative for the last two years; and will, should it maintain power, lay utter waste to Obama's next four years; and should it gain in power, most likely lay final waste to the nation.
OK, got it. If Eisenhower and Zhukov had reasoned with the Wehrmacht, all that disagreeable business of the mid-1940s would not have been averted; nonetheless Eisenhower and Zhukov should not have subjected everything to warfare against an implacable, warfaring foe.
If you understand and accept that, then you, gentle reader, qualify as a Beltway commentator of the first rank--balanced, impartial, and insanely evenhanded, to the death.
And David Brooks would have your back, delving again today, as he is wont to do, in the sociopsychogibberish of utopian vapidness: "The campaign-as-warfare metaphor may seem sensible to those inside the hothouse.... But it’s probably bad sociology and terrible psychology."
Well, David, I can go you one better: It is absolutely barbaric politics. But this is not the politics of Obama's choice. (See, even, Milbank.) Were it, I possess no doubt that Obama would choose a let-us-reason-together roundtable campaign of the sort he staged with healthcare reform's Republican opponents in February 2010. But of course at that summit, Obama, through reason and intellect, humiliated the Republicans, after which they declared reason and intellect permanently off the table and reached instead for their guns and knives.
It's all they have. It's all that political thugs throughout history have ever had. But the good guys can't win by just being good.
Yes, that's sad. Yes, that's deplorable. And like Bogart in "The Big Sleep," we all grieve on long winter nights over this whole wretched state of political affairs--and read columnists who grieve about how sadly wretched is our deplorable wretchedness.