“Hit the Road Barack” and Don’t You Come Back No More

Niall Ferguson is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. In 2004, he was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine. In this week’s issue of NEWSWEEK, Ferguson has written a provocative article (“Hit the Road Barack”)  that is sure to send shock waves through the liberal media  . . . if they decide to report on the story, which they may not.

If they do comment on it, they most likely will point out that Ferguson, by his own admission, was an adviser to John McCain in 2008. Even so, after the election of Barack Obama in 2008, Ferguson wrote the following:

“I was a good loser four years ago. ‘In the grand scheme of history,’ I wrote the day after Barack Obama’s election as president, ‘four decades is not an especially long time. Yet in that brief period America has gone from the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. to the apotheosis of Barack Obama. You would not be human if you failed to acknowledge this as a cause for great rejoicing.’ . . . I acknowledged his opponent’s remarkable qualities: his soaring oratory, his cool, hard-to-ruffle temperament, and his near faultless campaign organization.”

As an aside, I have to wonder how so many intellectuals were fooled by Obama’s oratory (Obama almost always used a teleprompter), his so-called unflappability under pressure (he has the thinnest skin of any president in my memory), and his “faultless campaign organization” that was more mafia-like than organization savvy.

I’m suspicious. Why would NEWSWEEK publish such a negative article? NEWSWEEK has been in the tank for President Obama from the beginning.

Ferguson is critical of the president for not following through with a majority of his campaign promise: to create new jobs, to build more roads and bridges, electric grids, to transform schools and colleges, and so much more.

Ferguson makes good point after good point better than I’ve heard Republicans make over the years. Consider this:

“Welcome to Obama’s America: nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return — almost exactly the same proportion that lives in a household where at least one member receives some type of government benefit. We are becoming the 50–50 nation — half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits.”

Much of Ferguson’s article reads as Republican talking points. He quotes the following from Ron Suskind’s book Confidence Men where Larry Summers said the following during a May 2009 dinner: “You know,” speaking to Peter Orszag, Vice Chairman of Global Banking at Citigroup, “we’re really home alone ... I mean it. We’re home alone. There’s no adult in charge. . .  . [H]e doesn’t know what he’s deciding.”

It gets worse, or better depending on what side of the political fence you’re on:

“For me the president’s greatest failure has been not to think through the implications of these challenges to American power. Far from developing a coherent strategy, he believed — perhaps encouraged by the premature award of the Nobel Peace Prize — that all he needed to do was to make touchy-feely speeches around the world explaining to foreigners that he was not George W. Bush.”

When have you ever heard a liberal media commentator consider charging President Obama with “war crimes”? Consider this from Ferguson:

“Remarkably the president polls relatively strongly on national security. Yet the public mistakes his administration’s astonishingly uninhibited use of political assassination for a coherent strategy. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, the civilian proportion of drone casualties was 16 percent last year. Ask yourself how the liberal media would have behaved if George W. Bush had used drones this way. Yet somehow it is only ever Republican secretaries of state who are accused of committing “war crimes.”

It remains to be seen what NEWSWEEK has up its sleeve with the publican of Ferguson’s article. Are subscriptions down so much that the editors are willing to throw Obama under the bus in order to increase circulation?

Maybe they see the handwriting on the wall and are prepping for a Romney win so they’ll be invited to press conferences.