by Max Brantley
When Bob Herbert starts criticizing Barack Obama ...
Only an idiot would think or hope that a politician going through the crucible of a presidential campaign could hold fast to every position, steer clear of the stumbling blocks of nuance and never make a mistake. But Barack Obama went out of his way to create the impression that he was a new kind of political leader — more honest, less cynical and less relentlessly calculating than most.
You would be able to listen to him without worrying about what the meaning of “is” is.
This is why so many of Senator Obama’s strongest supporters are uneasy, upset, dismayed and even angry at the candidate who is now emerging in the bright light of summer.
One issue or another might not have made much difference. Tacking toward the center in a general election is as common as kissing babies in a campaign, and lord knows the Democrats need to expand their coalition.
But Senator Obama is not just tacking gently toward the center. He’s lurching right when it suits him, and he’s zigging with the kind of reckless abandon that’s guaranteed to cause disillusion, if not whiplash.
I think the Repubs have found their story line. And Obama gave it to them.