Jewish World Review Oct. 31, 2012/ 15 Mar-Cheshvan, 5773
How a presidency falls apart
By Paul Greenberg
In 1968, it was called the credibility gap.
LBJ was a big man with big hopes and dreams and ambitions, but the war was swallowing his Great Society, and his own presidency. He would lose the trust of the American people, and without it no president can succeed.
A few years later, it would be
Americans are not inclined to accept apathy as a substitute for action. Any more than they may accept
Now the details of the
A month has passed since what at first was described and largely dismissed as a series of spontaneous riots and assaults on our legations across the
Now what happened at Benghazi appears more of a deliberate attack by a terrorist group urged on, or even unleashed by, a message from al-Qaida's current chieftain --
Yet the warning from al-Qaida was relayed to
For now, the country has been left waiting and wondering. Especially about a president's credibility, his greatest asset in any struggle. How explain
American foreign policy has suddenly come to the center of the presidential campaign because that policy is unraveling. What happened at Benghazi has become both the symbol and culmination of its failure. Things that are working well don't attract that much attention and continuing interest.
This administration's failure to protect our people in Benghazi may be the one undisputed fact -- and judgment -- to come out of all the different, ever changing versions of what happened at Benghazi on
We the people deserve, and increasingly demand, an explanation. The president has found time to criss-cross the country as the campaign ends, appearing at rallies to deliver speech after speech. But there is no sign he plans a
This is the way a presidency comes apart -- not with a bang but a series of whimpers. When a presidency winds down, it seems to do so all of a piece -- the great plans and stirring phrases fade away into a general malaise. The poli-sci types should have a name for it: presidential entropy.
For now the president seems to be just playing out the clock, sticking with his talking points even as they grow less and less credible, hoping to preserve a lead he once enjoyed. There's no doubt public trust in his administration has eroded, but how far? We'll know
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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.
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