‘Politically obsessed’

‘POLITICALLY OBSESSED’…. Two weeks ago, Karl Rove argued on Fox News that the Obama White House is so overtly political, it considers every issue “from a political perspective.” He added that Obama’s team, like Bill Clinton’s team, does everything “with a very keen eye towards the politics of the matter, not what was in the best interests of the country.”

It was one of the most ironic things I’ve ever heard in my life. Greg Sargent reports today, however, that the argument is now officially part of the talking points for Republicans on the Hill.

A Republican sends over a new set of GOP talking points for House conservatives — privately circulated this week to scores of GOP press secretaries on the Hill — that blasts the Obama administration as “radical” and “reckless” and the “most politically obsessed White House in history.”

Now, there’s obviously a special kind of stupid at play here. But instead of delving into all of the many, many ways in which the Obama White House is anything but “radical” and “reckless,” let’s instead just focus on the notion that the president and his team are the “most politically obsessed White House in history.”

There’s obviously no objective measurement for something like this, but I’m hard pressed to imagine how Republicans can back up this charge as it relates to Obama. Has he shifted positions on issues based on polls? Has he failed to reach out to those with whom he disagrees? Has he politicized any government agencies or systems? If the president and his team are “politically obsessed,” they’re hiding it well.

Which leads us to the president’s immediate predecessor, who didn’t hide it well. The most politically obsessed White House in history,” is probably the one described by a top Bush advisor this way, “There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you’ve got is everything — and I mean everything — being run by the political arm. It’s the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis.” If Republican lawmakers are really looking for a White House obsessed with politics, they should have looked at the presidential team they carried water for over the last eight years — it’s the one that managed to politicize every aspect of the federal government.