Top Progressive Dings White House: 'These Guys are Stunningly Arrogant'

Obama had a bad 2013 but Huff Post’s Sam Stein wants to know why. Among the answers he comes up with is the White House’s own arrogance.

Stein reviews a series of reasons why 2013 broke bad for the President. The Obamacare rollout gets top billing and unexpected events in Newtown and Syria also make the list. But at least a few people see the source of the problem as coming not from outside the White House but within it:

Mike Lux, who served as Obama’s liaison to the progressive community
during the 2008 White House transition and has been critical of the
administration since, argued that self-assuredness played a damaging
role, preventing Obama and his team from seeing problems on the horizon.
When would-be allies warned the White House about the looming dangers
of health care insurance cancelations or the potential backlash to a
Larry Summers Federal Reserve nomination, the advice was heard, but not
necessarily heeded.

“I feel like the White House goes it alone too much,” said Lux. “In
advance of a battle or even in the early stages of a problem, it doesn’t
seem like they have gone out of their way to build unity and cohesion
in the party and with progressive allies.”

A top progressive operative put it more bluntly: “These guys are
stunningly arrogant. They really believe that their shit doesn’t smell,
that they have all the answers. And that arrogance continues to hurt

Stein concludes that the hinge point of the bad year was Obamacare. That was the place where false promises and foreseeable problems all rushed together in a sickening crunch for the administration. After the government shutdown in October, the Republicans were polling badly and Obamacare was trending up despite the fact that the site did not work at all. Two months later, with the scope of their failure made clear, all of those gains have been reversed and then some.