The Staggeringly Bad Judgment Of Bob Woodward

Well, he asked for it. He is a stenographer, who is very, very well connected to the old Washington (which Obama’s online political revolution disturbed), and a dutiful gatherer of whatever those in power say they do and have done. But after his implosion over the last 24 hours – exposed as a whiny liar by his own email – Chait puts the boot in:

His more recent books often compile interesting facts, but how Woodward chooses to package those facts has come to represent a barometric measure of a figure’s standing within the establishment. His 1994 account of Bill Clinton’s major budget bill, which in retrospect was a major success, told a story of chaos and indecision. He wrote a fulsome love letter to Alan Greenspan, “Maestro,” at the peak of the Fed chairman’s almost comic prestige. In 2003, when George W. Bush was still a decisive and indispensable war leader, Woodward wrote a heroic treatment of the Iraq War. After Bush’s reputation had collapsed, Woodward packaged essentially the same facts into a devastating indictment. Woodward’s book on the 2011 debt negotiations was notable for arguing that Obama scotched a potential deficit deal. The central argument has since been debunked by no less a figure than Eric Cantor, who admitted to Ryan Lizza that he killed the deal.