This isn't quite a "Juxtaposition of the Day" because, while Pett comments on the "Why are you carrying out your agenda instead of ours?" aspect, Rogers focuses more on the aspect of purposeful misinformation.
Still, the concept of undercutting the president, while certainly not new, has reached a particularly high level.
I've always felt that Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter got a raw deal: A pair of decent and I think capable men who somehow failed to engage the zeitgeist and, in both cases, took on some blame for situations that were not of their making.
Ford, of course, was seen as a Nixon hangover, not only the fellow who pardoned him in order to bring an end to a "national nightmare," but as part of the inner circle whence he had sprung. I think it's unfair, but it's certainly understandable.
Carter is a little more problematic, in that his failure -- aside from the behind-the-scenes undercutting on the hostage crisis by the forces of Iran/Contra -- seems to have stemmed from a belief that he could inspire people to be decent and do things like turn their thermostats down.
And there may be an element of The Little Red Hen at work, in that we want the cake, but we don't want to do the plowing, planting, harvesting, grinding, mixing and baking.
So we hire someone as the National Conscience and hope the cake will appear on our plates without any effort on our part.
Of course, Ford was never actually elected, and I'd love to know the inside story, which I suspect had a strong element of "We've got to get rid of that idiot Agnew before we can start in on Nixon."
But we did believe that getting rid of Tricky Dick would solve all the problems, just as we believed that a president who made his own breakfast or one who promised Hope and Change would achieve great things without any sacrifice on our part.
As noted here many times before, I never believed that Bobby Kennedy would make all the changes that the true believers expected, but, then, I never believed Gene McCarthy could get elected at all, so I welcomed RFK as a chance to counter the forces at work and I mourned his death because he was a hope for decency in a world with little.
But I'm sure he'd have been as disappointing as Carter and Obama for those who thought everything would be fixed within a week of the inauguration.
JFK's legacy, meanwhile, benefits from a couple of factors, not the least of which was that he was cut down early and left LBJ holding the bag for all that followed.
But the other is that he lived in an era before the merger of gossip and transparency, when political reporters confined their work to politics and sportswriters confined theirs to the ball field.
That is, the personal problems of Jimmy Piersall were known because he brought them out of the clubhouse and into public view, but as long as Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle kept hitting, how much they drank after the game was, in the words of Frank Gilbreth Sr., "Not of General Interest."
Similarly, reporters were concerned about potential Russian bombshells in Cuba, not afterhours blonde bombshells in the White House, and we looked back with a mixture of shame and revulsion on the attacks on Grover Cleveland and poor Rachel Jackson.
Note, by the way, that the scandal-mongering did not prevent either Cleveland or Jackson from being elected to the White House twice, any more than coverage of Clinton's (actual) skirt-chasing or (fanciful) attacks on Obama's Kenyan, Muslim roots did much to blunt their success at the polls.
(It should also be noted that the modern accusation of press coverups on two items are overplayed: The public knew that Wilson had suffered a serious stroke and that FDR had been partially paralyzed by polio. The press did not dwell on it and the level of disability in both cases may have been underplayed, but there was no conspiracy of silence.)
In any case, it's unlikely that Chevy Chase's over-the-top mockery of Gerald Ford cost him the election, and Carter's landslide defeat may be as much due to intra-party disappointment and bickering as anything the GOP did to promote Reagan.
But the narrow defeats of Al Gore and John Kerry might have been reversed had Gore not been saddled with the false claims that he lied about his accomplishments, and had Kerry not been attacked with outright lies about his military service, and a fair amount of blame for that belongs to the press, which now combines an insatiable appetite for gossip with a foolish definition of "fairness" that comes down to passing along unchallenged the claims of both sides.
Still, to reference another of my oft-quoted quotes, one should not assume the chinking of grasshoppers represents all the creatures of the field, nor that the "Impeach Obama" mob is any more representative of the actual electorate.
Election day turnout will always be a critical factor in actual outcomes, but, as Wiley points out in today's Non Sequitur, the Cheney Comeback Tour appears to have fallen flat under the weight of its own absurdity:
Now here's your moment of Australian zen