The fortress built by pundits on the left are starting to crack … from the inside.

In the aftermath of Barack Obama’s overseas trip, the liberal punditocracy has begun to fret. Certainly there is reason for concern. Obama’s poll numbers are within the margin of error in a year in which a generic Democrat would be beating a generic Republican by double digits. And the storylines which dominated the news since the trip have been ones unfavorable to their chosen candidate: his ego, the snub of wounded U.S. soldiers in Germany, a potential flip-flop on offshore drilling and a poorly received attempt to play the race card.

Richard Cohen was one liberal pundit who emerged from the fog of Obama-mania. Cohen threw cold water on the notion that a liberal Senate candidate from Hyde Park showed political courage by opposing the Iraq war, and then recited chapter and verse on the flip-flop orgy:

He has been for and against gun control, against and for the recent domestic surveillance legislation and, in almost a single day, for a united Jerusalem under Israeli control and then, when apprised of U.S. policy and Palestinian chagrin, against it. He is an accomplished pol — a statement of both admiration and a bit of regret.

But what really irked Cohen was Obama’s “tissue thin” record and the nagging sense that despite Obama’s attractive packaging Cohen was “still not sure, though, what’s in it.”

Indeed, these concerns (and other concerns by many other pundits including Dana Millbank; read the whole thing) have been raised by Republicans for some time.  Yet they were dismissed as being racist, jealous, out of touch, and distracting from the real issues.  Some writers chided McCain’s attacks on the media for being in the tank as desperate, but perhaps some have taken it to heart. 

By all accounts, Obama should be trouncing McCain.  That he isn’t, and that this is surprising to the media, is a bigger indicator of who is really out of touch.

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