Arianna appeared as a guest on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" on Sunday, along with Eliot Spitzer, Ross Douthat and Katrina vanden Heuvel . The roundtable discussed the growing frustration with Obama over his handling of the economy and the Gulf oil spill.
"President Obama is front and center in the news again this week," Zakaria began. "This time it's for the firing of Stanley McChrystal. Before that he was being criticized for his handling of the oil spill. His approval levels are down, and the nattering nabobs of negativism have been hammering him around the clock. Even some of the most left leaning of the commentary have turned on Barack Obama. So what does all this mean?"
Spitzer said that Obama needs to do more to take charge of the oil spill response. "He trusts people too much," Spitzer said. "He trusted Wall Street. He trusted the Republicans to engage in a meaningful way. He trusted BP. He's 0 for three."
"What Eliot said is absolutely critical," Arianna continued. "It's not just trust. I think there is almost like a reverence that the president has for authority. You know, a reverence for establishments. You know, the Wall Street establishment. The military establishment. The BP establishment, you know? Even his own admiral in charge of the BP oil spill a few weeks ago said that 'I trust that what Tony Hayward is telling me.' He actually used those words. So that is really very fundamental problem that is affecting his whole presidency."
"Liberals are dismayed. They're angry. They're abandoning him," Zakaria said.
Arianna replied that "This whole framing as a right versus left debate -- a liberal verse conservative debate is completely flawed. It's obsolete. It's making it much harder for us to solve our problems as a country."
"Wall Street reform is a classic example," she continued, "where some of the best conservative minds, and some of the best liberal minds agree that if you don't have the end of too big to fail, if you don't have fundamental derivatives reform, everything else is ultimately cosmetic."
"But the two parties are now ideologically polarized," Zakaria argued.
"You know what? I think Arianna is right," vanden Heuvel responded. "Because the left-right construct is artificial. And I think too much of it is the establishment media."
"The point here is that there is something really important about this left and right obsession that the media has," Arianna continued. "I mean, at the Huffington Post we have a tag line called, 'Beyond Left and Right.' And we use it a lot. ... When you have Mayor Bloomberg coming together with Fox News to push for real immigration reform. On drug reform. There is a huge left-right coalition on Afghanistan, and Wall Street reform. This is not really the easy division that the media likes to present."
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