Which Way Is the Wind Blowing?
Posted by Larry Doyle on April 25, 2009 1:24 PM |
Barack Obama strikes me as an individual who views popularity as necessary while principles are convenient. I see this in his engagement with the American public, the international audience, and political constituencies. While the strong liberal Democratic leadership is not only setting policy and writing legislation, Obama and team are working to appease a large percentage of the audience at home and abroad.
If one is trying to be all things to many people, ultimately an individual risks being measured as lacking depth. I believe that Obama runs a very high risk of being painted as a lightweight for this very reason. Let’s touch upon a few examples of Obama’s waffling while simultaneously working on growing his popularity:
1. Stimulus Package: rammed through Congress by Pelosi and Reid without a fair and full reading of the bill. We are now paying for the shortcomings in the bill. Obama “sold” this package via his Town Hall “concerts.”
2. On the “torture” front, Obama initially declared he was moving forward without reviewing and potentially prosecuting Bush officials. In the face of massive pressure from a hard core liberal element of the Democratic Party, Obama quickly reversed course and indicated he may pursue investigations and prosecutions of Bush officials. Getting pushed around by “friends” does not exactly send a message of character and strength to the world.
3. Budget: Obama will run over a number of Blue Dog Democrats specifically on the health care front via a process known as reconciliation which disallows filibustering. The use of the reconciliation process has never been used for major legislation. The overall budget is a MASSIVE spending proposition which dramatically escalates the federal deficit.
4. Budget Deficit: under pressure from the same Blue Dog Democrats and after putting forth the largest budget ever, Obama is now recommending a “pay as you go” bill which would instill higher taxes or spending cuts after this budget.
Why do we need to wait? Why shouldn’t we impose this “pay as you go” before the budget? Very simply, Obama would not be able to hold to his promise of not raising taxes on the middle class.
Bloomberg provides insight on the pay-as-you-go approach, Obama Urges Congress to Pass Law Enforcing Fiscal Discipline.
The timing of Obama’s newly found fiscal discipline is very interesting. Why? Earlier this week, Obama came out with a “bold” approach to imposing real discipline within his cabinet. Bloomberg shed light on Obama’s boldness,
Obama was criticized as doing too little to confront the deficit when he ordered his Cabinet to cut $100 million out of the budget in the next 90 days, which would cut this year’s projected deficit by about 0.006 percent.
Yep, this newfound discipline is starting with an aggressive move of cutting 6 thousandths of 1 per cent from this year’s budget. Such a “draconian” (NOT) level of cuts hints at how large Obama’s budget is while seriously questioning his integrity and that of the Democratic leadership on this topic.
A President who has an agenda a mile long but six inches deep risks being exposed when the wind kicks up. Speaking of wind and Obama, which way is it blowing today?