Gulp if You Think He Meant It
Here and there across the Internet, one can still find expressions of hope that Obama’s actions, when in office, would be tempered by the economy and the reality of responsibility. Peggy Noonan said, before the election, that Obama would be the dog that caught the car. This morning, even I suggested that he’d be tempered by politics, if nothing else.
It appears that his first official statement, however, is going to be one of decisiveness, probably to the detriment of the nation’s financial and moral health:
President-elect Barack Obama is poised to move swiftly to reverse actions that President Bush took using executive authority, and his transition team is reviewing limits on stem cell research and the expansion of oil and gas drilling, among other issues, members of the team said Sunday. …
“There’s a lot that the president can do using his executive authority without waiting for Congressional action, and I think we’ll see the president do that,” John D. Podesta, a top transition leader, said Sunday. “He feels like he has a real mandate for change. We need to get off the course that the Bush administration has set.”
Rahm Emanuel also hinted that Obama would not postpone a tax increase for families earning more than $250,000 a year despite the deepening economic gloom.
The president-elect may, indeed, intend to remain somewhat of an enigma, but he’s got a lot of constituencies to reward, and those who’ve hoped that he’d rein in some of his left-of-center proclivities are likely to be disappointed.