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.”

And more:

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.

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15 years ago

” those who’ve hoped that he’d rein in some of his left-of-center proclivities”
Now that is one audacious hope!

15 years ago

This is exactly what we need. It’s already been established that we cannot possibly drill ourselves out of dependence on foreign oil and that stem cell research is the most-promising, least-well-funded area of medical research right now.
In fact, why don’t we just roll back everything from January 2000 to January 2009 and start fresh?
Reversing tax cuts for the rich should’ve happened years ago. It’s time to stop throwing money at the top of the economic pyramid, hoping it’ll slide down the sides. Hint: it hasn’t, it doesn’t, and it won’t.

Thomas Parks
15 years ago

I enjoyed your observations. All those reporters who participated in the “coronation” of Obama have overlooked the fact that he is a Utopian socialist. John Lennon would have voted for him. I honestly think that he will work his butt off for the betterment of the country and he should make a lot of things better but years from now we will have to contend with the governments control of most aspects of our life.

15 years ago

I am going to take the unprecedented-and likely unrepeated step of cutting and pasting a comment from another thread as it is so much on point. In short-calm down!
Calm down Justin. You’re young. This will pass. Baracka Zulu can do NOTHING in the Senate except by consent of Republicans. Do you really thing Democrats like Nelson, Testor, Dorgan, Landreiu, Webb, Casey and the anti-choice, pro-gun majority leader would let him run amok-even if he wanted to. The truth is he showed his true colors when the first thing he did in the Senate was get his Ho a $350,000 no-show job at a hospital he then steered millions in earmarks.
In other words, he’s just Billy Murphy with a tan. First to go will be “Card Check”. He will probably make a phone call to a labor rally, just like Republican president’s do to abortion rallies, expressing his “100% support”. The issue will then go the way of Judge Crater. By July Code Pink will be in front of the White House waving OBAMA=BUSH placards.

15 years ago

“Left of center proclivities”? Justin, why don’t you call it what it is: liberal.
As much as people criticize Bush, we haven’t had another terrorist attack since 9/11. Obama speaks about closing down Guantanamo Bay, a plan which may very well lead to increased terrorist activity.
I had to laugh at Alfred’s “This is exactly what we need” remark. Right, what we need at this moment is is less domestic energy that would create jobs and lower energy costs.
As for the “mandate” to which Podesta refers, 47% of voters voted for McCain. Anyone else get the impression that the overreaching is starting to begin?

15 years ago

What’s the big whoop? For eight years, George W. Bush used the power of executive order afforded him by the constitution.
As did every president before him.
But Obama shouldn’t be allowed to? Jeez Louise.
Good thing Bill Frist didn’t get his way and allow a simple majority to ramrod anything through the Senate, eh?

15 years ago

Rhody, the problem is not whether he uses it but what he may use it for.
” Right, what we need at this moment is is less domestic energy that would create jobs and lower energy costs.”
And immediately cool speculation pressure on prices. We got sucked into not drilling 15 years ago. Let’s not do that again.
Or is everyone who opposes domestic drilling in favor of increasing the funds that go to repressive dictatorships?

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
15 years ago

Why doesn’t everyone take a deep breath?Executive orders by the President have authority ONLY over the Executive Branch and its component agencies,but not over the Judicial or Legislative Branches.The President cannot legislate from the White House.
Furthermore,the President cannot allocate funds to carry out programs.If Congress doesn’t authorize spending on a particular program it becomes moot.
If Obama thinks the Democrats are monolithic on all issues,he’s out of his mind.They may be more or less on the same page with regard to the economy,but the unanimity dilutes as you move out into foreign relations and health care.
The topics of gun control,immigration,and abortion are where party lines are really blurred.We can’t forget that there are a lot of Democrats who got elected in 2006 by adopting more liberal economic policies,opposing Bush’s foreign policy,and at the same time co-opting the socially more conservative values from the Republicans they replaced in traditionally more conservative areas.
So I’m not sure Obama really even has a Congressional mandate.

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