Monday, March 09, 2009

Is Obama Overreaching?

Talking Points Memo alerts us to this video in which concern troll Mark Halperin asks whether Obama is trying to do too much.
Tonight Chuck Todd made a very good point in his remarks before the National Association of Counties. (Sorry, no video available at this hour.) Todd pointed out that, given enough time, Washington forces can kill any policy initiative. Think back to Clinton's economic plan (which barely passed) and health care plan that never came close to a vote in Congress.
But Obama has at least three or four big things going on right now, and organizing to defeat them all is simply beyond the capability of the opposition on a good day (of which the GOP hasn't had many recently). Even if Obama gets beaten back on his budget or on health care, he still will have pushed through the recovery package, rolled back Bush's environmental and energy policies, closed Gitmo and set a timetable for pulling out of Irag. Just today he
opened up federal funding for stem cell research, declared new standards for the role of science in public policy and abrogated Bush's signing statements.
You might remember Obama's response when John McCain decided to suspend his campaigning, including a presidential debate during last September's financial meltdown:
As for the debate, he said, “It’s going to be part of the president’s job to be able to deal with more than one thing at once.”
There have been times when Americans like the idea of government not trying to do too much. This is not one of those times. Seven presidential terms have come and gone since Ronald Reagan declared that "government is the problem." In a time a of crisis, people want their president on the job, even if it means tackling more than one problem at a time.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Nancy Willing said...

heh, Tom, great timing to bring back the Obama pledge to multi-task! This well should be the next bomb tossed in the national flame war. Thanks!

11:52 AM, March 10, 2009  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

Obama himself yesterday took the trouble to say that presidents have often had to do more than one thing at a time (see above).

9:46 AM, March 11, 2009  

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