This is from a Peggy Noonan piece in today’s (17 Feb) Wall Street Journal:
“A week after the Sawyer interview, the president had a stunning and revealing exchange with Sen. Blanche Lincoln, the Arkansas Democrat likely to lose her 2010 re-election campaign. He was meeting with Senate Democrats to urge them to continue with his legislative agenda. Mrs. Lincoln took the opportunity to beseech him to change it. She urged him to distance his administration from “people who want extremes,” and to find “common ground” with Republicans in producing legislation that would give those in business the “certainty” they need to create jobs.
While answering, Mr. Obama raised his voice slightly and quickened his cadence. “If the price of certainty is essentially for us to adopt the exact same proposals that were in place leading up to the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression . . . the result is going to be the same. I don’t know why we would expect a different outcome pursuing the exact same policy that got us in this fix in the first place.” He continued: “If our response ends up being, you know . . . we don’t want to stir things up here,” then “I don’t know why people would say, ‘Boy, we really want to make sure those Democrats are in Washington fighting for us.’
The Washington Post’s Charles Lane, one of the few journalists to note the exchange, said he found it revealing in two ways: First, the president equates becoming more centrist with becoming more like George W. Bush, and second, he [Obama] apparently sees movement to the center as a political loser.”
Noonan essentially claims that Obama is simply doubling down on the Bush administration and is not providing fundamental change like the major change actors of our times- FDR and Reagan.
It is an interesting premise by Noonan, though I disagree with it.
Considering that Obama, in a Gallup poll, is more or less in a dead heat at 44-42 against a generic GOP candidate, and in a new CNN poll is down 44-52 on whether or not he deserves a second term, one must wonder what is going on inside Camelot II.
One of the things Noonan bemoans is that Obama is failing to triangulate or adjust to the political environment. She states, “But now it is 2010, and Mr. Bush is gone. Mr. Obama is left with America, and he does not, really, understand it. That is why he thinks moving to the center would be political death, when moving to the center and triangulating, as Bill Clinton did, might give him a new lease on life.”
I think by the end she gets it, but unfortunately doesn’t give it the attention it deserves.
“Democrats in Congress, on the other hand, may choose this spring to save themselves by revolting—not only against the Republicans, but against the possible one-termer who jeopardizes their positions.”
I disagree with Noonan on whether Obama knows the American people, I think he just doesn’t care. He’s an ideologue. This is a man who selected a church that preaches a fringe, essentially racist message, and absorbed it for 20 years (a very interesting article on Obama’s autobiography Dreams from my Father). His associations with radicals like William Ayers (who likely had a large part in writing The Audacity of Truth), and his current cadre of who’s who of leftist politics acting as advisers is telling.
Obama has an agenda and is willing to do anything to get it, to include expending the Dem control of Congress. Some have said that it was a mistake for Obama to pick Emanuel as his Chief of Staff, I disagree, Emanuel is exactly the type of guy you want when you are going to ram something through, like “change”, at any cost.
Consider this, it is rare- and very abnormal- that an administration does not put forward their own legislative draft on their signature issue. The fact that Obama didn’t, and left it to Congress to write says a couple things to me, the first being he didn’t want to have any part of the blame for what was written, relying on the far-left in the House and Senate to reach the goals he wanted. I think he had every expectation that it would make it through, considering the Dem super majority he enjoyed, and all he would have to do is sign it. This is reinforced by the administrations efforts to just get ‘something’ passed, versus something along the ideological bent of the House. Secondly, because of the machinations he has employed to get this done, no one, not even his ‘allies’ are safe from his agenda.
If the GOP take the House, and Pelosi loses her speakership, Obama will not lose one bit of sleep. He’ll have his foil, blaming the last two years of his administration on the GOP regardless of what does, or doesn’t get passed, and the Dem woes in the House or Senate will be just too bad, so sad.
It’s high time folks quit underestimating the ideological bent of this administration and what they are willing to do to get their way. I mean, anyone who’ll throw Grandma under the bus, is capable of anything…