Thursday, February 05, 2009

Obama and "new politics"

The AP's report about President Obama's speech to House Democrats in Williamsburg, Va. is interesting.

First paragraph:
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) - Pushing Congress to pass his economic plan by next week, President Barack Obama implored House Democrats on Thursday to reject delaying tactics and political gamesmanship that often stymies legislation and keep a promise to voters who booted Republicans from power.
An indication that his "economic stimulus" plan is less popular by the day -- the president is "imploring" House Democrats to support the bill (that will come out of a conference committee -- if it passes the Senate).

"Reject delaying tactics and political gamesmanship"? This is the reporter's paraphrase. Let's try to assume, for the sake of argument, that it's a fair summary of the president's remarks.

Before we spend upwards of $1 trillion, we should reject the desire to actually examine what's in the bill as a "delaying tactic" -- and instead ram it through by next week? Responsibility and prudence are "political gamesmanship"?

What's the rush?
"They didn't vote for the status quo; they sent us here to bring change. We owe it to them to deliver."
Really! Support for him and his party translate into direct support for adding $ 1 trillion to government spending? I don't remember that being in the party's platform or one of candidate Obama's campaign promises.
"This is not a game," he added. "This is not a contest for who's in power and who's up and who's down."
Wait a minute -- I thought you just said you won, so there's no room for argument!
"We are not going to get relief by turning back to the very same policies that for the last eight years doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin."
Oh, OK - so let's triple the national debt and call it progress.

I didn't want to believe the critics who said Obama would move the country toward socialism. What did I know? Wow.


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