Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Who is President Barack Obama?

The Barack Obama we have as President today is not the Barack Obama we elected. I strongly believe Americans overwhelmingly elected Barack Obama because he promised massive reform in Federal Government. He promised honesty. He promised transparency. He promised the strict rule of law. He promised to keep his promises.

My fellow Democrats and I were sick and disgusted at what we felt was the "Imperial Presidency" of George Bush. Especially galling were the "signing statements" that President Bush claimed allowed him and the Executive Office to ignore the law. Barack Obama made this a centerpiece of his campaign against the Republicans.

And Barack Obama promised a new era in Washington, an era of bipartisanship. Republicans would have a place at the table and all bills would have input from all parties. All ideas would be welcome and we would have compromise instead of gridlock.

Barack Obama made more promises for transparency including posting all bills on line for at least 5 days before signing, no current lobbyists in his cabinet and more. Barack Obama is a great orator and we really did understand his message. He won the election by a modern day landslide.

I'm having a great deal of trouble today finding a single promise Barack Obama has made that he hasn't broken. Not just broken but flaunted. In six short months Barack Obama has made George Bush look like Honest Abe.

The Barack Obama we elected is not the man who is President today.

Immediately abandoned was the promise to post bills on line. In fact, in what has turned out to be the biggest lie in legislative history, Obama demanded Congress quickly pass and he quickly sign the Economic Stimulus Act, a pork barrel filled gift to lobbyists and supporters that has put the country deeply in debt. Now, six months later there is no stimulus and only a scant 10% of the money has been spent. There most certainly were five days available to post that turkey on line! As it turns out almost no bills have been posted on line for taxpayer review.

Exemption after exemption allowed lobbyists to fill the Cabinet. But what is much, much worse is the thirty plus CZARS who are actually responsible for everything from soup to nuts. None need be approved by Congress and several are radical zealots who aren't remotely qualified for the positions they hold. Some are downright scary characters. For example, consider Van Jones, the newest Environmental Jobs Czar, a religious and social fanatic.

Even more tragic is Obama's immediate implementation of "signing statements," which has really earned the ire of Democrats in Congress. The
Associate Press reports:

President Barack Obama has irked close allies in Congress by declaring he has the right to ignore legislation on constitutional grounds after having criticized George W. Bush for doing the same.

House Democrats on Tuesday said they were "surprised" and "chagrined" by Obama's declaration in June that he doesn't have to comply with provisions in a war spending bill that puts conditions on aid provided to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Earlier in his six-month-old administration, Obama issued a similar statement regarding provisions in a $410 billion omnibus spending bill. He also included qualifying remarks when signing legislation that established commissions to govern public lands in New York, investigate the financial crisis and celebrate Ronald Reagan's birthday.

"During the previous administration, all of us were critical of (Bush's) assertion that he could pick and choose which aspects of congressional statutes he was required to enforce," the Democrats wrote in their letter to Obama. "We were therefore chagrined to see you appear to express a similar attitude."

If Congress can't place conditions on the money, "it will make it virtually impossible to provide further allocations for these institutions," they wrote.

While these are troubling signs, what has concerned me the most is his virtually total failure to even attempt to work on legislation in anything remotely resembling a bipartisan way. Instead the leadership in the House and Senate have completely shut out all Republican and even moderate Democrats from the legislative process. Bills are crafted in secret. Republicans are not allow to attend these sessions. Then Pelosi and Reid decry the lack of Republican support even though they are the total cause of the Republican alienation.

Barack Obama could put a stop to this with one single phone call. It's a call he has not made.

The tragedy is the proposed Health Care Reform Legislation. With the Insurance Companies and most Republicans FIRMLY on board for reform, this could have been Obama's finest moment. He is allowing EXTREME PARTISANSHIP to potentially scuttle the potential cornerstone of his young administration.

Later today or tomorrow I will post a special entry on the blueprint for real Bipartisan Health Care Reform that is already on the table from Republicans AND the Insurance Companies.


Proud Infidel said...

Since I did my homework long before Obama was even the Democrat nominee, none of this is a surprise to me. Maybe if so many of you had done the same instead of swooning like a screaming teenage girls at a Jonas Brothers concert everytime Fraudbama opened his mouth and told you what you wanted to hear, our contry would not be in the jeopardy it is right now. Just think, Obama has 3 and a half more years in power to go. Lovely. And thanks to all of you who voted for him.

When Democrats who still have use of their mental faculties finally come over to The House of Reality, Where We Know Obama Is A Fraud, I'll be the one greeting you at the door saying "I told you so."

Roy Lofquist said...

Dear Sir,

I'm a bit long in tooth. I saw Harry Truman on TV. I learned long ago that you carry a pound of salt around with you. I don't know how many grains are in a pound of salt but I seem to go through a lot of it.

The question of signing statements was prominent in the Nixon administration when they were called recissions. This was an end around to a line item veto. The denouement was a typical political obsfuscation that said they were a no-no.

Obama is trying the same thing. What strikes me is that this administration is "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight". They seem to have no historical perspective whatsoever.

We conservatives place a great deal of faith in the hard won lessons of recorded history. This administration appears to me to be a combination of academics (coffee house philosophers on steroids) and good old fashioned Alinsky/Chicago thugs.

I saw it coming. What surprises me is that these people are so far out of touch that they thought they could pull it off. We are in for a wild ride. Hopefully it won't last too long.


chuck said...

Obama is exactly the guy I didn't vote for.

MadMike said...

The president is working very hard to overcome the Republican philosophy of "just saying NO." The Right has done and is doing everything in their power to destroy the president. They will not succeed. Your statement that Obama has not made any effort to work in a bi-partisan way is just ludicrous. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am upset because he has gone out of his way to work with the Reckless Right. I would not consort with enemy. I would lock them out. The Republicans are responsible for the financial crisis that exists today. You did it. Each and every one of you who leap now to criticize our president. Obama has about 7.5 years before he leaves office. Hopefully he will be able to repair the damage the Republicans have done to our great country.

Chuck I am glad you found a home. I always knew you would be more comfortable on a conservative blog.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

Mike, You're better and smarter than this. I've watched and read as you've dug into an issue and done your homework. Why do you stop at President Obama's doorstep?

The Republcana are many things and they've done a whole lot wrong. But they simply aren't the "Party of No."

Even a cursory reading of Daily Kos or Huffington reveals that no Republicans were allowed by Pelosi to participate. In fact, the so-called Blue Dog Democrats were locked out. You know this. That isn't bipartisanship.

Moreover, Republicans have put concrete ideas on the table, real plans and real concessions. I'll be focusing on one today or tomorrow.

You can disagree completely with their plan. You are welcome and invited to rip it to shreds. But to say the Republicans are the Party of No is factually wrong.

Republicans have fully endorsed Universal Health Care and so have all the Insurance Companies. They aren't fighting this. They are being locked out. And that is Obama's biggest mistake, because Universal Health Care could have been an easy out-of-the-ballpark homerun.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

Chuck, Please feel free to make this your home.

In spite of what Mike says above, I'n not a Republican, but a Democrat and a liberal. I know we will disagee often, but your opinions and ideas are welsome.

Lee said...

Spot on analysis of MM Wizard. As the recent exchange of facts from Shoo .vs. Denial from MM, I am reminded of my grandpa's saying "Don't teach a pig to whistle, it wastes your time and annoys the pig"

Then again you are a fair minded and tolerant blogger beyond the call.

Chuck, this is a liberal blog, but one that covets ideas over ideology.

Chris said...

Make no mistake, John McCain would not have been a great President. He probably would have been mediocre at best, because he shares a lot of very bad ideas about economics with people like Barack Obama.

Conservatives were predicting that Mr. Obama will be one of the worst Presidents of the modern age. The more time goes by, the more correct those predictions look. He hasn't even had to handle a real foreign policy crisis yet, but I fully expect him to bring to bear the combination of arrogance, poorly formulated ideas, and historical cluelessness that has characterized his domestic policy.

We hate to say we told you so, but at least you admit the problem. That's why I like you, Wizard. You have a good mind, and you actually use it to compare ideals with reality. Congratulations on being an adult. We are in short supply these days.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I think that the "left" has finally learned that 60 Democratic Senators doesn't necessarily equate to 60 liberal senators. So, too, I think they've probably learned a little something about their "mandate".

John said...

Sometimes the realities of governing can supersede campaign promises. Most of us knew during the campaign that most of those promises would be broken. On the other hand, McCain probably wouldn't have lived up to all of his promises either if he had been elected.

shoo said...

My hopes for McCain were that he would be a mediocre President who wouldn't do anything too dramatically stupid. Heck, that is pretty much my hope every election. It has been way too long since conservatives have had a President they could be proud of.

Still, I would take the mediocrity of McCain over the current situation any time.

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