Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Continuing Hubris of the Obama Administration

The New York Times Magazine has released it's full article on Obama 2.0.  Oh, what a read it is. 

Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the upper chamber and Obama’s ally from Illinois, said the Republicans were to blame for the absence of bipartisanship. “I think his fate was sealed,” Durbin said. “Once the Republicans decided they would close ranks to defeat him, that just made it extremely difficult and dragged it out for a longer period of time. The American people have a limited attention span. Once you convince them there’s a problem, they want a solution.”

Again, they had super majorities in both houses.  They did not need one single republican to pass anything.  Not one republican voted for Obamacare and it is the new law of the land is it not?  These statements make no sense and I honestly would like to know if anyone actually buys this?  If so, how little do they pay attention to those pesky little things like facts? 

“If anybody thought the Republicans were just going to roll over, we were just terribly mistaken,” former Senator Tom Daschle, a mentor and an outside adviser to Obama, told me. “I’m not sure anybody really thought that, but I think we kind of hoped the Republicans would go away. And obviously they didn’t do that.”

Seriously?  Again, they had super majorities.  It was not the republicans that stopped anything, it was The Tea Party and the American public that stopped it.  If it were not for the average American standing up we would have single payer, card check, cap and tax and who knows what else. 
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, laughed at the ever-ready assumption that all problems stem from poor communication. “I haven’t been at a policy-problem meeting in 20 months,” he noted
How nice for him. 

Norman Solomon, a leading progressive activist and the president of the Institute for Public Accuracy, said Obama has “totally blown this great opportunity” to reinvent America by being more aggressive on issues like a public health care option. Other liberals feel the same way about gays in the military or the prison at Guántanamo Bay. “It’s been so reflexive since he was elected, to just give ground and give ground,” Solomon told me. “If we don’t call him a wimp, which may be the wrong word, he just seems to be backpedaling.” Solomon added: “It makes people feel angry and perhaps used. People just feel like, Gee, we really believed in this guy, and his rhetoric is so different than the way he’s behaved in office.”

Have this man, and other progressives for that matter, ever considered the possibility that the majority of this country don't believe in these policies?  We don't want America re-invented, we want to stay true to our values that have allowed this country to grow, thrive, and be the beacon for the rest of the world.  For all the hatred that people say they have of America, we are the world's leader.  The majority of people believe in American Exceptionalism.  We don't want to be a bigger version of France. 

“Democrats just congenitally tend to see the glass as half empty,” Obama said at a fund-raiser in Greenwich, Conn., last month. “If we get an historic health care bill passed — oh, well, the public option wasn’t there. If you get the financial reform bill passed — then, well, I don’t know about this particular derivatives rule, I’m not sure that I’m satisfied with that. And, gosh, we haven’t yet brought about world peace. I thought that was going to happen quicker.”

This coming from a man who said this:

we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.”
His answer to this now is:

“I make no apologies for having set high expectations for myself and for the country, because I think we can meet those expectations,”

From the start, Obama has been surprised by all sorts of challenges that have made it hard for him to govern — not just the big problems that he knew about, like the economy and the wars, but also the myriad little ones that hindered his progress, like one nominee after another brought down by unpaid taxes. Obama trusted his judgment and seemed to have assumed that impressive people in his own party must have a certain basic sense of integrity — and that impressive people in the other party must want to work with him

“He’s still never gotten comfortable here,” a top White House official told me. He has little patience for what Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser, calls “the inevitable theatrics of Washington.”
 Well, you know what, I am not comfortable with him in Washington either. 
Obama came to office with enormous faith in his own powers of persuasion. He seemed to believe he could overcome divisions if he just sat down with the world’s most recalcitrant figures — whether they be the mullahs in Tehran or the Republicans on Capitol Hill. As it turned out, the candidate who said he would be willing to meet in his first year with some of America’s enemies “without precondition” has met with none of them. And the president who in his State of the Union address this year promised to meet monthly with leaders of both parties in Congress ended up doing so just half as often.

Shocker!!  Who would thunk he believed this?  Say it ain't so!!

Obama advisers who left the White House recently have been struck how different, and worse, things look from the outside. As he made a round of corporate job interviews after stepping down as White House budget director, Peter Orszag was stunned to discover how deep the gulf between the president and business had become. “I’d thought it was an 8, but it’s more like a 10,” he told me. “And rather than wasting time debating whether it’s legitimate,” he added, referring to his former colleagues, “the key is to recognize that it’s affecting what they do.”

Hubris, plain and simple. 

Read the rest here, you won't be disappointed. 

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