Obama trying to lower expectations – again
U.S. President Obama delivers remarks at Business Council in Washington
In a little noted but insightful Washington Post article published April 5, 2013, David Nakamura argued that President Obama has all but given up on any real, substantive or “progressive” policy efforts at least until the midterm elections next year.
Nakamura notes that during Obama's campaign fund raising swing through California recently, he ticked off all of the reasons why the left should not expect much from him until then.
On climate change? “The politics of this are tough,” Obama said in the the home of San Francisco billionaire asset manager Tom Steyer.
How about gun control? “It’s going to be tougher to get better gun legislation . . . through the Senate and the House,” he acknowledged in Levi Strauss' heir John Goldman’s home in Atherton, Calif.
Despite his new “brain research” initiative, Obama allowed that scientific research would likewise have to be placed on the back burner. “Right now we’re constrained,” he told an audience of philanthropists at the Gordon and Ann Getty mansion.
As Obama is too fond of reminding everyone, he campaigned for the presidency twice on the hope that both his election and re-election would end Washington gridlock. (That, however, is not the “hope” that most of us thought he meant at the time).
Now, as the first year of his second administration fast approaches, he seems resigned to the probability that he really has little power to advance his agenda mainly due to continued partisan polarization.
Now, in stark contrast to his State of the Union message when he said that change was urgently necessary, he has changed his tune:
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” Obama said. “It doesn’t happen in one fell swoop. It doesn’t happen because a president gives a speech.”
His speeches on gun control in both Colorado and Connecticut, though certainly rousing, were meant to provide a feel-good cushion as his proposals slowly die in congress in the upcoming weeks.
Instead, in his speech at a Denver police academy, Obama pleaded with everyone to find that elusive “common ground” of which he is so fond.
He claims that his embrace of the “chained CPI' as a way of “reforming” Social Security and the myriad other budget cuts he's offered, are meant to appease Republicans. He does not believe that they will agree to raise taxes on wealthier Americans without such offsetting budget cuts.
And so, as he did immediately after being elected the first time in 2008, President Obama has again sought to lower expectations of those who so fervently supported him on each and every issue.
The facts are the facts. On no issue important to progressives has this president gone “to the wall” with the Republicans. Hell, even during those first two years when he controlled both houses of Congress, his main and stated objective was, as always, “bipartisanship.”
The pattern should be obvious. The president campaigns to the left, but governs to the right....often the hard right.
What evidence is there that should Democrats gain control once again of the House and the Senate next year that things will be any different?
If you like to write about US politics, enter Allvoices’ "The American Pundit" political writing contest. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and Nov. 30. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded in December. If you do not already have a free account, sign up here.
The American Pundit on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmericanPundits
Allvoices on Twitter: https://twitter.com/allvoices
Allvoices on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/freelance.journalism