S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pluses and minuses for the administration

A little over two months have passed since President Barack Obama was inaugurated. A great deal has taken place since that momentous day. Today is a good day to take stock of the pluses and minuses coming out of the Obama administration's efforts, since taking over from the Republicans.
The President and his family have moved into the White House and established a daily and weekly routine. along with a vegetable garden. Michelle Obama has introduced herself to all her Washington neighbors and presided over formal occasions at the White House. All these accomplishments are pluses.
Most of the main presidential appointments have been made, with the appointees confirmed and sworn in. This project proved to be a combination of both pluses and minuses, when some lagged behind. Key players have already begun to establish new domestic and foreign policies in the name of the administration. The President announced our foreign policy for the Afghanistan-Pakistan region recently. President Obama and, by extension -- Secretaries Clinton, Geithner and others, have established relationships with foreign leaders, both in person and diplomatically. In these cases most have been relatively successful to date.
The president has signed a number of executive orders as well as bills passed by Congress. A Congressional liaison operation has been put in place and debuted. A number of bills that had begun before the administration took office were passed and signed. A large economic stimulus package was put in place. Legislation to continue the operations of government until the next fiscal year was passed. And the President's proposed budget that will start in 2010 has been introduced. The President has gotten much of what he proposed to Congress so far, despite routine Republican opposition. His efforts at bipartisanship were rebuffed by Republicans, a definite minus.
The administration has appeared in court in connection with ongoing cases requiring the government to weigh in. When it comes to rolling back excess executive power and upholding civil liberties the overall score remains in the minus column. Nor has the administration been willing up to this point to hold anyone accountable for breaking the laws of the land, another set of minuses, in my opinion.
President Obama has established regular and open communication with the American people and with the rest of the world. These attempts have been more and more successful as time passed. Though the establishment press might disagree, the President's reputation as a master communicator has grown in diversity and over time. In addition he has kept in purposefully direct contact with people of all stations outside of the capitol. And the President changed the rhetoric used by the previous administration in some significant ways, a plus.
We are all learning the new politically correct language. We are learning how and when to interact with the administration and with our Congressional Representatives and Senators. And finally, we are learning a great deal more about what is going on. Due to the administration's commitment to transparency, this is generally a plus, though there are exceptions. That is mostly only because all the technological apparatus for reporting is not yet in place and functioning smoothly.
Overall the Obama administration gets several check marks in the plus column. I remain a happy Democrat, amazed that the guy for whom I voted is turning out to be even more amazing than I had imagined possible.

See also Behind the Links, for further info on this subject.

Carol Gee - Online Universe is the all-in-one home page for all my websites.

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The Future Was Yesterday said...

"When it comes to rolling back excess executive power and upholding civil liberties the overall score remains in the minus column."

I said some time ago, that the bigger crime would be committed by the administration that did not undo, and/or prosecute, and that it would be much, much harder to reverse any said actions, because subsequent administrations would enjoy the power now given to them "legally".[sic] Call it a good old boys club or whatever, no President or VP will ever be tried in a court of law for actions while they were in office, for to do so, would be to open the door for an avalanche of lawsuits against all government officials, from the President down to the gardener, and would render the government unable to govern.

This is why the powers given to the people by the constitution to be used for infractions of the law while in office are so, so very critical!

Nancy Hale Pelosi said "Don't worry about the constitution while I'm in office" over the objections of the people, before she ever sat down in the speakers chair.....and the rest is history.

Impeachment is for "....high crimes committed while in office...." Thus, it is impossible to ever impeach another President. What crime is "higher" than spying on the American people, tapping their phones, torturing prisoners?????

Like Nathan Hale, Pelosi, even if it is after the fact, should be shot.

Carol Gee said...

I know you well enough to understand that your last sentence was not meant as a literal threat. You sometimes "exaggerate for emphasis."
After the horse is out of the barn, so to speak, it is too late for officials to be held accountable. Your "while in office" point is well taken.