With the Liberals' agenda. . .
On Inauguration Day we were all ecstatic, optimistic, inspired and hopeful that all the things that we hated during the previous administration would change. The watchwords were going to be looking forward, maintaining transparency, reforming greedy and irresponsible business practices, etc. President Obama's platform began with the three-legged stool of health care reform, education reform and energy self-sufficiency. But his agenda grew rapidly, even as the economic crisis and two wars remained as central issues. But since that time peoples' optimism has been dampened as problems proved to be more difficult to solve than we thought they would be. The question is whether it is a lack of leadership on the President's part, leading in the wrong direction, naive reliance on bipartisanship, inexperience, the fierce recalcitrance of Republicans or something else. Here is a typical story of the kind seen in recent months: High Liberal hopes threaten to crash down on Obama , trumpets the US News and World Report (10/19/09). To quote:
During the presidential transition and following Obama's inauguration, many Republicans warned of the administration overreaching and trying to do too much (with good reason, did anyone reasonably expect the government to have an ownership stake in General Motors?). There also existed the distinct possibility that many in the left—the truest of the true believers—would be disappointed and feel Obama was actually under-reaching. With hopes higher than the Frank Sinatra hit song , a letdown was probably inevitable.
Blumenauer remains optimistic. But much of Obama's liberal base wants to see results instead of lofty rhetoric, which could be a problem for the administration in the weeks and months ahead.
However, there has been noticeable push back by the administration, not seen in some time, in the past couple of weeks, . For example, taking on the Health Care Industry, Fox News and the Chamber of Commerce are the stories making headlines these days. The rift between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Obama administration seems to be widening, according to the Washington Post 's Tuesday analysis. To quote:
Instead of working through the Chamber, President Obama has reached out to business executives, meeting repeatedly with small groups of CEOs in his private White House dining room. He also has dispatched top aides Valerie Jarrett and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to corporate boardrooms. Since the summer, the three have met with some of the biggest names in the business community, including the heads of IBM, Wal-Mart Stores, Time Warner, Eastman Kodak, Starbucks, Amazon.com and Coca-Cola.
In the process, Obama is attempting to rewrite the rules of the game in Washington, where the Chamber and other business lobbying groups have long held a highly visible, and powerful, place at the intersection of policy and politics.
And it looks as if another more liberal position has been adopted when comes to the long-standing "war on drugs." The headline reads, "U.S. eases its stance on medical marijuana," according to the Washington Post on Tuesday. The Attorney General says prosecuting such cases 'will not be a priority.' As state after state has passed medical marijuana laws, the federal government is allowing that to reasonably play out, focusing instead on the more serious aspects of drug crime.
Here are a few predictions on current left leaning issues. Health Care Reform with some sort of "public option" will become law before year's end. The administration will nudge the armed services and Congress to reform the policy regarding the LGBT community's participation in the military. That will happen before the middle of next year. Regulatory reform on Wall Street will take a considerable amount of time. We have to hope the necessary changes are made soon enough to prevent another bubble and bust cycle. Concluding with the confession of an inability to predict what will happen in Afghanistan and Pakistan, we can feel good that this administration is sticking to the status of forces agreements with Iraq to pull out our forces on time. Presidents Obama and Malaki are talking about those issues this very day. Things could be a whole lot worse.