The Obama Presidency is not yet 100 days old and the cable news talking heads are harping on a couple of talking points (1) President’s Obama’s relationship with the Democratically controlled Congress. Moreover, the issue of whether it is the President or the Congress that is driving the agenda and (2) Whether or not President Obama is taking on too many issues at once instead of just focusing on the economy.
One would not have noticed given the events of the last eight years but in our constitutional system of government Congress has most of the power not the president. It is the Congress that passes the laws not the President. So what good would it do for President Obama to pick a fight with members of his own party who he needs to pass his legislative initiatives? Unlike during the Clinton health care debate where members of congress felt excluded. Obama is being completely inclusive in formulating public policy. Maybe the national media just got use to the dictatorial style of Presidency exhibited by the Bush administration. The media needs to get use to Obama’s style which is one of inclusion and results. He, in basketball vernacular, is the point guard (it is March Madness bracket time) he is in control of the floor at all times, he decides who gets the ball, who scores and when necessary such as going before the nation in a press conference or a joint session of Congress he will score himself.
In passing the mega omnibus spending bill Republican lawmakers criticized the administration for allowing too many earmarks in a bill the White House had nothing to do with drafting. Republicans completely forgot that it was John McCain who campaigned on earmark reform not Barack Obama. Obama insisted upon earmark reform but it was not the centerpiece of his campaign as it was Senator McCain’s.
The media is also questioning whether or not President Obama can tackle so many major issues, the economy, health care and education all at once. The answer is yes of course. Again the media is a victim of the low expectations of the previous administration. The President can walk and chew gum at the same time. He is focusing on the economy he has laid out his administrations economic principles its plan to deal with housing and the banks. Again he went before the nation to explain why we must help the banks. Health care must be tackled because its part of the overall restructuring of the American economy needed to modernize America. The Obama administration understands their tasks. It is the Obama administrations task to modernize the United States. It is their task to take the U.S. From the 20th century in terms of roads, health care, and education and make America a 21st century nation. Affordable health care, infrastructure, green energy, biofuels, high tech educational system for the challenges of the 21st century.
Obama is not taking on too many things at once. They are all the same problem. Republicans and their corporate media allies need to chill because American’s like (as Will Ferrell says) the Tiger Woods guy.