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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, June 04, 2010

Obama Presidency Coming Apart at the Seams Under Weight of Broken Promises

Depictions of a White House in Turmoil: "Struggling," "Defensive," "Scrambling," "Stonewalling," "Attack Politics"
Rep John Boehner, House GOP Leader: Two summers ago, in the headiest days of his campaign, President Obama decried the reality that “when Washington doesn’t work, all its promises seem empty.”  Right now, there’s plenty of emptiness to go around.  At a time when Americans need real, responsive leadership, the Obama Administration is slowly but surely unraveling under the weight of persistently high unemployment, a crushing $13 trillion dollar debt, permanent bailouts, and a job-killing health care law.  This turmoil runs deeper than foundering policies.  Pledges to bring “ a more competent” government to Washington have gone up in smoke amid the “scrambling” and “flailing” response to the Gulf oil spill.  Promises of a ‘post-partisan’ future have given way to the same old self-serving, partisan attacks.  Add to that a troubling pattern of political manipulation involving high-ranking officials close to a president who pledged to lead “ a government that upholds the values we hold in common as Americans.”

COMPETENCE? “…[I]n the first month of his transition to the presidency, the president-elect is putting a premium on competence above all else.” (The Washington Post, 12/4/08

Obama’s Katrina? Maybe Worse … His credibility as a champion of reformed, competent government is held hostage by video from the gulf.” (Frank Rich, New York Times op-ed, 5/30/10)

“At virtually every turn lately, the White House cannot shake the appearance that it is hamstrung and a step behind.” (The Washington Post, 6/4/10)

Obama struggling to show he’s in control of oil spill. A defensive President Obama sought Thursday to quell doubts about his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill…” (The Washington Post, 5/28/10)

“In Washington, the Obama team appears to be flailing.” (BusinessWeek, 6/3/10)

Mr. Obama was supposed to be competent. … The disaster in the Gulf may well spell the political end of the president and his administration, and that is no cause for joy.” (Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal op-ed,5/29/10)

“…the Obama administration is scrambling to show some leadership during the crisis. The administration has a lot of catching up to do.” (Fresno Bee editorial, 6/2/10)

Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley: “With each BP failure, I think the American people have wanted to feel that the president is not just in the saddle but is leading the charge, and he's fallen short in this regard.” (CNN, 6/3/10)

ENDING BUSINESS AS USUAL? “During the campaign, Obama also promised to change the way things got done in Washington, positioning himself as an outsider with little experience in the capital…” (Gallup, 8/6/09)

So much for changing how Washington works.  Crimping his carefully crafted outsider image and undercutting a centerpiece of his 2008 campaign, President Barack Obama got caught playing the usual politics - dangling a job offer for a political favor in the hunt for power. … Because what did take place was backroom bargaining, political maneuvering and stonewalling, all of which run counter to the higher - perhaps impossibly high - bar Obama has set for himself and his White House to do things differently.” (Associated Press, 5/29/10)

“Douglas B. Sosnik, the White House political director under President Bill Clinton, said using jobs to reward political friends was simply ‘business as usual.’ But, he added, that was the problem: Mr. Obama promised not to perpetuate business as usual. ‘It cuts against the Obama brand,’ he said.” (
The New York Times, 5/25/10

"…the political ramifications threatened to puncture the president's claims of changing business as usual in Washington…” (The Washington Times, 6/4/10)

Melanie Sloan, executive director of ethics watchdog CREW: "The Obama White House has said it was going to behave different than other White Houses. It was going to be more transparent, more ethical than everyone else, and this shows they were horse-trading just like everyone else." (CNN, 6/3/10)

“Paying job or unpaid appointment, this sounds exactly like the Washington ‘business as usual’ that candidate Obama promised to end once he became president.” (Chicago Sun-Times, 5/30/10)

POST-PARTISANSHIP? “…Obama shook conventional wisdom to its political core, preaching ‘post-partisan’ comity…” (The Washington Post, 1/4/08)

Obama joins partisan finger-pointing. President Obama adopted a decidedly partisan tone in economic remarks delivered Wednesday in Pittsburgh.” (The Christian Science Monitor, 6/2/10)

“Striking a partisan tone… The president's political speech…” (Associated Press, 6/2/10)

“A very overtly partisan speech in a non-partisan venue.” (NBC’s Mike Viqueira, 6/2/10)

“Obama Pitches Agenda, Sharpens Partisan Tone, in Pittsburgh Speech” (Politics Daily, 6/2/10)

“…[T]he president is tentatively unveiling the strategy he and fellow Democrats will pursue in this fall’s election season, and it has a heavy dose of ... looking backward. It’s going to be as much about history as hope, and more about attacking Republicans than promoting his own vision…attack politics are not supposed to be part of the Obama brand…” (Newsweek, 5/17/10)

It’s no surprise that, given all the change President Obama promised, nearly eight in 10 Americans are either frustrated or angry with the federal government. It doesn’t have to be this way. Republicans have launched America Speaking Out to give Americans a megaphone to make their voices heard and help build a better government. Above all else, we work for the American people, and this is their chance to have their say.

Tags: Obama Administration, broken promises, President Obama, John Boehner, US House, GOP Leader To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 4:01 PM - Post Link


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