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Jul 24th 2009

Explaining the Current Course

For the past couple days I have been perplexed by the fact that many smart folks, such as David Brooks and Clive Crook, are puzzled by Obama’s rather liberal actions. Thankfully I stumbled into a superb article on RealClearPolitics by Sean Trende which addresses this exact phenomenon. Trende not only explains the current course of the Obama administration much better than I ever could, but he references both Brooks and Crook in the column. A great read.

A quick sample:

Allow me to posit two, non-mutually exclusive explanations as to Sister Souljah’s absence.

The first is that Obama isn’t governing as a centrist because he isn’t a centrist. If you accept this as true, the Obama Administration makes perfect sense. If you don’t, then I admit it can be confusing.

The other possibility — and like I said, these aren’t mutually exclusive — is that Obama is just a bad executive.

…being President also means that you run the executive branch, set the agenda, and try to drive through legislation. For all his many, many faults, President Bush performed well here. There is little doubt that he set the legislative agenda, including the contents of the bills. But with Obama, there’s speculation that when it comes to the nitty gritty of running the executive branch, he has tuned out.

2 Responses to “Explaining the Current Course”

  1. Mike

    I agree, great read. I think the first of Trende’s explanations is the more accurate, but that the second seems to play at least some part.

    It’s comforting to know that at least some people who are left of center are confused and apparently not pleased by the sharp turn to the very far left.

  2. N Chung

    I also wonder about that second explanation. I think Obama is a pragmatist, not a centrist, but I don’t know why he isn’t controlling much of the legislative content. For example, he campaigned on cap and trade insisting that the pollution permits be auctioned, instead of given away, which makes a large difference in the outcome, but freakin’ guys in Congress couldn’t resist the temptation to be able to give those permits away to campaign donors. Yet Obama hasn’t said a darn thing about it.