Some adults are beginning to show up at the Obama Inaugural Party (no, you didn’t read that wrong, it’s still going on). It’s about time because the adolescent nature of the administration’s message machine was sending paroxysms of doubt into the world’s financial markets. Clever political schemes dreamed up by Carville, Emmanuel and others were seen by many voters and the markets as symptoms of a much more serious problem: cluelessness.
Last week David Broder began questioning the wisdom of the Obama administration’s non stop rollout of one massive policy overhaul after another:
In its first six weeks in office, the administration has launched hugely expensive and ambitious programs, not only to spur employment and arrest a sickening slide in stocks, mortgages and profits, but to overhaul such complex and vital services as health care, education, and energy production and conservation.
It has done this with a mere corporal’s guard of key appointees in place. The White House itself is rather fully staffed, but the departments and agencies, where broad policies must be converted into real operations, have numerous openings….
Jack Welch had a more characteristically blunt take on the Obama administration’s exceedingly broad agenda:
[Obama] is locked in another world. And he’s throwing all these initiatives into this game in the middle of a crisis. Focus on the crisis! Focus on the economy!
Some Democrats must have gotten the message because the Washington Post is reporting that issues ranging from loosened sanctions on Cuba, eliminating charitable contribution deductions and cap and trade have created a divide between Democrats in Congress and the White House. It’s a welcome relief that someone in Washington is paying attention to a White House that is determined to radically alter, in a matter of weeks, policy positions that are complexly intertwined with private sector productivity, funding, employment and federal tax policies.
The Obama administration seems oblivious to these realities. But, as Jennifer Rubin noted, “….fixing the economy is the hard part and doesn’t necessarily lend itself to self-aggrandizing summits or campaign-type events.” It may be that the lights are finally being switched off on the Obama Inaugural Bash by members of the president’s own party, many of whom have had to win more than one contested election (and are acting like it).