The title to this Hill article is "Frustration with Obama Builds" - which is highly ironic; or, at least the verb is. The article itself discusses the President's apparent public indifference towards getting involved with anything resembling negotiations over the ongoing budget problems; what makes it interesting is that Democrats (specifically, Sen. Kay Hagan of NC) are apparently now willing to go on the record to complain about Obama's passivity. What's especially grating apparently is that the President's planning to go to Latin America for a few days, starting tomorrow: it's always grating when somebody goes on vacation just as the rest of the office has to start up an emergency, overtime-generating, critical rush project.
But here is the thing: why are Democrats surprised that this is happening? We knew that the President was disinterested in governance. We've known this for years.
Let's look at some of the articles written on this, shall we?
- "Obama the Show Horse" March, 2008. Details the Washington Post article that pretty much catalogs then-Senator Obama's habit of inserting himself in any public announcement of popular legislation during his extremely brief sojourn in the Senate.
- "They're winding up FISA now in the Senate" July, 2008. You remember FISA, right? Sure you do! That was the test run for checking to see whether the Online Left had any sense of self-worth or moral courage whatsoever - and bless their hearts, but didn't they just lick those boots clean? Anyway, that was one fine set of flip-flops and easiest-path navigation on the dreaded telecom immunity bill by the then-Senator; Jake Tapper went through the list so that I wouldn't have to.
- "Where it went wrong: Obama and Congress." August, 2009. My assessment of the twin disasters-to-Democrats known as the "stimulus," and cap-and-trade. Short version: the President let the foxes write the legislation regulating key aspects of henhouse operation...
- ‘Nobody… knows… the bill that we’ll see…’ March, 2009. ...and then he did it again with Obamacare. Which was then forever tagged with his name, because at this point the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy was sufficiently annoyed to be thoroughly cruel about such things.
You get the drift, and that's just 2009. Put simply, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - surprising about the fact that the President is almost terminally passive; it was, in fact, a large part of his cool, "No Drama Obama"... I suppose that 'charm' works, although I've only rarely found him to have any. If Democrats are startled by this, they have only themselves to blame. After all, the President himself wrote once "I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views" - a statement that had Froma Harrop respond "It takes some doing for a politician to write a 364-page book, his second volume, and skate past all controversy."
Note: that comment was made in 2006.
Moe Lane (crosspost)