I’ve been writing about this for a while now, but the pattern of behavior continues to get more and more clear.
From a recent post of mine at WNYC’s It’s a Free Country:
His supporters want to explain away his hesitation to act decisively as him being deliberative. This just doesn’t hold up when you see that the way Obama goes about things has been the same on every major issue since he’s taken office. Namely that he’ll wait and see, do some prodding behind the scenes, then wait and see some more… and when other people have gotten close to making a deal, he jumps in and helps push it over the line.
Obama’s tack is a near mirror opposite of George W. Bush, given his penchant for constantly throwing the full weight of the White House behind his legislative agenda. I was among those that thought President Bush went too far in that respect, but going as far as Obama has in the opposite direction has its downsides as well.
While it may seem better on the surface, it could be just as dangerous in a time when we need strong leadership to avert very real and present dangers to our economy. Should Obama and the leadership of the two major parties in the House and Senate not take serious action towards shoring up our fiscal house, each year it becomes more likely that we see our credit ranking slide, which is likely to send us into a fiscal tailspin not unlike what Ireland is dealing with now. Unlike Ireland, we aren’t part of a larger body of nations with pockets deep enough to bail us out.
Ideally we’d have a President that would know when an issue warranted a full court press from the get go, using the bully pulpit to it’s full effect in trying to get something important accomplished, and when caution was more warranted. Obama seems to have only two gears in this respect, and the second gear is only put to use when the issue at hand is near an end point.
We can do better.
In the post I talk about some of the issues that illustrate this, and the figures who are stepping into the power vacuum, as Obama dithers.