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Monday, March 16, 2009

Is Barack Obama Competent to Govern?

Is Barack Obama Competent to Govern?

Obama Cabinet appointees who haven’t paid their taxes.   The Prime Minister of the most trusted US ally (Great Britain) is mis-handled by the White House.   The pork-u-lus Federal Stimulus bill waits 4 days to be signed, as the President is out of town, even though the world is told that the bill should be urgently signed.    The Dem operatives in the White House and DNC decide that Rush Limbaugh is public enemy #1.   The economy continues to fade and struggle, despite the Obama administration attempts to fix it with new policies.     Expanded health care, more government regulations, increased government spending, staggering Federal deficits, and questions from foreign governments on US debt.   All of these actions (or inaction) seem to indicate that the new President may be in over his head when is comes to governing.    Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Reid are known to be weak Congressional leaders, and combined with the rookie Obama administration, no one is quite in charge when it comes to really getting the economy back on track and for government to maintain supporting role that it has historically played.

            Even the Democrats and Obama supporters appear to be worried.   From the New York Daily News, in a column by Micheal Goodwin (March 15, 2009)

            “Not long ago, after a string of especially bad days for the Obama administration, a veteran Democratic pol approached me with a pained look on his face and asked, "Do you think they know what they're doing?"   The question caught me off guard because the man is a well-known Obama supporter. As we talked, I quickly realized his asking suggested his own considerable doubts.  Yes, it's early, but an eerily familiar feeling is spreading across party lines and seeping into the national conversation. It's a nagging doubt about the competency of the White House.”

For a direct link to the NY Daily News editorial

In an editorial in the Christian Science Monitor , Linda Fieldmann writes on March 11, 2009:

“All the while, the nation remains gripped by its worst economic crisis in decades, and with no end in sight, the topic du jour has become: Is Obama trying to do too much?            The Obama administration itself has not hidden the fact that it sees a limited window to enact its agenda, almost like a game of “beat the clock.” As long as Obama’s job approval ratings are comfortably high – currently in the 60s in major polls – he has the political capital to address the pent-up demand for change that is inevitable when the opposition party takes over from an unpopular previous administration.  But, there’s only so much a White House and Congress can accomplish, given the deliberative nature of the process, and even members of Obama’s own party are raising warning flags about the magnitude of the new president’s agenda.”

For a direct link:

Dave Krugman, Op-Ed columnist for the liberal NY Times writes on March 6, 2009:   “Many analysts agree. But among people I talk to there's a growing sense of frustration, even panic, over Mr. Obama's failure to match his words with deeds. The reality is that when it comes to dealing with the banks, the Obama administration is dithering. Policy is stuck in a holding pattern.... Why do officials keep offering plans that nobody else finds credible? Because somehow, top officials in the Obama administration and at the Federal Reserve have convinced themselves that troubled assets, often referred to these days as "toxic waste," are really worth much more than anyone is actually willing to pay for them - and that if these assets were properly priced, all our troubles would go away.”

Finally, from the White House Press Corps web site  where the daily highlights between Mr. Gibbs (Obama press secretary) and the national press is featured daily.     The question of Friday March 13, 2009:

Question (by Jake) “Just as a quick follow-up, you guys have obviously started a campaign of trying to build more confidence in the economy and in the decisions that you guys have made. Can you just walk us through a little bit how this decision was made -- for the President's new language and Larry Summers' new language, talking about the economy and the investments you guys are making?”     Blogger translation:  You guys in the White House keep trying to change the conversation or campaign rhetoric, in an attempt to get the economy rolling again?   How did you decide?    i.e. Does anyone know what they are doing at the White House?

What we are seeing is “on the job training” with an inexperienced President, confident in his public opinion polls and protected by the White House Staff, trying to get a handle on the economy, while pushing his left leaning agenda items all at the same time.   And the result: mixed messages, a nervous business community, an American public that can see that their new President is in over his head, and a Congress that figures now is the time for the Majority (Democrats) to push every pet project, program and agenda they can.

The two times in recent US history a Democrat President tried to govern from the left, we experienced the policy fiascos of Jimmy Carter (gridlock, due to so many White House proposals) and a Republican resurgence in reaction to President Clinton’s health(s)care proposals and weakening of the US military.   How will the American people respond to President Obama as he moves as fast as he can to the left, in terms of governance?

We are beginning to find out, as the national debt skyrockets, the US government rapidly expands and personal liberties are being infringed upon.   A number of Americans are feeling uneasy and wondering just exactly what is going to happen next?  

© Four Corners Media, Jasper Welch  

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