( – promoted by buhdydharma )
There’s been a lot of back and forth about President Obama’s style. I’ve heard some outlandish proclamations that he will not change his style, this is how he’s ALWAYS been, we must adapt to him, he’s not a drama queen, on and on.
I read an article today in the Times-Picayune and the title sort of captures my feelings on this subject: “Obama keeps close tabs on New Orleans recovery — from a distance.”
It’s not a great article, that’s for sure. It too often quotes Republicans and “experts” I’m not terribly impressed by. It touts the fact that Mary Landrieu, she of the “oh I’m not sure I’ll vote for the public option” mentality as saying:
With “federal agencies finally working as partners and not adversaries, ” Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-LA, said, “in its first seven months, the Obama Administration has made significant progress toward making the Gulf Coast recovery effort quicker and more efficient.”
I have no reason to disbelieve that the Obama Administsration is trying to work as a partner and not an adversary. I think, though, that’s setting the bar a wee bit low. But that could just be me. Well hell, who cares, this is my Op-Ed so of COURSE it’s just my opinion! Jaysus.
I shall reiterate something Duke1676 said about an entirely different issue, immigration, in a comment over at the orange:
Has nothing been learned from past policy failures?
You simply cannot enforce your way out of a failed system.
Until this administration starts to tackle the hard realities of this issue and is willing to address the global forces, both economic and social, that drive migration…. nothing will ever change.
And so far what we have seen on this and other issues is that Obama does not so much deliver on the promise [of] meaningful change as much as he attempts to more efficiently and effectively administer the same failed policies of the past. He does not want to build a better mousetrap … he’s just try[ing] to make the old one work better.
Unfortunately, after eight years of the worst government mismanagement in history …Mere competence can pass as change …but it’s not.
The entire “no-drama Obama” argument is, to me, irrelevant. It’s foolish to assume that those of us who really believe in transformative change are asking Obama to change his character or personality. What we are demanding is what citizens have been demanding since the founding of this nation, we are demanding redress of our grievances, as is our right and duty. How President Obama responds to those demands, who he listens to, who influences his decisions, all of those things are important to us as citizens and we have the right and duty to add our voices to that national conversation.
Over at the orange, Meteor Blades puts it very well:
That’s very interesting. Do you know how many comments I’ve read recently saying that people who think Obama is a progressive champion didn’t listen to what he wrote in his books or what he said in his campaign? That anybody who took his hope and change to be progressive hope and change obviously didn’t pay attention to what he was saying?
I don’t know how many either, but it’s been scores, at least.
These are the unofficial “Obama interpreters” telling us that all that talk about change was really not progressive at all and if we read him the way they do, we’d see their superior perspective. Silly of me to believe my lying eyes over these unofficial interpreters. Silly of me to have a pretty clear recall of Obama talking a hell of a lot about real change during his campaign and even making campaign promises to that effect. But most of all, silly to believe that regardless of what Obama said and wrote, my duty as a citizen is to petititon the government for redress of my grievances – that my duty is not just at the voting booth or writing out checks to campaigns or phone banking and canvassing. That my rights are equal to those of the President of the United States.
I think President Obama should not keep his “distance” from New Orleans. I think it is important both to New Orleans and to him as President to go there on the anniversary of Katrina, the first of his Presidency. I think that would be bold. Not waving arms, shouting rhetoric, just real action, just being there. Not keeping a distance.
And I think President Obama should not keep his “distance” from the left wing of the Democratic Party, his base. Listening to us and engaging with us would be bold … it wouldn’t be waving arms, shouting rhetoric, just real action, just listening and then really engaging with us. Not keeping a distance.
Boldness is no more hysterical macho posturing than “yelling louder” is. Boldness is not keeping your distance. And I for one am sick of the army of strawmen built by those voices who would try to paint it otherwise.