Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Obama -- Facing criticism from his own party

Republicans, for the most part, aren't fond of Obama. I won't say they hate him because, in my opinion, you can't "hate" what you don't know personally. For example, I H-A-T-E beets. But to say they hate him goes a tad far. There is noticeable criticism of him right now from our side of the aisle, but lately he's been facing a firing line from within the ranks of his own party. Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei list the recent Democrat criticism of the incoming president:

Congressional Democrats are firing a surprising number of unexpectedly sharp brushback pitches at President-elect Barack Obama and his staff over policy plans and personnel picks, making him look embattled during what was to be a triumphant debut week in Washington.

The honeymoon isn’t over — the president-elect remains widely popular, even among some Republicans — and his Inauguration on Jan. 20 will be a signature event in the lifetime of most Americans, giving his opening days a greater lift and pop than any president since at least Ronald Reagan.

But as Obama buckled down his week heading a shadow government across Lafayette Park from the waning one in the White House, Democrats hit him with daily fast balls reflecting two realities: His team is smart but not perfect, and Democrats are supportive but not supine.


• Obama ended his troubled search for CIA director by naming Leon Panetta. The immediate response: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) fired off a statement of disapproval, giving a negative tilt to most coverage of the pick.

• Obama floated his plan to name TV star Dr. Sanjay Gupta as surgeon general. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers didn’t even wait for the official announcement before leading a public campaign to kill the nomination. Gupta "lacks the relevant experience," Conyers wrote to colleagues.

• As Obama makes plans to roll out a sweeping economic plan, Majority Leader Harry Reid gave interviews with Politico and The Hill newspaper and made clear he won't take marching orders from Obama. "I don't work for" Obama, he told us.

• Even before Obama’s plan was formally unveiled, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made plain her displeasure with parts of Obama’s emerging fiscal plan, which she believes does not move fast enough to raise taxes. “I couldn't be more clear,” she said Thursday at her weekly news conference. “Put me down as one in favor of repeal [of the Bush tax cuts] as soon as possible.”

• Finally, once the package was unveiled, Obama's adviser got a frosty response to some provisions from Senate Democrats, who were kind enough to go public with their concerns. “I just don’t think it works. I don’t think that’s going to give much lift to the economy, as well-intended as it is,” Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, told Politico's David Rogers.

Why is he catching Hell from his party? Likely due to the fact that based on his Cabinet choices, and his economic stimulus speech, his colleagues now know this man has no clue what it takes to run this nation. Granted, Pelosi always has been an idiot in government and her comments regarding tax hikes in a weakened economy shows that she lacks the basic economic knowledge to really contribute to the stimulus plan.

We can't spend our way out of this economic mess. The smartest thing to do is an across-the-board tax cut. Every level of taxation needs to be cut to stimulate the economy by allowing the people to inject the capital into the markets and struggling businesses. If people and businesses have more money to spend, they're going to spend it. Obama sort of has the right idea with his tax-cut plan except the fact that his proposed cuts will only serve as wealth redistribution. 45% of the people under his plan don't pay taxes, so they're going to get a hand out not a hand up.

But the point of the piece is simple: The honeymoon is not only over, but Congress has decided that there will be no nooky for him in the coming weeks. (With all due respect to both Vandehei and Allen, yes the honeymoon is over no matter how popular Obama is.) They're going to make life Hell for a couple of his nominees (Gupta, Panetta, and Holder seem to be the big ones with targets on their backs), and they're going to try and strong-arm him on their version of an economic rescue package. You watch and see how badly Obama stumbles on his relationship with Congress. Barack Obama isn't smart enough to outsmart the entrenched politicos in Congress. They've got the numbers, and they seem to have the kishkas to take on the White House.

Publius II


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