Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Tactical President

The Supreme Court did the right thing today. It upheld the First Amendment and struck a blow for free speech by striking down the odious political speech restricting provisions of McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. Below is the response from the White House
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 21, 2010
Statement from the President on Today's Supreme Court Decision

With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans. This ruling gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington--while undermining the influence of average Americans who make small contributions to support their preferred candidates. That's why I am instructing my Administration to get to work immediately with Congress on this issue. We are going to talk with bipartisan Congressional leaders to develop a forceful response to this decision. The public interest requires nothing less.

Someone* said recently that while Clinton had the policy people at the center, with the political people at the edges, Obama has the political people at the center, with the policy people at the edges. This statement looks like something straight from a campaign trial. Populist pandering.

What's the policy?
To try to reduce the influence of big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies? In Washington? Yeah, right.

Are we now to believe that the President is concerned about that special interests and their lobbyists will have even more power in Washington? Or is it that's he's concerned that the special interests and lobbyists not aligned with him will have more power. Based on what we've seen the last year, color me cynical.

After what we just saw in Massachusetts, I've got renewed faith the power of average Americans who make small contributions to have a real impact on the process. Especially if that contribution is increased involvement and voting.

As far as the President's call for a forceful response... why is he so combative on everything? This sounds like he's angry again, looking to pick a fight where the law has just been settled. Is he really ready to get another big thing on his plate? This First Amendment stuff is a big thing for many Americans. Does he really not get that?

This just doesn't play to the big picture, strategic change many of us thought this President would bring to Washington. It smacks of pettiness. Maybe we should just start calling him the tactical President.

*I read that this week, but can't find it. If you know the article, please tell me where it is so I can link


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