Monday, February 01, 2010
Happiness Is... Being President Without a Supermajority
At least when you have zero votes to spare, because you end up being held hostage by your own party.
Since the loss in Massachusetts it's been interesting to see President Obama come out with calls for clear action on major issues, such as banking regulations and clean energy. Before the loss, were he to demand Congressional action, it was easy for his critics to respond "You control both houses - you should be able to pass whatever you want." Moreover, he would have had to explain or justify why his own party insisted upon watering down his proposals and loading them up with pork.
I remain amazed that a half dozen or so Senators chose to personify everything that's wrong with our political system, rather than getting on board with the White House and demonstrating both competence and efficiency in government. Note, though, I did not say that I was surprised.
Mind you, we may continue to experience legislative gridlock. But over the next year it will be interesting to see if the White House continues to publicly push Congress.