President Obama, Please Call Their Bluff!
by Lowell Feld NRDC Action Fund, Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 11:31:23 AM EDT
Yesterday, President Obama met with Senators at the White House and pushed them to pass comprehensive, clean energy and climate legislation. Still, the skeptics are spinning a monotonous web of negativity regarding what is achievable on this front. And, not surprisingly, the "mainstream media" once again has been asleep at the wheel in setting the record straight. Fortunately, we know that when this President rolls up his sleeves, he gets stuff done and delivers on his promises. One thing’s for sure; President Obama is anything but an underachiever!
Along these lines, President Obama held a press conference following the G-20 summit in Toronto. In response to a reporter’s question regarding how he would achieve his deficit reduction goals, the president responded:
For some reason people keep being surprised when I do what I said I was going to do. So, I say I’m going to reform our [health care system], and people say well gosh that’s not smart politics maybe we should hold off. Or I say we’re going to move forward on [Don’t Ask Don’t Tell] and somehow people say well why are you doing that, I’m not sure that’s good politics. I’m doing it because I said I was going to do it, and I think it’s the right thing to do. And people should learn that lesson about me, because next year when I start presenting some very difficult choices to the country I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficit and debt step up cause I’m calling their bluff.
To that list of accomplishments, we could also add:
- Almost single-handedly saving the Copenhagen Climate Summit from failure.
- Preventing Great Depression Part II.
- Creating or saving 2.2-2.8 million jobs, well on the way to Obama’s February 2009 pledge that he would "create or save 3-and-a-half million jobs over the next two years."
- Reforming Wall Street (likely to pass Congress any day now)
- Overhauling the student loan market
- Reaching a nuclear arms treaty with Russia
We could go on and on, but you get the point: anyone who continues, at this point, to be "surprised" when President Obama gets things done when he puts his mind to it is deep in denial. Or, as a previous president might have put it, they are wildly "misunderestimating" our 44th president.
Clearly, as we’ve seen over the past two years, underachieving is not a problem Barack Obama suffers from. Of course, even a superachiever like Barack Obama has an awful lot on his plate to deal with. And right now, one of the most important things on Obama’s plate is figuring out how to push comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation through the U.S. Senate. Along those lines, yesterday, Obama met with a group of Senators on this issue, reportedly holding firm in his call for putting a price on carbon emissions.
The question at this point is, will President Obama roll up his sleeves and deliver on another of his major campaign promise (as well as a major challenge facing our nation)? Given the long list of accomplishments mentioned above, it certainly wouldn’t be smart to bet against him. The fact is, Barack Obama usually succeeds in whatever he puts his mind to.
Given the nation’s increased focus on energy and climate issues – and the increased support by the American people for taking strong action as a result of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster – now is clearly the time for boldness and for bluff calling by our nation’s leaders. Today, President Obama has the opportunity to demonstrate once more that, when he rolls up his sleeves, he accomplishes what he says he’s going to do. In sum, today is clearly the moment for President Obama to prove the doubters and naysayers wrong – to call their bluff - yet again!