President Obama's Compromises

After 9/11 George W. Bush put the country on a permanent war footing and created a new role for himself--The Decider.  In so doing he revitalized his presidency and greatly expanded and solidified his political base.  His most rabid supporters now saw little difference between Osama bin Laden and Harry Reid.  They were both enemies of Bush and needed to be defeated by any
means necessary.  In this domestic war confrontation was unavoidable and to be welcomed.  His base demanded it, and Bush was happy to oblige.  It was the source of his power.

In the wreckage of the Bush presidency Barack Obama has pursued a different means of obtaining power.  He would end the political wars and declare himself The Uniter.  In this role confrontation is his enemy and must be avoided.  (This does not apply in Obama's current struggle with Hillary Clinton because she is seen as a Divider.  She and her supporters just don't get it.  Once they are disposed of, Obama can begin bringing us together.)

President Obama will be under tremendous pressure from his base to fulfill his role as a uniter.  They trust him to worry about the details and are unlikely to push him in any particular direction.  His election will be victory in itself.  On policy
Obama's path of least resistance will be to the right.  Confrontation will sap his power. (The media will also provide a check on Obama's liberal impulses.  For them Republican rule is the natural order of things.  Democrats must be bipartisan.)

Premeditated capitulation will likely be the legislative strategy
of the Obama administration.  This helps account for Obama's
disturbing language on health care and Social Security.

Tags: Bush, compromise, obama, power (all tags)

Comments

4 Comments

Re: President Obama's Compromises

That's why I think it might be better to work on keeping congress and expanding the senate than trying to elect Obama president.

The supreme court arguments? Well, who's to say that the same candidate who sent a Bush supporting anti gay singer on a gospel tour won't decide to cave into the religious right when it comes time to pick a judge. After all, he wants to please everyone right? Who's to say he won't cave into the GOP and privatize social security? Universal health care? It won't happen either. He has no plan to get anything done and that's why the GOP professes to like him. They know he'll be another Carter and they can come back with a vengence in 4 years.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-13 05:12AM | 0 recs
I see Obama as a Blair more than a Carter

Blair pushed though right-wing legislation and policies while maintaining his status as a hip, 'liberal' for quite a while. And he had that Obama-esque holier-than-thou way too.

There are many of these hip 'liberal' right-wing figures around these days. The long-haired guy from Japan of a couple of years ago, Koizumi, is another. The Japanese saw through him within months of his taking office. With Blair it took a couple years.

by fairleft 2008-02-13 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: President Obama's Compromises

Very well said, and that's the exceptionally depressing thing about Obamamania.

Obama's more or less explicit about it: he presentes himself as a substanceless change agent and whatever platform promises he has made, they will all be quickly shelved when some early trumped-up budget crisis 'requires' firm bipartisan action. End result will be some sort of mighty cutbacks on the last of FDR and LBJ's safety net.

He knew the 'liberals' wouldn't stand in his way from their non-reaction to his Republican spin 'Social Security is in crisis' talk.

by fairleft 2008-02-13 05:55AM | 0 recs
Re: President Obama's Compromises

"In the wreckage of the Bush presidency Barack Obama has pursued a different means of obtaining power.  He would end the political wars and declare himself The Uniter.  In this role confrontation is his enemy and must be avoided....Confrontation will sap his power."--Upstate Dem

You very astutely struck gold in figuring out Obama. What you've said here is very important. I'm wondering if the same  strategy applies to foreign policy, where countries like Iran and Pakistan will play on Obama's political image of himself as a uniter by taking things to the brink and then forcing compromises more favorable to them, understanding as you note that for Obama "confrontation saps his power." I suspect the Israeli's too will test Obama's tolerance for confrontation by creating more settlements while relying  on Obama's uniter-at-all-cost reputation to force unequal resolutions on the innocent party after the fact. If I were an ambassador sending home dispatches about a potential Obama presidency, your insight would be key in weighing how to deal with him and how far to go.

by superetendar 2008-02-13 08:29AM | 0 recs

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