One of the criticisms of Obama is that he is an institutionalist. I’m baffled by the complaint when we see what happens when a President treats democratic institutions as speed bumps.
I’ll go back to my favorite example–that of Hubert Humprey who was utterly useless as the firebrand speaking truth to power in the Senate until he became an institutionalist and abided by the norms of the Senate. He became far more effective and passed several civil rights bills.
Arguing Obama should have shouted louder says nothing about whether such a strategy would be effective. Given others were shouting loudly, I’m not sure how this would have been effective. Confusing loud for effective is a common mistake amongst many activists.
Steve at Beachwood Reporter responded to AM with a post that makes some good posts, but also makes serious mistakes.
He is campaigning as a change agent with no record of being one; as an anti-war candidate who kept his mouth shut when he had a national stage
And then a reference to Lieberman. The problem here is that there is no argument as to what shouting louder would accomplish. With less than a year in the US Senate he offered up a fairly detailed plan regarding reducing US troops and said the Iraq mission had failed. That’s significant. He also was the guy who opposed the war when everyone said it was a bad idea to oppose it. That’s not keeping one’s mouth shut, that’s people who weren’t paying attention claiming their lack of attention means he kept his mouth shut. He’s one of the few US Senators to attend an anti-Iraq war rally for that matter.
It’s beyond me how anyone can honestly look at Obama and see his fictionalized memoir,
Which was written when no one was likely to read it and clearly states that people are fictionalized. Again, what’s the scandal other than adding a laundry list to convince people he’s done horrible things?
phone call to Tony Rezko to help him buy that house
Which is factually incorrect. Every newspaper that has researched it has found that the properties were separately listed and that Obama had the highest bid on the house. The facts suggest that the sale itself was very clean–the questions arise on the buying of the strip of land–even if Obama paid above market value.
not putting his stock in a blind trust while posing as the champion of ethics legislation,
It’s unclear what the complaint here is. Is it that he created an ineffective blind trust in trying to create a new way of doing it or that he isn’t using a blind trust? There is no requirement for a blind trust for the US Senate. He ended the attempt at a different type of blind trust after it failed. What’s the scandal?
his mentors being Emil Jones, Rezko, and Joe Lieberman,
And Paul Simon asked for the elder Daley’s blessing. Lieberman is overblown as there appears to be no affect on Obama’s policies and it was an institutional mentor. I know it’s popular to jump on Jones for being a patronage pol–which he is–but he’s also a black man who is President of the Illinois Senate and on policy he’s progressive. Rezko was a funder, not a mentor. It’s simply throwing his name in again.
his embrace of Dorothy Tillman and Todd Stroger,
And you get this upset when Durbin backs Jerry Costello? Yeah. Thought not.
his reputation in Springfield for being lazy and aloof,
Aloof early on, yes. Lazy no. He was considered uppity by many because he did try to much. And he introduced key bills on the minimum wage, EITC, and public funding of judicial elections.
his lackluster record as a U.S. senator
This is just stupid:
Such a lightweight taking on Nuclear Non-Proliferation.
, including keeping his mouth shut about the war,
Which Obama didn’t do.
voting for the Mexican fence
The fence is dumb, but less dumb than corn based ethanol.
and against the credit card interest cap,
Which was introduced by one of the laziest Senators in the last quarter century who never gathered any information about what the bill would impact. Obama would vote for a bill that was actually researched.
I like Steve and I think he’s one of the better critics of Obama, but as I may not see all the faults, Steve tends to see more than there are.