Monday, January 25, 2010

The first 25% of Mr. Obama's reign

Like any other activity, there's a learning curve when someone becomes President of the United States of America. And I think we've just experienced the product of Mr. Obama's learning curve during his first year,  basically not much.

While health care reform may be an admirable idea, along with bank regulation, fuel independence, digitizing medical records and cleaning up the environment, it's axiomatic that when you are scratching around to stay alive, or worse yet, losing your job, house and possessions, that you care less about ideas and more about results.

So the mantra "It's the economy, stupid" should probably have been refined to "It's the jobs, stupid".

One would like to think that a president -- especially one who sincerely seems to care about the vast middle class -- would not need to go to school on that. But here we are.

Oh, yes, after Massachusetts, things will definitely change despite Axelrod & Gibb's denials. They have to.

There is so much irony here. If nothing else, one can say that Mr. Obama is a wonderful communicator --  especially with a prompter -- but the fact that he hasn't been able to explain much of his first year is troubling. For the moment, I have to chalk it up to that learning curve. But that won't suffice for the second year.

As a community organizer and as a campaigner, Mr. Obama used a simple and necessary formula: organize from the bottom up.

But governing is different.

In government, you have to organize from the top down. The minions in government await the president's instructions. If those instructions are "Please go figure this out and come back to me with a bill", it doesn't work. A president has to give orders even if it runs against his (her) grain because all bureaucrats & politicians don't think beyond their own little boxes. We saw that with the construction (and destruction) of the health care bill. And it stunk to high heaven.

We deserve better.