Friday, September 2, 2011

"Is there anything Obama can do without Congress"

I'm thinking today about the asinine interview Kali Joy Gray did with White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer at Netroots Nation this summer. My title is one of the questions she asked him with a mouthful of disdain.

I wonder if Ms. Gray has noticed that in just the 2 1/2 months since that interview, her question has been answered with the following:

* Thanks to an assist by AG Eric Holder, The Fair Sentencing Act has been applied retroactively.

* Immigrant youth and same sex couples no longer have to fear deportation.

* New fuel standards have been set for commercial vehicles.

* President Obama's promise to ensure that New Orleans had a levee and pumping system to protect the city against a 100-year storm by 2011 has been met.

* President Obama is initiating a high-impact, job-creating infrastructure plan with his Cabinet members.

Perhaps there are more - those are simply the ones I know about. And that's just in the last 2 1/2 months folks!

Does any of this pierce the narrative established by the poutragers that President Obama is somehow "weak" or ineffective? Does it get acknowledged that President Obama is, in fact, doing all he can to get things done without a totally dysfunctional Congress? I think you know the answer to those questions.

We in the pragmatic progressive blogosphere are the one's who are tasked with getting the word out and doing all we can to create a reality-based narrative of what's going on. I know I'm up for that challenge. And all those folks at the blogs over on the left are as well. So lets go out there and get 'er done!


  1. Wowzers, the most high profile project in the Army Corps of Engineeers' history came in on time?! No way.

    If I didn't know better, I would say your list is designed to trick people into thinking that the project began under the Obama administration. Which is wholly untrue.

    Project management and oversight of preexisting initiatives is rather different from creating entire new progressive government functions like removing discriminatory policy and mandating stricter fuel economy standards. It's like gushing over the administration doing a census in 2010.

  2. Perhaps you think its a trick.

    The article I linked to is clear.

    The question I would ask you is this...would you like to make a bet about whether that project would have been completed on time and effectively under a Bush/Cheney administration?

    Its called good government. And that's is clearly something President Obama can accomplish without a dysfunctional Congress. In my mind, its actually one of the best ways he can do so.

  3. "like removing discriminatory policy and mandating stricter fuel economy standards"

    So getting rid of DADT and the recent mandate for fuel standards is a mirage, right?.

    Honestly, you are free to vote for someone else if PBO is such a disapointment and hasn't done anything of note. No one is begging you to do so.

  4. To Anonymous,

    I work overseas, in government, these iniatives do not go forward unless one has political will and willing to spend political capital.

    It is sometimes the easy sounding things that are the hardest to accomplish, because eveyone assumes that it will one day get done, that it is just following common sense, but nothing ever gets accomplish, and you end up going in circles, creating one document after another all with the same conclusion that these things need to be accomplish etc.

    What Obama did and is doing, is putting accountability, making government efficient and actually doing the small tasks that everyone assume were all done.

    And these so called new progressive gov't functions, if you don't give them a base, an actual foundation, they are just meaningless.

  5. Anonymous

    On the 2010 census, the Obama administration completed it $1.6 million UNDER budget. That's something else I'd give them credit for doing without a dysfunctional Congress. Only it didn't happen in the last 2 1/2 months since Gray's ridiculous interview.

  6. "So getting rid of DADT and the recent mandate for fuel standards is a mirage, right?"

    No. The word "creating" means, you know, creating. No mystery there. So if I say the administration CREATED more progressive government policy...figure it out.

    We're talking about the levees after fucking Katrina. Not some boondoggle in Iraq that's a complete fiasco. Like I said, it was the most high profile job in the Corps history, after they were directly responsible for the failure in the first place.

    Of course they came in on time. It was priorities #1, 2, and 3-189. Seeing a preexisting project into completion is simply a different level of accomplishment that ending federal discrimination policy or something. There's no constituency that has to be overcome or mollified to make sure the New Orleans levees get built on time. It's not politics, it's pure logistics and bureaucratic legwork.

  7. Your are just playing around with semantics - how is what I stated NOT creating your vaunted progressive policies? Since you are so focused on not wanting to give credit as I have said go vote for someone else, no one is stopping you!
    I am not gonna get into any pissing matches with you on Smartypants blog since I respect it, so this is my last response to you. Thanks for playing!

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. For the record, I deleted a post by Anonymous @ 3:48 due to references to someone with a "closed little brain." I won't tolerate that kind of demeaning rhetoric here.


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