The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

NYT: ‘Taking on critics, Obama sets aside talk of unity’

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I never thought I’d feel good about “set[ting] aside talk of unity,” but this is hopeful.

clipped from

photo by Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Three weeks into his tenure, Mr. Obama acknowledged that his effort to change the political climate in Washington had yielded little. He made clear that he had all but given up hope of securing a bipartisan consensus behind his $800 billion economic recovery package, arguing that the urgency of the economic crisis had at least for now outweighed the need for unity.
“I’m happy to get good ideas from across the political spectrum, from Democrats and Republicans,” he said at the Monday night news conference. “What I won’t do is return to the failed theories of the last eight years that got us into this fix in the first place, because those theories have been tested and they have failed. And that’s part of what the election in November was all about.”
“It’s a little hard for me to take criticism from folks about this recovery package after they presided over a doubling of the national debt,”
“I’m not sure they have a lot of credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility.”
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White House Press Se...
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This could be called a “reality check” tour.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, decried what he called a “myopic viewpoint in Washington,” disconnected from the troubles of the country. “…there’s a whole different conversation in Washington than there is out here,” said David Axelrod… “If I had listened to the conversation in Washington during the campaign for president, I would have jumped off a building about a year and a half ago.”

There comes a time when obstructionism simply has to be out-voted. As the saying goes, “You can lead horses to water, but you can’t make ’em drink.”  You sure can’t let them keep others thirsty.

Follow the Times link for the whole story.

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Written by Monte

February 10, 2009 at 10:37 am

One Response

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  1. On the other hand…

    When the first bailout bills were being presented to Congress by the Bush administration, they were pushing the “Emergency! We must act now!” button pretty hard. Those who were unhappy with the initial plan and insisted on more time to review and make changes were viewed as obstructionist… but in the end, changes were made that everyone seemed to view as positive. In other words: apparently it was smart to give it a second look.

    Now, the “Emergency! We must act now!” button is being pushed again, but by a new administration…

    I’m always cautious when things are being rushed. It’s like a sales pitch that includes, “if you act now, we’ll also include this,” or “if you buy today, we can cut the price even more,” attempting to get you to decide quickly before thinking carefully.

    I’d honestly prefer more debate, more scrutiny, and less rushing.

    Rich Schmidt

    February 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm

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