Skip to main content

View Diary: NY Times reporter asks President question that NY Times deems not newsworthy (116 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Obama is a utilitarian (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SolarMom, wonmug, SpamNunn, mightymouse

    He is only going to expend effort on things if, in his head, he sees his effort able to push the needle on an issue across the finish line (of course he'll take any gifts that come his way as well).  

    Closing Guantanamo?  Met too much resistance, didn't want to get bogged down in it, let it go.
    Single payer health care?  Insurance companies would spend too much money opposing, no way.  Public option?  Sacrifice it if you can get a deal through.  
    Climate change?  He'll give a speech, but big oil and coal still has a lot of clout - he's not going to do anything radical, and he's going to keep talking about clean coal and increasing drilling on public land for oil.  
    Gay marriage?  Wait till the polls move more in his favor, or till Joe Biden forces his hand.

    Obama isn't a LBJ who can force deals through Congress, and isn't an FDR that can take his case directly to the people to go over Congress's head.  He's very much a Clintonian triangulator, and the last election campaign finally saw the inevitable warming in the relationship between those two Third Way/Blue Dogs/moderate conservatives.  

    This is all speculation, but I think in his heart, Obama once wished he could be a Reagan - a great communicator that can change the national conversation from right wing frames to left wing frames.  A transformational leader, as it were.  Sometime around his election to the White House, though, that dream died.  Now he's happy/resigned to be a technocrat, winning small victories (but sadly losing the war as the right wing frame marches ever rightward - see the great celebration over adopting a Heritage Plan health insurance scheme).  

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site