Who is doing the governing?
By Robert A. Bonelli
I don’t want to sound petty, but I think considering how much time Mr. Obama is still spending campaigning, it is appropriate for the American people to question who is actually governing our nation?
Mr. Obama is constantly on television; frequently on the road appearing at rallies and delivering prepared speeches; submitting to interviews (he has been on 60 Minutes three times in the past six months!); and generally continuing to campaign. Yes, Ronald Reagan did go before the American people to get around an opposition Congress — but the last I looked it is Mr. Obama’s party that controls both the House and the Senate. The other striking difference between the new “constant communicator” Obama, and Mr. Reagan the “great communicator,” was that Mr. Reagan always came to the American people with substance and clarity. All we hear from Mr. Obama is platitudes and rally-speak!
So, who is governing our nation? Could it be the Cabinet? There are 15 members of the president’s cabinet, but we hear little if anything about what — if anything — they are doing. Could it be our country is run by the 37 (and counting) Czars Mr. Obama appointed who are accountable to only him? — we do hear a great deal about their ideas for ‘re-making’ America. Some notables in the new media have referred to this band of 37 as a shadow government that is free to operate without any scrutiny. The old media certainly is not asking about what the czars are actually doing.
In effect, the president is back to his old Illinois State Senate habit of voting “present” when it comes to issue after issue. He has dithered on Afghanistan and avoided a hard decision. On health care, he has outsourced political leadership to Senate and House pols. There is still no written health care plan from the White House. Sometimes it looks like nobody is in charge.
Is Mr. Obama only a figurehead who is paraded out in front of the people to call for their support of … what? Well it can’t be his ideas because he is not clear on what those specific plans may be, and he certainly never provides any serious detail.
Obama seems to spend most of his time giving speeches for the purpose of making people want to like him. Any person who delivers prepared remarks, and I do so regularly, will tell you that it takes time to prepare, even if you have speech writers. Considering all the speeches, interviews and preparation time, Mr. Obama hardly has time enough to go to gym or to schedule a his-and-her “date night.”
Seriously, he is leaving open the question that someone or some group is doing most of the governing. Unfortunately, delegation of this responsibility is not an available option for any president, and certainly not an option while our nation is fighting two wars and dealing with a serious economic crisis that is still gripping the entire world.
I am not suggesting that Mr. Obama has no core beliefs and is only an empty suit. Make no mistake about it, this man said he would change America and he is committed to doing just that. His problem is that America now recognizes the kind of change he is trying to bring and America does not want it!
The result is that Mr. Obama is trying to use the power of his personality to hide the substance of his ideas. He knows what he wants to do, but stopped making it known once the people started starting saying that this is not the change they voted for. Is his own regular telecast (similar to that of Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan strong-man) that far in the future?
This question is a serious one and we need to start looking for answers. My fear is that no answer is a good one. A weak president out of touch with the substance of governing, in a world of conflict and danger, would be terrible for our nation. A president with a carefully orchestrated agenda that is rejected by the American people when it is revealed — so he keeps it hidden behind his personality — is even more dangerous.
This question needs to be asked until the truth is known and all of the American people can deal with it: who is governing our nation?
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