Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Is There Change in Washington?

Much criticism has been flying about the intenet on the apparent discrepancy between Barack Obama's campaign promises and the reality of his first weeks in office. The International Herald Tribune reports on this situation in a nicely balanced article, Obama's promise of ethics reform faces early test.
Then there is the lobbyist for a military contractor who is now slated to become the No. 2 official in the Pentagon. And there are the others brought into government from the influence industry even if not formally registered as lobbyists.

President Barack Obama said Monday that he was "absolutely" standing behind former Senator Tom Daschle, his nominee for health and human services secretary, and Daschle, who met late in the day with leading senators in an effort to keep his confirmation on track, said he had "no excuse" and wanted to "deeply apologize" for his failure to pay $128,000 in U.S. taxes.

Do you think these things are acceptable compromises one must make when transitioning from the lofty rhetoric of the campaign trail to the harsh realities of Washington D.C.? Or do these examples represent the tip of the iceberg labelled "just another lying politician?" What's your take on it?

Several Democrats, including some who have advised Obama, said privately that he had only himself to blame for laying out such an uncompromising standard as a candidate without recognizing how it would complicate his ability to assemble an administration.

In the campaign, Obama assailed Washington's "entire culture" in which "our leaders have thrown open the doors of Congress and the White House to an army of Washington lobbyists who have turned our government into a game only they can afford to play." He vowed to "close the revolving door" and "clean up both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue" with "the most sweeping ethics reform in history."

Do you agree that perhaps Obama went overboard during the campaign in describing how he would work Washington? Do you think there could have been a type of naiveté which is only now becoming apparent, even to him?

Does anyone think there was a more sinister coldness to his promises, that even at the time he knew he'd have to compromise but felt he'd get away with it?

My idea is that regardless of what may have been in his head a month or two ago, he's faced with some difficult situations now which in some cases will require compromise. I don't see any evidence so far that these unavoidable situations will detract much from the overall good he'll accomplish as president.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. I don't think he went overboard at all. He lied, a large part of the electorate bought the whopper, and now he's president.

    But yeah, another dishonest politician with his best interests held above the country.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  2. +1 to Weer'd.

    Obama lied and not only did the Leftstream media not call him on his lies, they abetted him.

    Geithner, Daschle; both with tax "problems" that would disqualify most anyone else get a pass on their problems.

    Obama said he wouldn't hire lobbyists, he lied and isn't getting called on it in the media.

    Obama said he would make any "non-emergency" bills available for comment for 5 days before signing them...he lied. He signed the Fair Pay act without allowing ANY comments.

    Question is, was he lying also when he said he wasn't coming for our firearms?
    I'm betting he did.

  3. Did anyone really believe his campaign promises?

  4. FatWhiteMan: Yep lots of people. Our Blog host likely one, as well as many MANY others. I think we all know several.

    I know the people like myself who held our nose and voted for an asshole like John McCain didn't buy his promices.

    And I'm sure there are others who knew he was lying, but felt his lies were better than McCain's lies (and McCain was also a self-serving liar and also would have made a rotten President, and I'd likely be just as critical of him as I am to our current President if the election had swung the other way)

    But I'd say a decent part of the Obama electorate ate the HopenChange without question.

    The real question will be will they be able to admit their niavate when the chips are on the table?

  5. I'd rather have a President who "lied" on a campaign promise than one who lied to begin a war which left 40000 of our servicemen and women in cold graves.

  6. Mud,

    I think you slipped in an extra zero or are you claiming the casualty counts are off by a factor of ten?

    40000 of our servicemen and women in cold graves.

  7. Why is the first Lie in quotes, Mud?

  8. I'm with Mud, it will surprise no one. I took Obama's promises with a grain of salt. I think he had good intentions and probably knew he'd be hardpressed to adhere to them totally. I think he's already off to a good start making some of the very changes he talked about. We'll see.

    I agree with the adage, "when Bush lied, people died."

  9. Mike,

    That might explain your support of the gun control position....it's okay to lie as long as you get what you want.

    That's a shame.

  10. I never expected a politician that could live up to my expectations...period.
    What I am seeing is an attempt to go in another direction thatn what we have been subjected to for the 8 years. I also realistically think, for his own sake, Obama has to forge a path much different than Clintons.

    I am upset about the assistant secreatary of Defense department choice. He is a chief lobbyist for Rayethon. Rayathon is the science fiction contractor for the Pentagon.
    They come up with dream projects that are the ultimate money pits.
    Rayathon is the corporation that has been sucking the treasury dry for years uunable to deliver the star wars missle intercept technbology that is what? 25 years in the making and still nowhere near operational.
    They also have been the ones who have the fat contracts to make "Heat rays" as crowd control weapons...again, something that is easy to sell to a bunch power crazed of yahoos controlling the unlimited magic purse strings, but again, still a contractors fantasy...
    It worked good in the comic books.

  11. Three consequential lies of the Bush 2000 campaign:

    • I am a compassionate conservative

    • I am not interested in nation-building

    • I am a uniter, not a divider.

    Now, when the 'lies' of Obama reach one of these levels of magnitude, drop me a line.

  12. i think the amount of expectations in general placed upon obama are insurmountable. he may as well have flown into the white house on a white unicorn...

  13. Slyde,

    Was the expectations not created by Obama himself in his campaign?

    Some of the promises should be fairly easy to keep, right?

    No lobbyists in his administration....but in his first week, that is broken.

    How about the expectation of allowing comments for 5 days...is that an insurmountable promise...but that is broken already with the Fair pay act that he signed?

    Mud is railing on Bush for the things Bush claimed to be...shouldn't Obama be treated the same way...held to the words he spoke over and over again?

  14. Talking about Obama riding in on a white unicorn, don't you think those expectations and even the fanaticism was directly proportional to the discontent and disappointment people felt about Bush?

  15. Got to love it....Obama lies during his campaign, doesn't live up to the words HE said he would live by..........and it's Bush's fault?

    Can you say "Bush Derangement Syndrome"?

  16. he may as well have flown into the white house on a white unicorn...

    I would imagine that all of us might agree that riding to the WH on a white unicorn is a better entry than riding there on a jackass.

    By the way, that brings up Dick. Did you see that he is predicting a 'catastrophic attack on America' in the next few years? Something about the closing Gitmo and ending of warrantless wiretapping...

    I wonder when the World Court Police will snatch him from his Wyoming bunker?

  17. "I wonder when the World Court Police will snatch him from his Wyoming bunker?"

    $50 says no. Wanna play, Muddy?

  18. I wonder when the World Court Police will snatch him from his Wyoming bunker?

    the what police now? ain't no such thing.

    no, much as i'd like to see bush and cheney at a defendants' table in Nuremberg ('twould be so much more appropriate than the Hague), it's not going to happen. if such things were to happen, Kissinger would've been hanged many years ago already, and he ain't been.

  19. "the what police now? ain't no such thing."

    SHHHHHH!!! Dang Nomen, I was gonna make fiddy buckers off of that sucker-bet!!!!

  20. Mud said, "I wonder when the World Court Police will snatch him from his Wyoming bunker?"

    Which was immediately followed by comments that seemed to indicate you thought Muddy was being serious, actually saying there is such a police force.

    I may be mistaken, but it took it to be a facetious and hilarious piece of imagery, jack-booted futuristic policemen dispatched from the Hague flying secretly into Wyoming to arrest their man.

    Mud made me laugh. Then you guys who missed the humor made me laugh more. Great thread.

  21. I think we all had a laugh on that one, Mike.