Getting down to work

For all the talk of an Obama pivot or other policy switch calculated to regain the trust and support of voters, no one seems to be talking about the actual changes he would have to make in how he does business.

As Byron York pointed out here,Obama himself has never actually done a job: worked away at it over time, starting with little achievements and working up to significant ones.  Instead, he's always looked for the next position, one which would give him enough power to achieve his lofty goals.

But beyond Obama the man, what about his team?  We just watched, for over a year, an administration content to leave the heavy lifting to Congressional Democrats.  White House czars and other staffers were probably working hard behind closed doors with the Congress, but there's a huge difference  between doing that and being responsible for the actual text of a bill.  One that you steer through the interagency process, somehow get by the Office of Management and Budget, and then defend when it's unveiled on the Hill.  

That's a whole different game.  If Obama is at all serious about controlling the budget deficit, that's the game he's going to have to play.  He can't just veto what the Congress prepares and sends to him; the Congress is virtuoso at attaching innumerable bad ideas to essential funding bills, thus bringing recalcitrant Presidents to heel.  Obama must submit bills that meet his requirements, then defend them implacably.  And that means he must have an administration willing to shed blood internally in order to come up with lower numbers - and then defend those numbers in public. 

So what evidence is there that Obama's team is up to it?  Certainly the latest budget proposal, with its record-breaking deficits, does not qualify.
For all the talk of an Obama pivot or other policy switch calculated to regain the trust and support of voters, no one seems to be talking about the actual changes he would have to make in how he does business.

As Byron York pointed out here,Obama himself has never actually done a job: worked away at it over time, starting with little achievements and working up to significant ones.  Instead, he's always looked for the next position, one which would give him enough power to achieve his lofty goals.

But beyond Obama the man, what about his team?  We just watched, for over a year, an administration content to leave the heavy lifting to Congressional Democrats.  White House czars and other staffers were probably working hard behind closed doors with the Congress, but there's a huge difference  between doing that and being responsible for the actual text of a bill.  One that you steer through the interagency process, somehow get by the Office of Management and Budget, and then defend when it's unveiled on the Hill.  

That's a whole different game.  If Obama is at all serious about controlling the budget deficit, that's the game he's going to have to play.  He can't just veto what the Congress prepares and sends to him; the Congress is virtuoso at attaching innumerable bad ideas to essential funding bills, thus bringing recalcitrant Presidents to heel.  Obama must submit bills that meet his requirements, then defend them implacably.  And that means he must have an administration willing to shed blood internally in order to come up with lower numbers - and then defend those numbers in public. 

So what evidence is there that Obama's team is up to it?  Certainly the latest budget proposal, with its record-breaking deficits, does not qualify.

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