by William Teach | July 6, 2011 8:33 am
For those who aren’t familiar with minor league baseball, double A baseball is two steps below playing in the majors. Sometimes, a player will jump up and play in the majors, but, will usually be dropped back to AA for more development. And, as the Politico points out, Obama is basically playing small ball, terming the article Obama plays small ball on policy
President Barack Obama swept into office as the anti-Bill Clinton, even saying at one point that he wasn’t sent to Washington to “do school uniforms” – political shorthand for the former president’s downsized ambitions against a Republican Congress.
But confronted with similar limitations, Obama is looking a little more like Clinton in the second half of his first term, pushing modest jobs proposals and a diet of bite-size policy talkers: a new fatherhood pledge, graphic tobacco warnings, updated sunscreen requirements, an anti-bullying summit and entertainment discounts for fathers to spend more time with their kids.
Or, it could be that Obama has learned what his limitations are, and that pushing the big legislation is hard work, and gets in the way of golf, parties, campaign appearances, vacations, and generally enjoying the perks of the office. Certainly, incompetence is a part of it, along with a complete lack of, shockingly, leadership and management skills.
The slimmed-down agenda is the consequence of a resistant Congress and no money to spend, but it also aims to address a political problem for the president headed into a tough reelection fight. Just like Clinton, Obama is attempting to show voters that, at a time of Washington gridlock, he can still work to solve people’s problems, no matter how small they may be.
So, it’s the GOP’s fault? He mostly played small ball while he had a Democrat controlled Congress, only jumping up to the majors on occasion
Obama did the opposite of shoot small in the first two years of his term, realigning the American auto industry and passing a major economic stimulus package, health care overhaul and Wall Street reform bill. And now, he is attempting to negotiate a $4 trillion deficit-reduction package, which would be another massive feat.
But, what happened when he jumped up to the majors? To continue the baseball analogy, he essentially hit .143 with a few RBIs, but, didn’t help the team win. All those pieces of legislation, which were outsourced to Congress (and lobbyists) became more unpopular the longer they were around. The Stimulus was a complete failure, ObamaCare has gotten more unpopular since it was passed, and the Wall Street reform bill……does anyone know what the hell it actually does and is doing? Is it helping anyone? Obama is the guy who came up to the plate, pointed at the right field bleachers, took a big swing, and ended up hitting a dribbler back to the pitcher, starting a 1-6-3 double play.
Beyond that, the White House isn’t going big anymore. Immigration, education, climate change and clean energy bills remain on the wish list, but Obama has devoted equal time to promoting piecemeal economic ideas that don’t require congressional approval.
Remember a time when the Left would screech at the dictatorial actions, the unilateral executive, of President Bush? Now we are seeing this on steroids, and the Left seems to have no problem with it. Of course, Obama has to push the issues through his offices, because his take on these issues is extremely unpopular and outside the mainstream. The American public didn’t like them during good economic times, and damned sure hate them when the economy is sputtering along at Single A Ball levels. Bill Clinton could get away with saying he felt our pain. Obama? Kinda hard to do that when he looks down his nose at everyone, then jets off to yet another fundraiser.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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