Feb 27 2009

DC Liberal Democrats Chafing Under Obama

Published by at 9:15 am under All General Discussions

Those of us close to DC knew that the new administration was going to get a wake up call when it hit the power brokers in DC. Congress and the bureaucrats have a lot of control over the federal government and can easily neuter a new President and his team.

Obama lost control over the grand stimulus bill, which turned into a liberal spendulus bill when Congress got their hands on it. The bill will do nothing for the economy for the rest of the year, I am sure, and that is due in large part to the fact Pelosi took control from him and his priorities.

Now the liberal democrats are beginning to openly revolt on Obama, and I am sure they will continue to roll this young President with little executive or DC experience.

Pelosi’s aides say the speaker was comfortable playing the role of Obama’s shield during the stimulus fight—Republicans teed off on her rather than on the immensely popular new president—and that she remains strongly supportive of the administration on health care, energy and education reform. 

But on Iraq and other high-profile issues that matter to her, aides say Pelosi has no intention of holding her tongue when she thinks Obama is wrong. 

And she’s not alone. 

On Wednesday morning, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.)—the longest-serving member of the Senate—accused Obama of trying to steal power from Congress by appointing White House “czars” to handle issues that would otherwise be handled by departments subject to congressional oversight. 

On Wednesday night, Pelosi made it clear to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that she wasn’t happy with Obama’s plan to leave 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and that, unlike Obama, she “absolutely” favors criminal prosecutions for any Bush administration officials involved in torture or other excesses in the fight against terrorism. 

On Thursday, Pelosi said she’d move “faster” than Obama is to roll back Bush-era tax cuts. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Chuck Schumer joined Pelosi’s critique of Obama’s plan to leave. Reid urged Obama not to push too hard to eliminate congressional earmarks. And Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor of Mississippi took a shot at Obama’s budget, saying “change is not running up even bigger deficits that George Bush did.” 

The article claims this is not open revolt – but clearly it is out in the open and Congress is flexing their levers of power. We shall see, but the spendulus bill was not Pelosi running cover, it was Pelosi running the show leaving it to Obama to sell to the people.

Update: Wow, even Paul Krugman at the NY Times is in the dumps over Obama and the Democrats:

here’s so much to like about where Obama is going — health care, transparency in government, ending the war in Iraq. And the stimulus bill is OK, though not big enough.

But on the question of fixing the banks, many of us are feeling a growing sense of despair.

Seems a lot of people are moving out of their denial stage. Yes, it really is that bad in DC right now.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “DC Liberal Democrats Chafing Under Obama”

  1. I R A Darth Aggie says:

    Ah, Jimmah Cartah all over again.

  2. MerlinOS2 says:


    WASHINGTON: A group of liberal bloggers said it is teaming up with organized labor and MoveOn to form a political action committee that will seek to push the Democratic Party farther to the left.

    Soliciting donations from their readers, the bloggers said they are planning to recruit liberal candidates for challenges against more centrist Democrats currently in Congress.

    The formation of the group marks another step in the evolution of the blogosphere, which has proved effective at motivating party activists to give money and time to political campaigns, especially in local races.

    But it also illuminates a deepening wrinkle for President Barack Obama, whose attempt to build a broad governing coalition — often by tempering some of his more liberal previous positions — has already angered some of his supporters on the left.

    The new organization is in many ways the liberal equivalent of the Club for Growth, a conservative group that has financed primary challenges against Republicans it deems insufficiently dedicated to tax cuts and small government.

    Organizers of the new group, to be called Accountability Now, said their intention is to enable Obama to seek more liberal policies without fear of losing support from the more conservative members of his party serving in Congress. But they did not rule out occasional friction with Obama, as well.

    “We’re going to be about targeting incumbents to make space for Obama to be more progressive,” said Glen Greenwald, a liberal blogger with Salon who is part of the effort. “There may be other times when the Democratic Party, as led by Obama, is being unresponsive, so yeah, we have the potential to push back against that, as well.”

  3. JDavis says:

    I have noticed as a long time observer, that Congress always tests the new president. This year it was with the stimulus plan and all the pork and restrictions on freedom that were put into the bill. Obama failed the test. He acquiesced and allowed this hideous bill to pass with virtually no one knowing exactly what was in it. (We won’t know the full extent of the details for months if not years.)

    It’s Obama’s stimulus now. Although it’s the Democrat Congress and Senate’s bill and they will reap the consequences, ultimately it will be Obama who will regret his haste because he’s shown weakness. Liberal Democrats know it and will exploit it and unfortunately our enemies will as well.