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Tag Archives: White House

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“What do I do next?”

EDITORIAL – Sometimes he will professed ignorance, some other times he will professed support; he will always talk but rarely act. Sometimes he uses his office aggressively; other times he looks unacquainted with the work of his own administration. This is governing the Obama way, governing à la carte, governing to please the crowds and look good: Say what the people say, agree with everyone, sit down and relax.

Obama has been willing to push the bounds of executive power when it comes to making life-and-death decisions about drone strikes on suspected terrorists or instituting new greenhouse gas emission standards for cars. But at many other times he has been shying away. On deportations of illegal immigrants, he first said he didn’t have the authority only to eventually gave in after months of public protest and private pressure from immigrant and Hispanic advocates, granting relief to certain people who had been brought to the United States as children. In key moments, Obama often opted against power plays. In the 2011 debt-ceiling fight, Obama ruled out unilaterally raising the country’s borrowing limit.

What else can you expect from arrogance and vanity. Leading the Obama way is leading from behind. This is the arrogance of power. I did not know; I was not told; I strongly oppose; I strongly support; they will have to pay for it; there are options; don’t argue with me; I am always right; yes we can; no I won’t. Leading the Obama way is leading without action, leading in inaction, leading by confusion and above and over everything else leading absolutely nowhere.

Obama’s sometimes-yes, sometimes-no approach can give the appearance that he’s all over the map but you will always find some to say his approach is deliberate and coherent: on national security, he exercises power to keep the country safe, whereas on domestic issues, he acts strategically on a case-by-case basis. For some others, Obama is deeply concerned both that his office . . . never violate its primary duty to abide by the Constitution’s checks and balances and that he nonetheless exercise those powers to the limit as needed to protect the nation and its people.

Obama came into office promising to rein in what he charged were frequent overreaches of executive authority by George W. Bush’s administration. He vowed to strive for non-ideological, bipartisan solutions to problems. In practice, Obama followed Bush’s lead when it came to executive power in fighting terrorism and other areas. His administration invoked the state-secrets privilege to avoid disclosing information when challenged in court, and Obama asserted executive privilege to withhold information from Congress amid questions about the Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation. He adopted a more aggressive stance on domestic policy after Republicans won control of the House in 2010, directing staff to look for ways to use administrative actions as end runs around a polarized Congress.

Obama’s advisers said the president thinks about executive power strategically and is willing to exert it fully — such as on environmental regulation — if doing so helps him move past obstacles on Capitol Hill and achieve specific objectives. “The president is always looking for ways to use his executive authority to advance his policy agenda,” White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said. The only downside to this Obama way of governing is that he is seen as inconsistent or weak, and absolutely inconsistent and unpredictable.

JMD

 jmdlive@lefuturistedailynews.com

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Obama shooting back at criticisms

THE WHITE HOUSE – Wednesday May 15, 2013, the White House acknowledged the rising political dangers of the mushrooming Obama’s administration scandals. In a tumultuous few hours, the administration moved forcefully to counter criticism of its handling of the deadly attacks of the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, the seizure of the Associated Press reporters’ phone records in a Justice Department leak investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative patriots and Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny. In his most aggressive response, Obama announced that the acting IRS commissioner had handed down his resignation.

Days of deflecting blame by the president had sparked criticism on his willingness to accept any kind of responsibility for his own failures, and his usual way of avoiding any kind of blame by always pointing the fingers in somebody else’s direction. Now facing increasing criticism, Obama, known for his deliberative style and an aversion to overreacting that often push him into inaction, decided yesterday that it was time to fight back.

Appearing at the White House, he said the administration had forced the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller and he strongly condemned the agency’s apparent targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny. He promised to cooperate with Congress in an investigation. Obama’s appearance came shortly after the White House released a series of emails detailing discussions about the now famous “talking points” memos that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice used when discussing the September 11, 2012, attacks by Islamic militants on a diplomatic compound in Benghazi. Hoping to defuse criticism about the secret seizure of phone records from Associated Press journalists, the administration sought to revive a 2009 media shield bill sponsored by Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York. The bill would give federal protection to reporters who decline to reveal their confidential sources, but would also allow national security needs to outweigh those journalists’ rights.

Nobody including Obama himself shall expect this White House response to put an end to the controversies, but it shows the president willingness to openly face its potential political fallout. With congressional elections approaching in 2014, there is no other open option for Obama; any longstanding political damage can show on the Democrats’ efforts to maintain control of the Senate and retake the majority in the House. Immediate political damage control counter measures may well be appropriate but without further evidence of wrongdoing that traces directly to the White House, the three scandals may not resonate widely with voters over the long-term.

Personally, I would not expect too much from all of this window dressing nonsense.

 JMD

Michel Ouellette JMD
Public Affairs & Communications
Columnist, Novelist, and Futurist

 jmdlive@lefuturistedailynews.com

Source:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/16/us-usa-obama-scandals-damage-analysis-idUSBRE94F04720130516