PRAGMATIC OR NOT?
I heard a Republican Congressman say that he believed that President-Elect Barack Obama was "Cautious in Temperament but Liberal in Philosophy." This has caused some to mistake his caution with pragmatism. Pragmatism is a practical approach to problems and affairs. Certainly, a President like Clinton during his last 6 years, or Bush in his last 2 were forced to be pragmatic in order to get anything done. However, pragmatic is not what Obama is I don't think. Rather, cautious is in fact a good descriptor. If you look at his approach during the 700 Billion dollar bail-out plans, he took a cautious wait and see attitude, not wanting to get caught up with something that was risky and could make him look weak or naive about the financial crisis. I wonder if he will do something similar when he is in office. He may likely work behind the scenes to get certain legislation passed that is risky and not put his stamp on much of anything except what he knows will gain wide acceptance or could possibly stealthily move the government toward socialism. I think he wants to appear to "Govern from the center" so as not to repeat the Clinton era mistakes and cause a massive backlash. I do agree that he ultimately wants to create a long-lasting type of socialism and a "new deal" in the vein of FDR. I think he will work to pass a lot of "Feel-good" legislation in the first 100 days of his administration in order to cast the illusion of doing something. Who can be against building new bridges, roads, and such? But that is a no-lose type of bargain to show how he is "Creating jobs." I wouldn't even put it past him to resurrect the Civilian Conservation Corp. But again, he will be cautious on legislation that has the possiblity of back-firing on him. Health Care reform will be a Ted Kennedy-Hillary Clinton driven series of legislation that Obama will be largely silent on and then sign into law. I also wonder if some of the more controversoral legislation like Immigration reform will have a McCain-XXDemocrat label to get it past without filabuster and with political cover for Obama as well. Obama is not one to go lightly. Rather he is one to go cautiously but then with a Huge Wall of pressure and a ground swell of support once all the pieces are in play. The conservatives and Republicans had better get their act together or they will continue to be out organized and out finessed on most all issues.
I love the line in this old newsreel: "Some worry the CCC is a New Deal Fascist Army, Some worry about the burden it has on the Federal Treasury..."
The more things change...