Thursday, September 22, 2011
Built in the 1960's, the Brent-Spence bridge over the Ohio River
The Clarion Content has to admit, for as hard as we have been on President Obama, we have seen some glimmers of late. For reference, on our colossal disappointment with the Obama Presidency see these debates. We still think a disastrous miscalculation was made when the President attempted to overhaul health care policy first. We see no way in which the system he passed, through the meat grinder of Congress, ends up sticking around for long. It will either be ruled unconstitutional or repealed by Congress.
The President wasted nearly two years during which he could have been focused on the economy, foreign policy, or immigration. His health care debacle cost him Congress. Only now, in recent months, has he sidestepped Congress to make some policy progress. Though we worry about the veracity of his pledge, the President has said that there will only be 5,000 United States troops in Iraq by year's end. He has by executive fiat slowed the deportations of illegal immigrants who are not convicted violent criminals. The Clarion Content applauds both of these moves, though we would have liked to have seen them made three years ago.
Further, there are elements of the President's jobs bill that excite the Clarion Content. Loyal readers know, that we are big proponents of infrastructure spending by government. It is government's job to maintain the roads, bridges and railways. The arteries of the State. In the face of historic job losses, this is where Obama should have begun his presidency, with a New Deal II.
Today he is speaking in Ohio at one of the countries busiest bridges. It is in chronic disrepair. Will the President be able to do anything? Did he blow all of his political capital? Can he get re-elected during a period of economic hardship not seen since the Great Depression? And in that way, get new political capital, even though he will then shortly be a lame duck?
Republicans in Congress demonstrated yesterday just how recalcitrant they intend to be when they banded together with some peeved Dems, who were coddling the auto industry, and torpedoed a bill that would have provided emergency funding to FEMA to deal with Hurricane Irene, the Virginia earthquake and the Texas wildfires. Even disaster victims are not immune from Republican austerity prescriptions. Will the President be able to make anything happen in this climate? Or will the Obama hope fires flameout like a damp squib.