Thursday, November 06, 2008

Will Obama Move to the Center?

I know, it sounds almost rhetorical, but there seems to be 2 schools of thought on the subject of just how liberal the Barack Obama administration will be:

Some are saying he will be forced by the economic mess to at least delay his multi-billion dollar initiatives because he wouldn't dare raise taxes on businesses (which will be necessary to pay for them) at a critical time such as we find ourselves in. Obviously raising taxes on businesses now would exacerbate our economic crisis, and I would like to think Presient-elect Obama is smart enough to see the writing on the wall; the stock market volatility, retail numbers in the tank, predictions about historically high unemployment, etc, and take a more moderate approach.

Another argument is that Obama will have no choice but to do the bidding of a Democratic congress with almost filibuster-proof control. Dick Morris compares Obama's situation to the dilemma President Clinton faced while in office.

When Clinton was elected in 1992, the Democrats in control of Congress gave him a clear message: Either you govern within the four walls of the Democratic caucus or you won’t get our support.

Clinton, faced with being ineffectual as President, was forced to comply.

Moderate initiatives like welfare reform were scrapped, the Congress passed tax hikes and legislation became festooned with liberal amendments. Faced with the need to round up every last vote in the Senate and House Democratic caucuses, Clinton had no choice but to load up conservative bills like an anti-crime measure with liberal pork...

This seems to me to be the more realistic viewpoint. Even if Obama seeks to take a more moderate or centrist appraoch and ride out the economic crisis, that choice may not be his to make.


Mr. Grey Ghost said...

I'm hoping to runs from the center with the feeling being that he won't let Harry and Nancy use him for their bidding.

Bullfrog said...

GG: that is my hope as well, it didn't even occur to me that he might be in a squeeze by the Democratic caucus until I read that Dick Morris article reminding me of how Clinton, try as he wanted to be more moderate, wasn't left with much choice but to play along.