Obama and Self-Righteous Exclusion

I voted for Barack Obama for President and if the election were held again today, I would vote for Barack Obama.  While a life-long democrat, I have always found myself in the unique position of being a part of the loyal opposition.  Seldom has a President met my expectations and Obama is no different. Frankly, as part of the loyal position, I have found myself supporting policies of the party outside of power more than the policies of the party in power.

Currently, I find myself asking – what is this administration doing?  After nearly a year in office we are finally going to get a strategy for Afghanistan, health care reform, despite the fact that we will actually have a debate is still very illusive, abolishing don’t ask – don’t tell remains a campaign promise and the outcomes of the stimulus package are lost in 10 percent unemployment.  Still, more than 60 percent of presidential appointments are not filled and only recently did he fill the most critical position of Administrator of USAID.    Not a very impressive record to date.

I am weary of this administration’s self-righteous rhetoric around governance.  On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the administration once again took a swipe at the role of lobbyists in government and they continue to frame the image of a lobbyist as all lobbyists are Jack Abramoff.

The most recent assault on our constitutional right to petition government is the administration’s effort to prevent lobbyists from serving on government advisory panels.  They couch their argument in the need to bring fresh voices into the process and to fight the self interests of lobbyists that might guide these advisory committees to support their pet projects.  Lost in this process is the fact that anybody petitioning government is required by law to register (unless you are Tom Daschle) and that not all lobbyists are Jack Abramoff or his contemporaries.  Further, the refusal to include the content expertise of this group of activists is denying the American people years of experience and education in developing policy.  Obama is playing to the cheap seats with this strategy.  Appealing to the scandal weary voter, he lumps the whole population of lobbyists into the categories of self-serving and greedy.

Congress is dependent on those who lobby to help inform and develop legislation.  Members of Congress and the administration need the research capabilities, the policy expertise and the experience of this class of citizens to institutionalize legislation and develop effective policy.  This most recent attack, in the name of government reform, is forcing our leaders to develop policy in the dark.  We can regulate the activities of lobbyists and we can monitor with effective regulation issues of self-interest.  But eliminating this important resource in the development of policy and programs is short sighted, arrogant and denying the American people access to some of our nation’s most creative and informed minds.

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2 comments on “Obama and Self-Righteous Exclusion

  1. Karin Chamberlain says:

    Obama seems to be really good at lumping people into catergories, even if they don’t belong there. For me right now I’m really upset about this whole Afghanistan thing. 30,000 troops? Didn’t McCrystal ask for 40-60K? What bothers me is that during the campaign he talked so much about focusing on Afghanistan and Pakistan and here he is not giving the general that HE picked the men he is asking for to end the war. I’m not necessarily for a war, but if we’re there, let’s finish the job, do it the right way, the American way, listen to your men on the ground, and if you don’t think they are right, then fire them and get someone you think will do it the right way. Don’t undercut them.

  2. Al Kelly says:

    In November when you wrote this, it was lobbyists being condemned by Barack Obama for being self-serving and greedy. In other months it was Wall Street Bankers. The Demons of this week for the Barack Obama Administration are:
    – Insurance Companies
    – Banks and Wall Street … again..
    – Tea Party Activists
    – George Bush and the GOP (a constant staple)

    Since you understand the right to petition government then you understand why the arrogance of this administration and the Democratic Congress, is the seed of the Tea Party. There are little indications that Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid et al, want to hear or read true public opinion even more as in the case of the so-called health care reform bill which is being shoved down our throats (though all poll show a landslide opposition to the package in it’s entirety).

    What is really at the core of the issue is lack of adherence to limited government, the constitution and responsible fiscal policy (note that the GOP is not absolved of these sins).

    Barack Obama claims that he will eliminate special interest s from Government. Were he to actually do that then he would cede a monopoly of decisions (as he seems wanting to do) to government alone (and possiibly to labor unions).

    The Obama administration chastises the GOP as the party of NO while leading the Democrats to become the party of “Blame-Gaming”. What would you have thought when growing up of a kid in your neighborhood, who always lied and blamed others for his plight to machinate his desired goals? What would you think of employees who conducted themselves as such?

    I think you would fire that employee after proof of such behavior at least one warning. You would stay away from that creepy little kid.

    Maybe it is time to fire your party from nearly automatically getting your vote

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