Friday, May 15, 2009

Obama and the Failed Policies of the Bush Administration


President Barack Obama has nominated a lawyer for the nation’s largest toxic polluters to run the enforcement of the nation’s environmental laws. On Tuesday, Obama “announced his intent to nominate” Ignacia S. Moreno to be Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division in the Department of Justice. Moreno, general counsel for that department during the Clinton administration, is now the corporate environmental counsel for General Electric, “America’s #1 Superfund Polluter“:

Read more.

TGIF. This has been a demanding week in my world with little time for blogging about the agitation among President Obama’s left-wing base for his continued backtracking on campaign promises as he gradually morphs into his predecessor, George W. Bush.

I’ve discussed the similarities between Obama and Bush several times since the days of the Democratic primary, pointing out that they each had thin resumes with absolutely no relevant experience for the presidency. But then they were both likeable, popular guys who scored big as fundraisers. And each in turn promised to clean up the corruption in Washington and unite the country: “We are not red states or blue states; we are the United States…”

Once elected, Bush’s lack of experience and gravitas made him vulnerable to the influence of his advisors, including Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and Don Rumsfeld. Even though his better instincts might have caused him to resist some of the most unfortunate decisions of his administration, he lacked the inner strength and confidence to overrule those who too often led him astray.

The same thing is happening to Obama as he reverses himself time after time on both economic and foreign policy issues. Presiding over the Harvard Law Review, working as community organizer in Chicago, making a speech at an anti-war rally, and drawing big crowds as a presidential candidate does not prepare one to lead a nation out of a financial meltdown or serve as commander in chief in war time.

Like Bush, the ill-prepared Obama has no choice but to rely on his advisors, and most advisors at that level tend to protect the status quo rather than push for change you can believe in. Should we be surprised that Obama has begun to reinstate the “failed policies of the Bush Administration?”

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