Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Do-Nothing president

Checking Commentary Magazine's Contentions blog today, a theme emerges - Barack Obama, the do-nothing president.
Health care?
It’s simple really: on the signature issue in his domestic agenda, Obama never laid out and fought for a bipartisan, credible health-care plan. He conceived of health-care reform as an extension of a partisan campaign rather than as a test of serious policy-making and governance.
We could have done both–sought to aid the democratic protesters and taken swifter action to enforce existing sanctions and enact new ones. But the Obama administration has done neither.
So now we are back to where things stood at the end of the Bush administration, Satloff argues. But are we? The Israelis have lost confidence in the American president and discovered they can say no. The Palestinians have learned that “unacceptable” for Obama (as in “the settlement activity is unacceptable”) doesn’t mean anything. So we’re not exactly back to square one.
Well, as he’s been thinking about Afghanistan since the presidential campaign started and is undecided on that, too, it stands to reason he’s nowhere close to making a judgment on Iran. The last president was the Decider; this one is the Staller.

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