Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Will the Real Obama Please Stand Up?

Today, President Obama met with Republicans on the Hill to discuss his economic stimulus plan and encouraged them to put partisan politics aside in an effort to revive the ailing economy. Republicans, reportedly, were "swooning" over BO and his sincere efforts to listen to their concerns, something which the House and Senate leadership has utterly failed to do.

"President Obama won praise from some of the House's most conservative lawmakers as "engaging" and "respectful" during his meeting with congressional Republicans Tuesday.

Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) said that Obama was sincere and "impressive" during his meeting with Republicans Tuesday afternoon.

"There's real desire in this room to figure a way back to prosperity," Inglis wrote on Twitter. "[The president] and Republicans here [are] expressing deep concern about unemployment."

"If [the] President carries this on it does open door for a new tone!" Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) exclaimed.

"Sharp differences are muted," Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) Twittered."

After only one week in office, a distinct pattern has emerged of Obama's leadership style across the spectrum, from engaging foreign leaders to the American people to Republican lawmakers. He is conciliatory, seemingly willing to listen, speaks of unity and a post partisan nation.

Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership has acted in the exact opposite vein with their rhetoric and actions, by excluding Republican involvement in hammering out details of the stimulus plan, and marginalizing them even further than was possible for the majority party to do during the Bush years. The stimulus plan, as currently laid out, is a pork barrel of useless projects long adored by liberals, along with tax rebates which will do little to nothing to actually stimulate the economy. And it will, by all accounts, grow larger.

So who is the real Obama, and when will he emerge? Will he try to play both sides of the fence, acting as good cop to Pelosi and Reid's bad cop, but ultimately getting exactly what he intended all along? Or is he simply naive and unable to control the far left loons in the legislature, and despite sincere motivation to act in a bipartisan fashion, will prove to be impotent in reining in his own party? His record in the Senate shows an aversion to making hard choices. He cannot avoid them now. Soon, we will see the real Obama, but of the two choices, neither is encouraging, nor what this country needs at this perilous juncture.

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