Churchill once said: “Americans always do the right thing after they have exhausted every other alternative.” And that’s what the founders wanted. This isn’t a bug; it’s a feature.-Andrew Sullivan, reminding us all that President Obama is still the only grown up in the room.
After the appalling imperial presidency of Bush, Obama is trying to restore constitutional balance and order. While Dick Cheney, the former vice-president, had contempt for the rule of law, Obama is a stickler for it. His seeming passivity is actually what used to be called constitutionalism...
If he fails and the Republicans sweep in this November, he can pivot to long-term fiscal debt and ask the right to propose serious spending cuts. Or he can propose tax reform and watch them try to obstruct that...he can expose how easy it is merely to oppose in difficult times and wait for the public to see the deep divisions and utopian anti-government extremism on the current right. This is how FDR navigated the shoals of the constitution.
Obama, as I keep reminding people, sees the long term; he sees around future corners before most do; and America is a resilient place, even though its problems are rightly seen as especially grave right now. This is a time for neither despair nor glib optimism. It is a time to watch a politician manoeuvre, from day to day and month to month, which our instant media seem incapable of seeing or understanding.
Most of my compatriots on the left complain about how Obama hasn't done this and Obama hasn't done that, as if he were a dictator who could make the progressive agenda law with the wave of some imperialistic wand. The thing is, we all had a fit when George W. Bush tried it. We had that fit because such imperialism is unconstitutional. Just as it was wrong then, it is wrong now.
Sullivan is right: Obama has restored the constitutional order of our government. If the left want to blame someone for the lack of progress on a progressive agenda then they should look to Harry Reid and the do-nothing Democrats in the Senate.