Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Whither Obama's Agenda?

Democrats in Congress refused to fund the President's proposed shutdown of the Guantanamo Bay prison. There is good reason for this: it's a bad idea, with no plan for where to relocate the detainees. Now that the Dems are on track to have a 60-vote majority in the Senate, look for more opposition to other promises that Obama made during the campaign.

I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but politically, it's realistic. Democrats are responsible for the direction our country goes, and will be held accountable, just as the GOP was over six of the last eight years. What Congressman wants to be blamed for bringing terrorists into our country, possibly to be set free on our streets?

Other Obama initiatives are likely to face a similar fate. "Cap and trade" is almost certainly doomed to failure in the Congress, and his health care initiative also faces an uphill battle. These political battles will be waged on the Democrat side of the Congress, with Republicans united in opposition.

It will be interesting to see how these play out, and whether Dems who oppose them will be "demonized" by the media, as the GOP routinely has been, thus far. Newly minted Democrat Sen. Specter has opposed Obama in two votes already, without much media attention. They weren't crucial votes, unlike some of the larger issues looming on the horizon.

Americans are focused on politics more than they have been in a long time, and they are worried. Issues like "cap and trade" relate directly to how much money they spend on their basic energy needs. Health care is something that most people want everyone to have access to, but nobody wants to foot the bill for. The American people are stretched to their limit, and it's doubtful that President Obama's further huge, costly initiatives will find much popular support, even from his own party.

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