What and How of Obama

Oh, I have such an inappropriate crush on Kimberly Strassel

The What and How of Obama

Ceci nest pas une Gratuitous Girl Crush

Ceci n'est pas une Gratuitous Girl Crush

Here’s a little flavor of the questions White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has been fielding two weeks running:

Is this going to be bipartisan? What happened to the vetting process? Does this undercut the president’s rhetoric on an era of responsibility? Will this restore the president’s credibility on changing the culture in Washington? What’s the point of having policies if you’re going to have waivers? What kind of message does this send? Is the president embarrassed by this? Is this more Washington as usual?

The knock on Candidate Obama was that he put style ahead of substance. Who knew what he was going to do (and who cared)? It was all about how he was going to do it — with bipartisanship and ethics and a new era of “responsibility.” Now comes the reckoning. President Obama is being judged not on the what, but the how.

I believe in supporting the President. While I was really more of a(n emphatic) McCain girl myself, now I am doing my best to understand and support President Obama. But his vision is impossible to follow. I can’t quite jump from his “how” to his “what” and back again. Occasional catharsis is good for a country, and I get that we voted en huge masse for his catharsis. But I cannot find a single example in history when policies like Obama’s policies did not result in making everything worse.

Personal responsibility? Sir, your constituency just outsourced their “responsibility.” Rather than give to charity or plant a tree, they voted for you. You encouraged them to hold hands and sing Kumbaya instead of getting out there, digging in, earning money, and perpetuating the American Dream. The folks who voted for you are the largest percentage ever of first-time voters. These are not sophisticated businessmen or the people who make things tick. These are teenagers who skipped school to distribute your posters.

You inspired a nation. But now please, Mr. President, I implore you: Don’t leave everyone hanging now. You cannot emerge into politics fully formed from the head of Zeus and then, only after the fact, admit that you expect us to start chipping in our “personal responsibility.” That makes you sound almost like a…Republican.


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