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Voting “Present” in All the Wrong Places

February 18, 2009

It’s odd how Obama’s governing style is a mix of unnecessary and damaging actions on issues better left untouched and dangerous passivity on big issues. The President watched on as Reid and Pelosi turned his planned, ever so precious economic stimulus bill into a historic pork monster without trying to influence the end result. But, in contrast, he felt compelled to repeal the Mexico City Policy – an unpopular move that virtually no one would have missed if left undone.

Obama stays mute on Chavez’s referendum that allows him to continue ruining Venezuela beyond his original term limit but he sends a delegation to attend Durban II aka the “All Jews Are Racists” Conference while nothing would have been lost had he boycotted it, as did his predecessor and as does Israel, but nothing good comes out of attending it.

The President couldn’t say a word to sort out the Blagojevich mess when a successor to his Senate seat was sought  but he can’t tolerate a bust of Churchill in his office and sends it back to the Brits – the message concerning the transatlantic relationship presumably: “Change has come to Washington.”

And it looks like Obama will continue “extraordinary renditions” but he comitted himself to close Guantànamo – a foolish promise, since the question of where to move the detainees has yet to be solved. If you had the choice between going into, say, Egyptian custody or to US-run Gitmo which one would you choose? Wouldn’t the ending of “rendition” be of much greater importance and better effect than the merely political gesture of planning to close down Gitmo?

The funny – or rather the sad – thing about this is that in each of the here listed cases of action Obama would have fared better if he had stayed passive. And in the here listed cases of passivity he thought he voted “present” but actually voted “consent” and did a lot of harm by doing nothing.

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