Color me absolutely puzzled by the Obama White House’s absolute capitulation to Republican talking points. Obama intends to announce a three-year freeze on non-defense discretionary spending during the State of the Union address, which is about as clearly as you can say uncle without finding secret evidence that Glenn Beck is your mother’s brother.
The glaring flaw of Obama as a President as opposed to Obama as a campaigner is that he seems to wholly lack the conviction to sell his ideas in any competent or coherent fashion. Obama passed a necessary (but flawed) stimulus bill, and then spent a year letting it be defined inaccurately by its opposition, in the process giving legs to a crazy-yet-effective Tea Party movement whose unifying cry started out as fierce bromides against his black pimpitude.
Right now, Barack Obama has no coherent governing philosophy – to a degree, that’s to be expected, because in many ways external situations and preexisting laws are dictating what he has to deal with. For better or for worse, he is associated with the stimulus bill, the bank bailouts and the healthcare bill. This isn’t just him admitting out of the blue that he was wrong, but pulling a bizarre political 180 that’s going to invariably make him look like a failed government expansionist, a failed government shrinker and, in general, a failed politician.
I don’t want Obama to be perfect. I just want him to approach governing as if it’s a thing he wants to do in order to accomplish some rational goal rather than freaking out because we lost a single Senate seat during an incompetently run special election.