Friday, January 30, 2009

One Obama Promise Broken

Nextgov's post says "Unfulfilled", but in my mind, broken is broken. (Not that he can't fix it later.)

I think it's a lesson for good government types--it's easy to promise but harder to perform.

What was the promise: to give the public 5 days of access to legislation before Obama signs it. Sounds good. But when you are a politician eager to show progress and claim credit, it goes against the grain. So as soon as the House and Senate passed the legislation reversing the Supreme Court's decision in the Ledbetter case (the time frame for filing a discrimination complaint over unequal pay starts with the first paycheck) Obama did his signing ceremony.

The problem is the bureaucrats, of course. There are bureaucrats in the House and Senate, and the White House. They have their routines to move bills from one step to the next. And they don't necessarily listen to campaign promises. So the bill got moved along, showed up on Obama's secretary's desk as ready to sign. Ideally Rahm Emanuel would have remembered the promise and had a series of meetings with the bureaucrats to iron out the details of moving an electronic version of the bill to a website for comment and holding for 5 days. But he didn't, so smart-xxs types now are pointing fingers at the administration for breaking promises.

(IMO, it was a stupid promise--he would have done better to promise a thorough overhaul of the law making promise.)

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