Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A Weak Obama--Blame the Goo-Goos

There's the perception of Obama as not being a strong leader.  It may be true, but thinking back and comparing him with past Presidents, one problem is that Presidents have lost power since the days of LBJ.

LBJ could arm twist and logroll like no one else we've had in my lifetime. But the Obama good government (goo-goos) regime of transparency and no earmarks limits the feasibility of that.  If I recall Arthur Schlesinger Jr wrote a book attacking the Imperial Presidency, by which he meant LBJ and Nixon, not JFK.  I've not studied the transcripts of LBJ's tapes while he was in the White House, but his "treatment" was legendary.

I can illustrate the sort of thing I mean: Sen. Shelby wants NASA to build rockets in his state.  Sen. Shelby also blocked a Nobelist from going on the Federal Reserve Board and is threatening to block the appointee for the Consumer Protection Board.  Under a President LBJ, there would be a commission appointed to review NASA operations with a view to consolidating them, with Huntsville a prime candidate for the chopping block.  Once Shelby caved, the commission would vanish, or issue a bland report.

But if Obama tried that, all the goo-goos (of which I am one) would be up in arms.

[Updated with link to Shelby article.]

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