« Twitter roundup | Main | Early primary/straw polls don't matter »

February 09, 2011


I was struck by Bernstein's charmingly candid appeal to Democrats to act dishonorably:

When a nomination doesn’t have 60 votes and is therefore vulnerable to a filibuster, Democrats should remember the Republican tactics from the last decade and threaten unilateral action to eliminate judicial filibusters altogether. That’s unlikely to happen given last month’s agreement between Senators McConnell and Reid, but the Democrats should be willing to break their promise if the Republicans continue to block President Obama’s nominees. If experience is any guide, it would force the Republicans to back down. [emphasis added]

Lyndon Johnson said, "Jerry Ford is so dumb he can't fart and chew gum at the same time." The press, used to sanitizing LBJ's salty language, reported this as "Gerald Ford can't walk and chew gum at the same time."

Jonathan Bernstein's article says nothing about Obama's lack of judicial appointments being due to his alleged focus on legislation. Perhaps Brendan didn't want to be too critical of Mr. Obama, so he added an excuse. However, Presidents have large staffs. A President should be able to appoint lots of judges while also focusing on legislation. Brendan's excuse makes Obama sound like LBJ's mot about Gerald Ford.

Interesting thoughts Brendan. Maybe it is too boring for reporters *because* it is too boring for the Obama admin.

President Obama brought very little administrative or executive experience to his current job and this lack of experience may be what hinders him in utilizing executive type decision-making skills, i.e. executive level appointments.

Could it be because he has never had much real affinity for executive work and became a legislator instead, so now in an executive position he simply pursues primarily the same type of actions he did before - those he is comfortable with?

Even in his legislator role, my understanding is that he rarely took leadership roles - note his famously long list of "voting present" in the IL legislature.

My growing impression, which your comments above seem to corroborate, is that President Obama may really be in over his head and having difficulty venturing too far out of his traditional comfort zones.

I know that is a common complaint from the conservative side, but after two years in office I am finding the argument more compelling than I did initially.

The comments to this entry are closed.