Thursday, July 08, 2010

Why Presidents Do Things

Jamelle Bouie slams on this utterly insipid Howard Fineman column.

Fineman is trying to figure out why Obama is doing things. He just can't understand why he would try to reform so much so fast. Why would he take on health care and the economy and Afghanistan and arms treaties and immigration and energy? Of course the real question from Fineman or David Brooks or David Broder is always, "Why would a president move on anything without consensus from the pundit class?"

Fineman surmises that Obama is primarily concerned with his place in history. While there's probably a smidgen of truth in this, Fineman completely misses the real reason why Obama is doing so much:

Because this country was really fucked up after 8 years of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the gang.

Isn't that why Obama was elected? I may disagree with the moderation of his changes and his ways of trying to get things done, but that he is trying to create change isn't because he wants to go down in history. It's because this country needs reform in just about every sector.

I realize that Fineman and others think politics is a big game. But I really don't think Obama thinks this way at all. He is trying to put the country back on the right track after it went really, really off the rails. Even if you hate Obama, isn't it blindingly obvious that he's acting because he thinks the country is screwed up?