On Saturday, The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny published this article, claiming that the decisions Obama made this week, in regards to the spending cuts and a looming government shut down, were efforts to become more centrist as a part of his re-election campaign. He went on to discuss how the Democrats may now doubt his support on future issues:
But in agreeing Friday night to what he called the largest annual spending cut in the nation’s history, the president further decoupled himself from his party in Congress, exacerbating concerns among some Democrats about whether he is really one of them and is willing to spend political capital to defend their principles on bigger battles ahead.
First, I have to address this notion that these are “the largest annual spending cut in the nation’s history.” That may be true, but when you compare these cuts to the massive spending that has accrued while this administration has held power—more than the total amount spent from Washington to Reagan—these cuts are nothing more than pocket change, and many conservatives would agree.
Rep. Allen West (R-FL) says the 38.5 billion “just isn’t enough.” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) called the agreement a “big mistake.” Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) also opposes the deal. All of whom are dissatisfied that Speaker Boehner has yet to follow through with his promise of $100 billion in spending cuts. It seems that this was at most a compromise between the two parties, not a shift closer to the right by Obama, as Zeleny claims.
Zeleny goes on…
The White House is hoping voters will view compromising and trying to reach consensus as signs of mature leadership in a partisan environment, not weakness — the attribute Republicans lawmakers and potential presidential candidates are most frequently trying to attach to Mr. Obama.
Leadership? Really? Wasn’t there supposed to be a bill to cut spending proposed when the Democrats had control of the White House, the Senate and the House? Instead, Obama punted, as to not stir up dissatisfaction before the 2010 elections. He seems to stay as far away from controversial issues for as long as possible. Is that what “leadership” looks like in this new progressive era? I guess I didn’t get the memo.