Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Obamawatch: Presidential multi-tasking

Posted by sanityinjection on June 15, 2009

The Obama Administration seems to be taking multitasking to the highest level in pushing for more than one major program at the same time. With Democrat legislators still trying to craft a carbon emissions “cap-and-trade” bill that can command enough votes to pass, the White House is already starting its push for a health-care overhaul which also will need to be carefully handled in order to pass Congress.

Conventional wisdom says that a President shouldn’t try to push through two major bills at the same time. In other words, if you’re going into battle, you want to concentrate your forces on one objective rather than splitting them up and having half as many resources to apply to each one. On the other hand, this President doesn’t seem to put much stock in conventional wisdom. I see four possibilities: 1) Obama is supremely confident that his emissions legislation will pass quickly and is teeing up healthcare to follow in short order; 2) Obama has decided that he is going to lose on the emissions bill and is trying to shift Washington’s focus to a new issue so that no one has time to dwell on his failure; 3) Obama has no idea what he’s doing; 4) Obama somehow believes that forcing two issues at once will cause more havoc for the opposition than for him. Folks, your guess is as good as mine.

If I were advising the President, I suppose I would be encouraging him to move on to healthcare too. The emissions issue is tough to push in a sour economy because any way you slice it, it is going to cost everyone money including the average working family. Health care reform at least looks and sounds like something that would help the little guy – although when you look at the details that’s not necessarily the case. Still, even I would agree that health care reform is needed and would be a good thing – however, I agree with Robert Samuelson that the reform that is needed is cost reduction rather than expansion of coverage.

Still, Obama runs the risk of energizing the opposition if he is defeated on one issue and then has to go directly into battle on a second one. The coalitions that oppose the emissions and healthcare bills will be different, but there will be Democrats among both. Once it is shown that the Administration can be beaten, they will lose a lot of their power to push things through Congress.

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One Response to “Obamawatch: Presidential multi-tasking”

  1. Ms. D said

    Well, I hope with all those fancy advisors, it’s NOT #3 on your list!! (I’m sure you had to refrain from calling it a #2!!) 🙂

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