For anyone who wondered how President Obama would govern, his extraordinary address on Tuesday and his massive proposed budget released today provide a clear picture. Unlike former President Bush, whose only real policy "achievement" (if you can call it that) was to squander the surplus on massive tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, Obama has laid out a far more ambitious agenda. His budget redirects huge amounts of money and effort into his big three priorities: energy, health care, and education.
Unlike Bush, Obama's liberal values are not just window-dressing: he does not throw red meat to the angry activists while otherwise ignoring the basic principles upon which he was elected. Instead of wading into the culture wars or engaging in pointless social engineering, Obama has put hot-button wedge issues like abortion and gay rights on the back burner and has instead chosen to champion the liberal economic agenda. Obama is the kind of liberal the conservatives feared most.
The right-wing is in a panic. In his opinion piece today, conservative columnist William Kristol warns Republicans that they must, "obstruct and delay," President Obama any way they can.
"They can't allow Obama to make of 2009 what Franklin Roosevelt made of 1933 or Johnson of 1965."
Yeah, right--because we all know how horrible the New Deal and the Great Society were for this country? I almost dropped my coffee cup... The Republicans are so out of touch! The rest of the country is praying that Obama will be our next FDR, leading us out of this economic crisis. The man who beat Hillary Clinton and John McCain--the man who in four weeks got Congress to pass the largest spending/stimulus bill in history--has the personal popularity and political smarts to push through a New New Deal. For the conservative rear guard, that's the most frightening thing of all.