Let’s continue on our theme of pop psychology today, even though I promised to stop, and discuss one of the main reasons Obama wants to rule, to the greatest extent possible, from the Oval Office.
Sure, contempt for Congress and the Constitutional process – as well as the absolute certainty that his motives and agenda are unquestionably right and just – all plays into it. But there’s another critical piece to this: Obama is, for a politician, a relative loner who doesn’t want to be bugged by members of Congress. Of either Party.
He has no famous chums in Congress. He has few relationships of any sort with lawmakers. Really what he wants to do is make his decisions in the Oval Office, have a few meetings, give some speeches on college campuses and at high schools, and play golf. And then send Jay Carney out to talk about how Republicans are intransigent, politically motivated hacks who don’t even wear deodorant.
Well, yes, the Congress was in fact designed to include people committed to principles and also worried about getting reelected. The trick is to use various carrots and sticks to get them to do you bidding.
The grunt work of legislating is not for him. That’s why he passed through the Illinois legislature and the United States Senate leaving not a trace of evidence he was ever there.
As I’ve mentioned before, I covered both the Clinton and Bush White Houses. Routinely, with each of them, there was line of cars on the West Wing driveway belonging to members of some committee or faction of Congress that had dropped by to meet the president. If they wanted the gathering to remain below the radar, they “snuck in” the side door, and then the camera guys who were always in a position where they could see the entrance there told us about it.
With Obama, almost never. Nothing. No meetings. If you ask around on Capitol Hill, no phone calls either. Obama, expostulating about the uncooperativeness of Republicans, does nothing to get them to cooperate. It’s not in his character. And then he attacks them for his own paucity of results. He’s like a high school football player who never comes to practice and then whines that he’s warming the bench.
Unfortunately, Obama’s temperament will now have serious consequences for the nation. We’ll be in a constant state of Constitutional subversion for the next three years as Obama issues edicts and bullies the private sector into doing his bidding. At any point, with some particularly outlandish act, he can kick things up to a major Constitutional crisis. It’s a sad thing to see.
I have no love for politicians. But the Founders designed this system for politicians, who must schmooze and battle their way toward getting something done – or preventing something from being done – all while watching their political asses back home.
It’s not pretty. But it’s a lot better than having the nation run by a cabal of philosopher-kings who think they know what’s best for us.