In B.O.'s first week, what did he accomplish? Let's review:
- He picked a fight with Rush Limbaugh as bipartisan spirit crumbled. (Do democrat politicians think it makes them look tough when they attack talk show hosts? Hey Barack...why don't you pick on someone your own size—how about Hugo Chavez?) Obama warned Republicans that if they continue to listen to Limbaugh, they'll never accomplish anything. (So let's get this straight. Obama wants to sit down and listen to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and we're supposed to be okay with that, but he's got a problem with Republicans who sit down and listen to Rush Limbaugh?)
- He gave the order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center within one year, with no plan for the detainees still incarcerated there. (Excellent move, B.O. You've enhanced civil liberties and made our country safer with one mighty stroke of the pen.)
- He quietly signed an executive order ending the ban on federal funds for international groups that promote or perform abortions. (Why? Because international women can't take it upon themselves to utilize more affordable family planning methods? In the midst of our financial crisis we Americans are being compelled to pay for abortions all over the world? We need a timetable for withdrawal from Obama's international war against fetuses! Bring our tax dollars back home!)
- Having announced new ethics rules banning lobbyists serving in his administration, the president was immediately forced to make an exception for his deputy defence secretary William Lynn, who has lobbied for the defence industry giant Raytheon. He got off to a very awkward start with the White House Press Corps, when one of the reporters had the audacity to bring this issue up. B.O. was visibly peeved. "I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here."
- Obama instituted a pay freeze holding salaries at their current levels for the roughly 100 White House employees who make over $100,000 a year. Over the next four years, the pay freeze will save enough money to offset the cost of the first 38 seconds of his inaugural party.
In his pièce de résistance for the week, Obama showed us that he really is a petulant snob. Obama listened to Republican concerns about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders on Friday morning, but when His Royal Highness grew weary of questions about the absurdity of "tax rebates" for people who don't pay taxes, it got ugly. "I won," he said, "I will trump you on that."
...Cough, cough, TYRANT, ahem. Excuse me...
One White House official confirmed the comment, but said B.O. was simply trying to make a larger point about bipartisan efforts. "There are big things that unify Republicans and Democrats," the official said. "We shouldn't let partisan politics derail what are very important things that need to get done."
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs "disagreed with those who called the meeting window dressing. “The president is certainly going to listen to any ideas,” he said. "He will also go to Capitol Hill the beginning of next week to talk to Republican caucuses and solicit their input and their ideas."
If Obama keeps pistol whipping the opposition like this, his approval ratings are going to plummet. This is not the "change" that will appeal to most Americans. Obama should apologize.
Must read: Barack Obama is on a collision course with his critics.
Obama gets his opening grade: 68%. Wake up America!
Obama dodges important question
Barack, You can't just listen to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and get things done.
Jonah Goldberg, spot on:
So, who cares if [Geithner] breaks and bends the rules? Who cares that he took a child-care tax credit to send his kids to summer camp? He's the right man for the job, no one else can do it, he's the financial industry's man of the moment.
This strikes me as both offensively hypocritical and absurd. Obama has made much of Wall Street greed. He and his vice president talk about paying taxes like it is a holy sacrament. They both belittled Wurzelbacher for daring to suggest that the Democratic Party isn't much concerned with how the little guy can get ahead.
Heck, Obama and pretty much the entire Democratic party insist that they speak for the little guy. But it appears they fight for the big guys.
You would think this is a perfect moment for Republicans to stand on principle, particularly since their votes aren't needed to confirm Geithner. What they will tell you is that Geithner is the indispensable man and, in the words of South Carolina Rep. Lindsey Graham, "These are not the times to think in small political terms."