Like just about every other Beltway pundit Richard Cohen is not delighted with what he’s seen of the Pelosi Presidency. Yes, that’s right. She seems to be running the show two-thirds of the time in the First 100 Days. While Obama was cracking unfunny jokes with Jay Leno, what was Madame President up to?
Using the tax code to exact punishment for political reasons is both bad policy and bad law — why not put gun-shop owners and cigarette manufacturers in the 100 percent bracket? — but it hurtled through Pelosi’s branch of the government with nary a hearing and few discouraging words, and only the mildest suggestion from the president that the bill was really a dumb idea.
Likewise, the stimulus pork-a-thon was largely her doing, as was the $410 billion earmark-stuffed omnibus spending bill. Cohen frets that Republicans are using Pelosi’s excesses to seize the high ground and that Obama’s poll numbers are slipping.
But it’s not like we don’t have an actual president, right? He could have sent up his own stimulus plan, threatened to veto the omnibus spending bill and declared that the House can rant all it likes but in America we don’t go after citizens to grab what the Congress itself has secured by law. That would be leadership — bold, bipartisan and mature.
So why hasn’t he done any of that? You got me. Maybe he actually likes Pelosi’s radicalism and is hiding behind her skirts. Maybe he doesn’t have the force of will or the legislative acumen to head her off. Or maybe he simply prefers to campaign and hold summits, leaving the governing to others. But the result is a far-left agenda and a nice juicy target for his opponents to aim at. Oh — and mounds and mounds of debt.