The left-leaning Center for American Progress, influential with the Obama White House, has presented a plan to the President for accomplishing “progressive” policy goals despite the results of the November elections. Congress won’t do the President’s bidding? Then ram through your policy agenda with Executive Branch actions.
Concentrating on executive powers presents a real opportunity for the Obama administration to turn its focus away from a divided Congress and the unappetizing process of making legislative sausage. Instead, the administration can focus on the president’s ability to deliver results for the American people on the things that matter most to them.
What the Center for Amercan Progress is dismissing with the tired Bismarckian line about sausage-making is, in fact, the writing of laws that govern the American people, the making of policy by our elected representatives.
The group is headed by John Podesta, former White House chief of staff under President Clinton and the head of the Obama/Biden transition team. He writes:
It would be a welcome relief from watching legislative maneuvering to see the work of a strong executive who is managing the business of the country through troubled times, doing more with less, each day working to create a stronger economy and a more effective government.
But Podesta is guiding the Administration down a path the President already chose to tread. Congress rejected cap-and-trade, so the EPA seeks to accomplish the same policy ends through greenhouse gas regulation under the Clean Air Act. Congress stopped the jobs-killing Employee Free Choice Act, so the President appoints members to the National Labor Relations Board to enact Big Labor’s agenda piece by piece, decision by decision. A majority in Congress refuses to demonize and abandon fossil fuels, so the Department of Interior just bans drilling.
Who really cares if Podesta and his activist crew at the Center for American Progress are tired of all the “legislative maneuvering” that interferes with their restructuring of American society and the economy? We have a system of government in which Congress is the policymaking branch of government. We live in a nation of laws. That’s America, not sausage.