Waterloo on the Potomac?

July 22, 2009

President Obama is worried about his agenda, as well he should be given that his health plan is opposed even by members of his own party. He’s starting to speak in apocalyptic terms, reportedly telling a House Democrat that defeating his health-care reform will destroy his presidency:

A telling episode recounted by Senate Finance ranking member Charles Grassley reveals the Obama administration might be more worried than they are letting on that a Republican senator’s comparison of the healthcare overhaul to Waterloo might be dangerously close to the truth.

Grassley said he spoke with a Democratic House member last week who shared Obama’s bleak reaction during a private meeting to reports that some factions of House Democrats were lining up to stall or even take down the overhaul unless leaders made major changes.

“Let’s just lay everything on the table,” Grassley said. “A Democrat congressman last week told me after a conversation with the president that the president had trouble in the House of Representatives, and it wasn’t going to pass if there weren’t some changes made … and the president says, ‘You’re going to destroy my presidency.‘ “

The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

Yeah, I wouldn’t comment if I were in the White House, either. It can’t be very inspiring to the troops to see their leader preparing to form square with the Old Guard like Napoleon at Waterloo, or worse, remind one of Captain Queeg fretting over the strawberries.

The most noticeable facet of this is the sheer narcissism: it isn’t about health care or greenhouse gases or fixing the economy — it’s about “my presidency.” That is, “it’s all about me.”

Or, as they used to say in the old commercial, it’s all about The O.  But Sabine Ehrenfeld is much hotter.

Sorry, Mr. President-Messiah.

LINKS: Blue Crab Boulevard sees something other that total self-absorption here. Allahpundit see the connection to La Ehrenfeld, too.

But it’s OK when Obama does it

July 22, 2009

For eight years, the Bush administration was excoriated for holding confidential meetings between the White House – specifically Vice-President Dick Cheney- and oil-industry executives. But now when the Obama administration does the exact same thing with health-care execs, why, it’s no problem:

The still sort-of-new Barack Obama Democratic administration has again adopted another policy straight out of the administration of his much-criticized Republican predecessor, George W. Bush.

Obama administration officials have rejected a watchdog group’s request for a list of healthcare industry executives who’ve been meeting secretly in the White House with Obama staffers to discuss healthcare changes being drafted there and in Congress.

According to the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which is suspicious of the influence of health industry lobbyists and company officers, it received a letter from the Secret Service citing an Obama Justice Department directive and denying access to visitor logs under the “presidential communications privilege.”

Sound familiar?

Remember the holy hullabaloo in the early Bush years when Vice President Dick Cheney met in the White House compound with energy industry officials and refused to release a list of those executives and the frequency of their visits? That controversy was propelled by critical Democrats and was before Obama’s brief Senate tenure.

Read the whole thing. The LA Time “Top of the Ticket” politics blog* mentions other Obama-Biden promises for new transparency after the dark years of BushHitler and Darth Cheney, promises that turn out to have had, as is typical for Barack Obama, expiration dates.

Now, I’m not criticizing the claim of the Executive Branch to have confidential discussions and to receive advice that’s held in confidence. No presidency could function if every communication, remark, memo, and sneeze were made public. At the least, others would be afraid to give controversial opinions, lest they be pilloried in the press. And opposition members of Congress, hungry for press exposure and to take the administration down, would be irresistibly tempted to go on fishing expeditions, demanding document after document, witness after witness, again threatening to paralyze the Executive.

No, presidents have a need for secrets and confidential meetings, and the pubic does not have an absolute right to know. (Really. What right did the public have to the planning discussions for D-Day, for example?) However, it’ yet another example of Team Obama’s hypocrisy that they so harshly criticized George W. Bush for doing exactly what Barack Obama now claims as executive privilege. And that “say one thing, do another” is something Obama seems be doing at a pace sure to leave his predecessors in the dust, confident in their assumption that we’re either too stupid to notice or just don’t care.

*(Which, I have to admit, does a darned good job, contrary to what I’ve come to expect from the Times)

LINKS: Sister Toldjah, Just One Minute, QandO, In the Agora, The Agitator.

(via Memeorandum)