Saturday, March 14, 2009

Obama's Concerning Lack of Principle

From VersusPolitics. A good article on the lack of principle in Obama's administration:

While we’re still very early in President Obama’s first term, one stark difference between the current President and the previous one is becoming clear. While President Bush was painted as an ideologue, President Obama has shown a concerning lack of principle in his first few weeks by endorsing contradicting ideas in multiple policy arenas.

I praised the President this week for his support of teacher merit pay and school vouchers. In the budget bill signed this week, however, is a provision to hamper the school voucher program in D.C. Does the President support school choice and competition? Does he realize that the omnibus budget sends a contradictory message?

The President says he wants to create jobs, but he supports tax proposals that will hurt businesses, and he’s supporting increased regulations in various sectors. The first act he signed in office was the Fair Pay Act, which makes employers more vulnerable to lawsuits. He’s also promising the unions support for Card Check.

He wants to protect struggling manufacturing sectors like the automobile industry, but he’s supporting environmental restrictions and requirements that only make manufacturing more expensive, and the idea of outsourcing more attractive.

In foreign policy, he wants to restore alliances with other nations, but he has been ambiguous in supporting trade protectionism. He has criticized the war in Iraq, but he’s basically carrying out the same strategy, and is calling for a counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan.

Perhaps the most clear example of contradiction was the President’s executive order this week to overturn the embryonic stem cell ban. The omnibus budget, which the President signed, contains a provision that bans federal spending for research of destructive human embryonic stem cells. Essentially, the President’s announcement this week was a publicity stunt.

Charles Krauthammer, a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics, criticized the President for a lack of seriousness on the issue. Krauthammer’s view of President Obama’s approach creates a contrast with an account I heard from another member of the Council on Bioethics, who remembered meeting with President Bush to discuss the issue of embryonic stem cell research. This Council member said that President Bush had spent significant time considering the issue, and that the President spoke articulately in a way that demonstrated an understanding for the science and ethical questions surrounding it. Quite a difference....(More)

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