Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

January 23, 2014

Maybe, we can't

(Continued)

This is the Johnny Appleseed version of the presidency in which important programs ignored by the daily press make a huge impact in people’s lives in the future. That is the essential argument of Michael Grunwald’s book “The New New Deal” on the $800 billion Obama stimulus package passed early in his tenure. Judged at the time based on whether it would halt the economic slowdown, its lasting impact may well be in the programs it launched — everything from Race to the Top to improve education, to ideas promoting electronic medical records to transportation innovations, to support for clean energy.

Remnick treats this evolution of Obama’s vision as a laudable outgrowth of his special temperament. The president takes the “long view,” a sensible antidote to the conventional wisdom that a president must achieve success on big things quickly and almost despite the obstacles. This is right, but it is not Obama’s insight alone. This view about history’s verdict provided solace to George W. Bush as well. Bush also said he was never worried about the day-to-day evaluations of his presidency because history’s verdict was all that mattered. “You can’t possibly figure out the history of the Bush presidency — until I’m dead,” he told Robert Draper in a typical remark. According to Peter Baker’s book “Days of Fire,” Bush and Obama also shared another realization. In the New Yorker interview, Obama seems to be embracing a view of the presidency’s limitations that Bush offered in the response to an aide who asked him what surprised him the most about his presidency. “How little authority I have,” said Bush.

Text Only
Opinion
  • City wastes money Editor:In the paper Wednesday it was reported that someone with the City Of Mount Vernon had responded to the concerns of about 40 people that came out in support of the Henningers on 42nd St.The statement in part was; as stewards of the tax-payer’s

    August 22, 2014

  • The right presidential reaction As the tumultuous situation in Ferguson, Mo., entered its second week, President Obama stood before the nation and offered a mild, balanced plea. There is “no excuse” for excessive use of deadly force by police, he observed at a Monday news conferenc

    August 22, 2014

  • HIGHWAY TO THE DANGER ZONE Remember MacGyver? He was the fictional secret agent of 1980s television who would get out of world-threatening jams using only duct tape and a Swiss Army knife. Listening to Pope Francis in Korea the other day, I had some flashbacks to the prime-ti

    August 22, 2014

  • Keeping up with the Comcast call-center fiasco I’ve been intending for a while to write about the Comcast call-center fiasco, but it’s hard to keep up: the story just gets weirder and weirder. Following the now-viral recording of the telephone call in which a customer service representative essen

    August 21, 2014

  • System needed for choosing House In the original conception of our Constitution, the House of Representatives was to be the branch of government that best reflected the will of the people. House members cannot serve without being elected — vacancies are not filled by appointees — an

    August 21, 2014

  • Dems plead for more money I’ve been getting a lot of email from Democratic fundraisers lately. They seem very worried about November’s elections.First came the highly publicized “Impeachment Red Alert” campaign, in which the Democratic congressional committee warned that Repu

    August 21, 2014

  • Why Obama shouldn't go to Ferguson On Monday, ABC’s Ann Compton asked President Barack Obama whether he would visit Ferguson, Missouri, amid the continued unrest. Obama didn’t give a firm answer, but he did suggest it’s probably not a good idea.“When they’re conducting an investigatio

    August 20, 2014

  • Food stamps' $80B secret spending program Imagine a government program that has exploded in size, is the subject of bitter partisan haggling and spends almost $80 billion a year in secret.No, not the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Homeland Secu

    August 20, 2014

  • Vouchers provide greater choice I was chatting the other day with a fellow who, along with his wife, homeschool his children. We joked about the stereotype: Moms in denim skirts.But then he expounded on the benefits his youngsters have derived from being taught at home: a customize

    August 20, 2014

  • A rare experience Alexandra Petri’s editorial, “What exactly are we seeing in Ferguson” is well written and did something which has increasingly become a rare experience for me. Her article caused me to think!Petri makes the case for media coverage of American events,

    August 19, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks