Say, wasn’t our President supposedly a Constitutional scholar? Matt Lauer challenged Barack Obama in NBC’s Super Bowl interview to answer for those who are disappointed in the pace of the change Obama promised to bring to Washington DC. Greg Hengler clips the question — and the curious answer:
Matt Lauer, NBC: I have talked to so many people over the last couple years, President Obama, who were huge supporters of yours in 2008. And today they are not sure. I hear more and more that they’re disappointed in you. That you aren’t the transformational political figure that they hoped you would be. How does that make you feel when you hear that?
President Barack Obama: I think this is the nature of being President. What’s frustrated people is that I have not been able to force Congress to implement every aspect of what I said in 2008.
Well, it turns out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change that I would like sometimes. But what I have been able to do is move in the right direction. And what I’m going to keep on doing is plot away, very persistent. You know what? One of the things about being President is you get better as time goes on.
“It turns out”? Er, didn’t Constitutional Scholar Obama already know this when he was running for President? If not, well, that’s a pretty big Obamateurism in and of itself. Assuming he did know and understand that the Constitution was purposefully designed to keep radical changes from taking place, then Lauer’s question remains unanswered. Obama made those promises with that reality already in place, and quite obviously didn’t have a plan to deal with it.
That’s not the only problem with this answer. Obama had complete Democratic control of Congress his first two years, and ended up squandering it with the imposition of an unpopular health-care reform effort that will likely get tossed by the Supreme Court, perhaps especially after Obama’s new diktat to religious organizations on contraception. He blew his chance to focus on other aspects of “change” by making his party so unpopular that they lost 68 seats in the House in the next election and losing the gavel. And because of that, Obama has had zero ability to move the more radical aspects of his agenda — thankfully. So truly, Obama did not “get better as time goes on.” He’s gotten appreciably worse at moving his agenda, and it’s his own fault.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!