The International Herald Tribune praises Obama’s pragmatism. Obama’s promise of ethics reform faces early test
During almost two years on the campaign trail, Barack Obama vowed to slay the demons of Washington, bar lobbyists from his administration and usher in what he would later call in his Inaugural Address a “new era of responsibility.” What he did not talk much about were the asterisks.
The exceptions that went unmentioned now include a pair of cabinet nominees who did not pay all of their taxes. Then there is the lobbyist for a military contractor who is now slated to become the No. 2 official in the Pentagon. And there are the others brought into government from the influence industry even if not formally registered as lobbyists.
President Barack Obama said Monday that he was “absolutely” standing behind former Senator Tom Daschle, his nominee for health and human services secretary, and Daschle, who met late in the day with leading senators in an effort to keep his confirmation on track, said he had “no excuse” and wanted to “deeply apologize” for his failure to pay $128,000 in U.S. taxes.
But the episode has already shown how, when faced with the perennial clash between campaign rhetoric and Washington reality, Obama has proved willing to compromise.
If you were optimistic you might say Obama had suffered an unusual failure of his vaunted judgment. Except it’s more common every day and the evidence for it is non-existent in the first place. If you were a realist you’d say it’s politics as usual. Except you voted for Obama because he said it wouldn’t be. If you are an Obot, you will call it pragmatism. Except you have to be starting to suspect it’s lack of the very principles you bought into.
Only if you are an idiot do you call it compromise. When someone withdraws his offer of a s**t sandwich because you say you won’t eat it, is that a compromise?
Ed Morrissey has the lobbyist nominee count at Hot Air.
The list of lobbyists in the Obama administration