After such a passionate courtship, President-Elect Obama is sure to get a long honeymoon from the Main Stream Media. He WILL NOT get a honeymoon from his most liberal of supporters, those who feel he promised immediate change on Heathcare, Iraq, energy, Immigration and labor rules. His most liberal supporters in Congress, in the labor unions, the anti-war movement, the evironazis, etc. are all going to learn that much of what the President-elect promised them was just that promises and other Baracrap. The will all be converging on Washington DC at the end of January to collect. It will Obama’s Political Armageddon. Read more below:
PROMISE OF A NEW DAY
DEMS PRESSURE OBAMA ON ELECTION VOWS
By DAVID M. DRUCKER
WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama doesn’t take the oath of office for another 65 days. Yet already some Democratic congressmen and a host of left-leaning interest groups are pressing the incoming administration to deliver on an array of campaign promises – both real and perceived.
Partly because the economy continues to tank – and partly because the American public might be weary of the hyper-partisan politics of the last 16 years, let alone the last eight of President Bush’s two terms – many analysts expect Obama to get a longer honeymoon than most new presidents after his Jan. 20 swear-in.
But exhibiting patience isn’t on everyone’s agenda.
The week before last, just days after Obama was elected, one coalition of Democratic interest groups went on national TV with an ad urging the president-elect to immediately move forward with a health-care overhaul. Another coalition is planning a mass protest in Washington for Jan. 21 to push him to reform immigration.
“We want him to stick to his campaign promises,” said Marissa Graciosa, the campaign coordinator for Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), one of the groups behind the Jan. 21 protest. “We know that so many Latinos and immigrants came out to vote for him. The promise was to make immigration reform a priority in the first year.” Among several Democratic interest groups, moves are under way to press the incoming president to deliver on their legislative priorities on his first day in office.
From labor unions, to groups advocating for illegal immigrants, to organizations dedicated to ending the Iraq war and charting a more liberal course in US foreign policy, Obama faces pressure on myriad issues from within his own party.
In the Senate, Democratic lion Ted Kennedy began working on a health-care bill from his sick bed even before Obama beat John McCain on Nov. 4. Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana also has unveiled a health-care plan, even though the new 111th Congress won’t be seated until January.
The looming impatience of Obama’s political allies aside, the notion that the president-elect is in for immediate pressure isn’t necessarily baked in the cake. An economy in crisis could give him flexibility in terms of how many campaign promises he tackles, and how fast he tackles them. That, at least, is the hope of many Democratic insiders who are hoping for a successful Obama presidency.
“I think every election leads to unrealistic expectations by interest groups,” said Scott Lilly, a senior fellow with the Democratic think tank Center for American Progress Action Fund. “However, there is so much goodwill and excitement surrounding Obama’s election that he will get a pass for a while.” Among the pressure points:
- Organized Labor: Union officials met last week in Washington to strategize on the best way to secure passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. The EFCA would eliminate secret ballots for workplace elections held to determine whether employees want to unionize. If Obama signs this bill, Republicans will howl. More union members equals more union dues for Democratic candidates. In obtaining the endorsement of unions, Obama indicated an inclination to sign the EFCA.
- Immigration: A collection of groups advocating on behalf of immigrants – legal and illegal – are pressing the president-elect to deliver on immigration reforms he promised while campaigning. These groups seek the legalization of illegal immigrants already in the US, an easing of immigration restrictions, an end to workplace raids and restrictions barring illegal immigrants from receiving government benefits open to citizens and legal immigrants. In Spanish-language campaign ads, Obama indicated sympathy with at least some of this agenda.
- Health Care: Crafting a taxpayer-funded plan to insure Americans without coverage – as well offering better insurance to Americans who can only afford sparse benefits – was a major centerpiece of the candidacy. But there has been talk that Obama might first focus on improving the economy. But Sens. Kennedy and Baucus, not to mention interest groups, are pushing to immediately move forward on a health care overhaul.
- The Iraq War: Obama’s promise to pull out of Iraq immediately, albeit responsibly, leaves him a small amount of nuance. As with any campaign promise on national security, the daily classified intelligence briefings Obama has just started receiving might color his viewpoint. Should the president-elect adjust his thinking, activist groups and many rank-and-file Democrats who voted for Obama in the primary largely because he was always against the Iraq war could react like jilted lovers.
- Energy and the Environment: Obama promised to invest $150 billion in federal funds to develop alternative sources of energy and produce automobiles that do not run on fossil fuels. With the souring economy, the time might be ripe to invest in a sector that could create tens of thousands of new jobs. But in light of dwindling tax revenues, the $700 billion bailout and promises to invest in health care, tax cuts and the war in Afghanistan, there could be little left over to spend on creating a new green energy sector. That might not sit well with groups like the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters, who have spent millions in cash and manpower to elect Democrats to Congress over the past four years.