As we approach President Obama’s first 100 days, his critics are arguing that Obama is trying to do too much, but here is the argument in favor of why Obama should be trying to do too much, and maybe even more.
Here are Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jon Meacham discussing the do too much argument on Meet the Press. The video is courtesy of Media Matters:
I really like Meacham’s point that the American people are sophisticated enough to think about more than one thing at once, “I think this argument about doing too much too quickly actually underestimates the people. I think that the American people are a sophisticated and mature republic and can, I think, think about more than one thing at once. And I think, again, as Doris says, does no one listen during campaign.”
I think that the political pendulum has swung. After eight years of a do nothing administration, that released information on a need to know basis, the American people want a more involved and active administration. The argument that Obama is doing too much is an attempt by his critics to scare the American people in the hope that their fear will derail his momentum. It is a political play, but not a very intelligent one.
The biggest impact President Barack Obama has had on the country so far is that he has brought hope and optimism back to the American attitude. The new ABC News/Washington Post poll released today found that 60% of people believe that Obama has kept most of his campaign promises, 63% of them said that he has brought change to Washington, 75% felt that he is honest and a good leader, 62% said that Obama’s ideological view on the issues was just about right.
Obama has brought optimism to the issue of the economy, as 55% said that they hold a cheery view of the year ahead. None of these numbers would be as high if Obama had listened to his critics.
He was elected to get things done. If he would have taken a more incremental approach, Republicans would have criticized him for not doing more. What Obama is poised to accomplish in his first year is truly remarkable. Someday when we look back on his first year in office, we may find that only FDR had a more active first 365 days.