Obama Must Show Congress Who's Boss

Lack of cooperation drags down domestic agenda: Klein
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2009 12:48 PM CDT
In this Jan. 23, 2009 file photo, Barack Obama has a word with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. before speaking to reporters during a meeting about the economy with Congressional leaders.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, FILE)
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(Newser) – President Obama’s domestic agenda is in trouble, writes Joe Klein of Time, because of his “undue respect for the institution of Congress, a sclerotic body badly in need of creative leadership.” Obama is sitting on the sidelines while the Senate manhandles his health care and energy proposals. “The end products may be unsightly and counterproductive.”

Over the past 30 years, public policy has shifted drastically to the right. “Congress cringes at the hard stuff, especially anything that can be labeled a tax or regulation,” Klein writes. Obama can’t let that stand. He needs to speak forcefully about what must and must not be in these bills. More than that, he has to transform the playing field, and end “the nation’s crippling, 30-year tax allergy.”