Daily Archives: August 10, 2014

Faced with a choice between solving a problem and winning an issue, Barack Obama invariably opts for the former. The US president is a pragmatist who sees compromise not as a painful necessity but as a virtue. Unfortunately, he has seldom found any partners for peace on Capitol Hill. House Republicans do not lose their seats when they fail to address a challenge such as the budget or immigration. They lose them when they cast unpopular votes.

In his first term, this conflict between presidential temperament and legislative incentive was frustrating to Mr Obama’s liberal base. As the president continued to give but not receive, they came to regard him as timid and weak. Read more

Disillusionment with Washington has rarely run higher. Congress is unable to act even in areas where there is widespread agreement that new measures are necessary, such as immigration, infrastructure and business tax reform. Barack Obama’s administration is condemned as ineffectual with respect to both domestic and foreign policy.

There was once a flood of extraordinarily talented people eager to accept political appointments and go into government; it has shrunk to a trickle. Crucial positions remain unfilled for months or years. Read more