During his primetime news conference this week, President Obama chose to weigh in on the controversy surrounding Robert Gates, the Harvard professor who was arrested by Sgt. James Crowley, a Cambridge police officer for disorderly conduct.
Despite acknowledging that he was not aware of all the facts, Obama nonetheless told a national audience that Crowley acted "stupidly," setting off a media firestorm that continues to dominate national headlines, despite his effort to quell this controversy.
While the outcome of this matter remains to be determined, it does present an opportunity to examine some of the actions during the first six months of the Obama administration which have far greater consequences. Judging by their results so far, it appears Obama could also have been unaware of the facts regarding his top priorities.
Here are just a few examples:
* Obama championed a trillion dollar stimulus bill, warning at the time that a failure to do so would have catastrophic effects on our nation's ailing economy, while ignoring the fact that spending massive amounts of borrowed money on government projects would do little to get the economy moving again. Nearly six months after passing the bloated stimulus bill - without members of Congress even reading it - unemployment continues to soar toward double digits and February's promises of "timely, temporary and targeted" economic relief have clearly fallen short.Much like his off-the-cuff remark about Sgt. Crowley, the first six months of the Obama administration have been marked by a lack of attention to the facts surrounding his own agenda
* Obama called for a health care reform bill before the August recess, ignoring the deep reservations of fellow Democrat Congressional members, who were understandably concerned about rushing a government-takeover of health care through Congress on an artificial timetable. Yesterday, Harry Reid finally bowed to the political reality, acknowledging a vote on health care would not occur until Congress reconvenes from its summer recess.
* Obama set a hard date of January 2010 for closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay without any plan for re-locating the terrorist killers currently housed there. This week, the administration missed a key deadline for closing the prison, yet remains determined to fulfill its campaign pledge. But with many members of his own Party opposed to moving the detainees to American communities and foreign nations unwilling to host them, it remains to be seen where the current Gitmo occupants will end up.
Instead of pre-judging local legal matters outside his jurisdiction where he is uninformed of the facts, Obama should focus on getting his own proposals right.
--From the National Republican Senatorial Committee