My apologies for slow blogging these past few weeks.Â I had a meeting yesterday with my dissertation adviser and spent the better part of Tuesday preparing for our get-together.Â As I organized my thoughts, I realized I was far ahead of where I had thought myself to be, but still behind where I need to be.
As a result, I haven’t had as much chance to stay up to date on the news — and blog commentary thereon — as I would like.
In following the transition, I am largely impressed with the president-elect’s appointments (save Susan Rice to the UN, Tom Daschle to Health and Human Services, Eric Holder as Attorney General) as they evidence a more moderate team than Obama’s record would suggest.Â Yet, these appointments further muddy the waters about the Democrat’s intentions.Â He has tapped some pretty competent individuals, but we still don’t know what he’s going to do.
He’s keeping us guessing.
And that’s where he differs most profoundly from the Gipper.Â While at the Reagan Library on Saturday, I bought the DVD, Ronald Reagan: “The Great Speeches”. The ideas he puts forward in those addresses are consistent with those he had been campaigning on since his first bid for elective office in 1966, consistent indeed with “The Speech” he had delivered two years prior to that on behalf of Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign:
While watching the DVD (which does not include that speech), I took note of this line, “Our government is too big, and it spends too much” from his April 28, 1981 Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the Program for Economic Recovery. That short expression nicely encapsulates the Gipper’s ideas on domestic policy, helps us understand his overall political philosophy.
Yet, how could we encapsulate Obama’s agenda? With the word, “Change” or “Hope”? But, in a political context, what does each word mean? Has the transition given us any clue?
Twenty-eight years previously, we had a pretty good idea what the Gipper was going to do once he took office as he didn’t back off from his campaign promises nor from his long-expressed vision of containing the size and scope of the federal government.