TOO MANY POLICIES?…. For a while, one of the principal criticisms from President Obama’s detractors was that he’s trying to take on too many policy challenges at once. The criticism never really stuck, and the White House did a reasonably good job of explaining why the president sees the various issues as interconnected.
The argument has, apparently, evolved into a new-but-related criticism.
The chief spokesperson for GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell just said in an interview that leading Republicans are going to ratchet up their criticism of the Obama administration for releasing too many big plans on the economy — with too little sense of how they mesh with or impact each other.
The comments from McConnell spokesperson Don Stewart amount to a preview of what we’ll likely be hearing from Senate Republicans and other Republican leaders in the days ahead.
“We can’t help but notice the numerous and sundry plans that seem to come out at a rate of one a week without any clear picture of how they interact and whether they interact well or not,” Stewart told me. “That’s a very real concern among Senate Republicans.”
Frankly, the talk-and-chew-gum argument made more sense.
In fact, putting aside the merit of the Obama administration’s agenda, and overlooking the fact that the president is acting on the same agenda he offered during the campaign, I’ve long thought the White House has gone out of its way to emphasize how these seemingly disparate issues directly relate to each other. Obama has a governing vision, and all of the pieces fit together to shape the larger picture, especially on the three main domestic policy areas (health care, energy, and education). McConnell’s new argument seems to have it backwards.
What’s more, this new criticism was like setting a ball on a tee for the DNC:
Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan … emails over a response amplifying the “party of no ideas” attack that Dems have been waging on the GOP:
“I guess when you have no new ideas, anything more than zero must seem overwhelming. But, if the Republican party thinks that attacking new ideas is a winning answer, they’re more out of touch than we all thought.”
I suspect McConnell and GOP leaders on the Hill are probably just experimenting with messages. They try one rhetorical tack, and when it fails to resonate, they move on to the next. When it fails, they try another. With that in mind, my hunch is the “too many policies” line won’t last long.