Monday, December 14, 2009

It's Not All on Congress

One thing that has bugged me about the ongoing critique of Matt Taibbi's "Obama is a tool of Goldman Sachs" piece is that it moves the onus of passing decent legislation entirely from the White House to Congress. Of course, the President could veto legislation he found lacking. Indeed, the one time that Obama has issued a real veto threat—the threat to veto any attempt to revive F-22 funding—Congress obliged and sent him a clean Defense bill.

Obviously, there's a noticeable difference here. The coalition to kill the F-22 was cross-partisan in a way that banking reform, health care, and climate change aren't. But at present, at least publicly, no one in the White House is considering forming a committee to study the feasibility of beginning to try to issue veto threats. You'd think that given the general weakness of the product produced by Congress, the White House might try to use some of its enumerated powers to get something more effective.
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