But so far, no one has had to choose between the different interpretations of Obama's election. The stimulus package didn't create a massive new domestic program, after all. More money was spent on old ones — and that fix is difficult to oppose during a severe economic downturn, unless, of course, you're a Republican. Obama's budget proposals also promise great change, but at this point they're only plans and not worth much more than the proverbial paper they're written on.
But if Obama continues to insist he has a mandate to implement a sweeping social agenda, he'll soon have to confront two political realities. First, organizing opposition to something is a lot easier than organizing support for it, even if you're Obama. And second, he still has to convince members of his own party — most of whom face re-election two years before he does — that the country really wants massive change.
So far, the answer he's getting in response to his proposals to curb carbon emissions or limit tax deductions for the rich has been decidedly lukewarm. Not a good sign.
What's past is prologue, wrote William Shakespeare. The first 100 days were just that — and not much more.
To read the "Stark Ravings" blog, go to thePhoenix.com/blogs/starkravings. Steven Stark can be reached at email@example.com.
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