Sunday, January 11, 2009

We do Obama a disservice by withholding policy criticisms

Watching Sunday morning news shows, catching up on Josh's updates from last night's post, and seeing some of the debates I've been in here, it seems we need a better debate and understanding of the benefits and perils of criticizing our new President.

Josh's update makes the point:

If Nate's right about what Obama's plan is, having people pushing for something better from the outside is part of it. So under either scenario, holding your tongue makes no sense, in addition to being unethical.

Adrian Fenty, on Meet the Press just now praised the Obama economic recovery plan, saying it's just what we need. It's nice to be positive, but that's not entirely true.

The truth is that the Obama plan is a damn good start toward what we need, but it's not big enough for the problem we face. So, if we all run around muting any criticism then the Obama Recovery Plan will have fewer voices trying to make it better.

It's likely that Obama and his team have judged they will have a larger plan in the end if they start low to get bargained higher rather than starting high and getting knocked down. There's some logic there.

But if we limit our roles to a choir praising anything he does, we will be doing him a disservice. We can help with spreading the word on the depth of the Bush crater Obama and Congress need to fill. By remaining involved, remaining active, and not adopting partisan fictions around our Leader's greatness, we can help create the policy environment to make President Obama a huge historical success.

Of course, we should remember to keep the disagreements to policy.

No comments: