Posted on January 29, 2010
So the latest evidence that the Obama administration can be pushed around came with rumors that it was looking to move the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed out of New York to some undisclosed location.
It was bad that the attorney general said he was going to bring the terrorist to New York. It is far worse to buckle under political criticism from the New York mayor and some Democratic politicians who are worried about their sinking political fortunes.
This comes on the heels of the most stunning political defeat I have ever seen in the Congress.
After both the House and the Senate voted to pass a contentious health reform package last year, and after Democrats in both chambers promised to conclude work on the legislation by the State of the Union address, the president pulled the plug.
He didn’t come out and say “Uncle,” but he certainly could have.
As Mr. Obama himself said in his first SOTU, let’s let the passions cool on this bill for a while. His first priority is now jobs.
Jobs? He is now coming to the conclusion that jobs are his first priority? After watching his colleagues in the House and the Senate walk the plank on the most unpopular healthcare bill in congressional history, he’s now going to throw in the towel and move onto jobs?
No wonder Democrats are in disarray.
Mitch McConnell, and his top-notch staff, deserve tremendous credit for first slowing down this train and then getting it to move off the tracks. He performed a tactical and strategic legislative miracle. He kept moderates like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins from jumping ship and jumping on the Democratic bandwagon.
He had to endure some stupid second-guessing from guys like Rush Limbaugh, but that is the price of leadership.
I don’t know if this is Obama’s Waterloo or not, but it is a stunning setback.
His troops are demoralized and confused. His poll numbers are still sinking. And his legislative agenda is in tatters. Otherwise, he is doing just fine.