Open Thread: Democrats Ignore Obama's Agenda

As the unofficial head of the Democratic Party, presumably the wishes of President Obama ought to carry some weight among his fellow liberals in Congress. Sadly for him, it appears that congressional Democrats don't seem to have much regard for Obama's agenda. They don't seem to have any interest in getting it enacted as IBD notes:

In early May, Obama started issuing an urgent plea for Congress to pass a short, five-item "to do" list that, he said, had to be done "right now" to "speed up this recovery and to create jobs."

And throughout the month, he urged "everybody" to "pick up the phone, write an email, tweet, and remind your member of Congress we can't afford to wait until November to get things done."

Apparently nobody in the audience bothered, since even Obama's fellow Democrats are ignoring this list.

In fact, almost a full month after Obama started his latest campaign, not one of the items on his "must do now" list has been scheduled for a vote, according to a report in Roll Call. And just one — some business tax cuts — has made it onto the Senate calendar for June — a calendar set up by Democratic leader Harry Reid.

Democrats are paying so little attention to Obama these days they don't even have a clue what's on that list, let alone the sense of urgency Obama has put behind it.

"What time frame did he put on that to-do list?" Sen. Bob Casey asked the Roll Call reporter. "Do you have a copy of the list?" Sen. Mary Landrieu asked. "Wasn't that on the list?" Sen. Carl Levin asked, in reference to student loans (which isn't on Obama's "to do" list).

The responsibility for Democrats not even trying to pass Obama's "right now" agenda may not lie with Democrats. After all, if a president wants to push his agenda in Congress, he certainly has many people at his disposal to do just that. Does Obama actually care less about getting his ideas into law and more about getting a campaign prop? Or is there a failure of communications between Obama and the congressional Democrats?

One might be inclined to believe the former but the fact that congressional Dems refused to introduce a budget based on the president's budget outline and that they refused to introduce a "jobs bill" which Obama deemed important earlier suggests that the second possibility is quite real. What are your thoughts?

Open Thread
Matthew Sheffield's picture