President Obama is facing the firing squad. Liberals are castigating him for seeking a grand bargain with obstructive Tea Party Republicans. Diversity-initiative groups are lambasting POTUS for his whiter and more masculine second-term cabinet. Human rights advocates are discharging bullets, hoping to harm the administration’s drone policy.
However, Jay Carney, the White House Press Secretary, is urging critics to keep calm and hold judgment. He was responding to a letter from Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. She wrote the president expressing her concern for lack of diversity in his second-term cabinet.
Fudge’s concern is valid. Obama has appointed white men and women to oversee all open vacancies, including the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and the Director of the CIA.
But he isn’t finished yet. “There are obviously still appointments the president will be making,” Carney said in a press conference. “The president is committed to diversity. He believes that having a diverse Cabinet and a diverse set of advisers enhances the decision-making and deliberation process for him and for any president.”
Carney’s “keep calm” encouragement transcends cabinet appointments and into the president’s other political fights.
Drones kill. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimating as many as 98 percent of drone strike casualties are civilians instead of suspected terrorist targets. President Obama and his administration have concealed most of the drone program from the general public citing national security issues. And as expected, Republicans are raising their voices.
Some Congressional Democrats think President Obama’s bargaining with Republicans is futile. The extreme right-wing of the GOP isn’t budging, so it’s pointless to negotiate with them. Ezra Klein writes in his March 2 column, “The bottom line on American budgetary politics right now is that Republicans won’t agree to further tax increases and so there’s no deal to be had. This is not a controversial perspective in D.C.: It’s what Hill Republicans have told me, it’s what the White House has told me, it what Hill Democrats have told me.” Republicans are obstructionists. President Obama faces an uphill battle in combating them.
All of their scrutiny is warranted. No president, including the first African-American, is precluded from criticism. Voters and fellow politicians should interrogate the policies of our Commander-in-Chief to ensure his second-term agenda aligns with the needs and desires of the nation. But wait until the president acts before firing at him.
Clutch aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to black women by presenting a variety of opinions, whether or not those opinions are shared by Clutch or other members of our editorial staff.