Controlling the Political Troops | NBC New York

Controlling the Political Troops

When The Left Hand Misses What The Far Left Hand Is Doing

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    Obama's biggest obstacle to changing the tone in Washington may come from a fellow Democrat: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has shown a fierce partisan urge to investigate Bush administration policies on torture and detention.

    First up on the new president's schedule: Making sure that the left hand knows what the far left hand is doing.

    No sooner did the Obama operation take control of the White House operation than the official Whitehouse.gov site displayed copy slamming George W. Bush's handling of Katrina:

    Under the “agenda” portion of the site regarding Katrina, it reads: “President Obama will keep the broken promises made by President Bush to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. He and Vice President Biden will take steps to ensure that the federal government will never again allow such catastrophic failures in emergency planning and response to occur.”

    “President Obama swiftly responded to Hurricane Katrina,” the statement on the site continues. “Citing the Bush Administration’s ‘unconscionable ineptitude’ in responding to Hurricane Katrina, then-Senator Obama introduced legislation requiring disaster planners to take into account the specific needs of low-income hurricane victims.”

    It wasn't just the basic inappropriateness of the stuff: The copy most likely was transferred in toto from Barackobama.com. It reads like political hyperbole.

    But the real problem was the timing. Obama was delivering a speech on personal responsibility and a need for real change from the political gotcha games of recent years: "On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.".

    Simultaneously, his minions are slamming the departed president's actions from 3 1/2 years ago? Now about that post-partisanship...

    This behavior is something that Obama can fix right away:  He just has to tell the kids running the site to take the harsh language down.  It's a much tougher job at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.  Will Obama be able exert control on the Congress? After making it pretty clear in recent days that he doesn't want Bush policies on detainment and electronic surveillance litigated and investigated ad infinitum. He wants to "Move On."

    Oops, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disagrees! Bring on the show trials! Congressional Democrats want blood.

    Don't discount the generational aspect here. Pelosi is a textbook Boomer: She wants the battle to continue. No justice. No peace. The boomer natural state is one of instability and war (See '90s: Clinton, Gingrich, '00: Bush, etc.).  This moving on stuff just won't cut it.

    So Obama has to decide what tone will take the day. His -- or a Congress still dominated by boomers.