Some of the many platforms that Obama ran on was transparency as well as being a more "eco-friendly" president. Based on that he's implemented a lot of programs to both increase transparency (well, sorta) as well as providing homeowners with incentives to create more eco-friendly homes that would also save them money.
In terms of transparency, President Obama decreed in December 2009, that the administration would begin posting all White House visitor records for the period from September 15th onwards under the terms of their new voluntary disclosure policy. This was an interesting turn of events as before that time the administration was fighting that the White House visitor logs were presidential records -- not Secret Service agency records, which would be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. This was a similar position that the Bush administration had and one that many Democrats loudly criticized.
At any rate, the doors are now open for the public to view those records and many watch-dog groups have. But a recent NYT article revealed that because of this "open-door" policy many of the people in this current administration have been having meetings outside of the White House. "Rich Gold, a prominent Democratic lobbyist who has taken part in a number of meetings at Caribou Coffee, said that White House staff members 'want to follow the president’s guidance of reducing the influence of special interests, and yet they have to do their job and have the best information available to them to make decisions.'" This is a clear disconnect between what the administration is saying and what it is doing. Some may argue that to play politics in Washington one needs to meet with lobbyists but this goes directly against the platform that President Obama has even posted on the White House website.
But enough about transparency. Onto environmentalism!
There were many complaints about the Bush administration and it's horrendous environmental record. When Obama brought forth his pledge to incorporate many environmental friendly programs into his platform, many people were thrilled. One program that he instituted as part of his pledge was to devote $150 million in stimulus money for programs that help homeowners install solar panels and other energy improvements, which they pay for over time on their property tax bills. Sounds great, right?
Except another NYT article points out that "the two government-chartered agencies that buy and resell most home mortgages are threatening to derail the effort by warning that they might not accept loans for homes that take advantage of the special financing." Why Fannie and Freddie Mac I hardly knew ye!
So now you have two policies that were instituted based on platforms during President Obama's run for the presidency that are currently being undermined by the people who implemented them. It seems that there is a great amount of disconnect between what the administration says and what they do. So should we blame the administration for making promises they can't keep? Or should we blame the politics in Washington and/or the economy that are preventing the current administration from "walking the walk"?
What say you?
As an aside, I would behoove you to click all 500 links I included.
- When Policies Don't Jive With Reality