by E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow Greg Walcher
As appearing in The Daily Sentinel
One of the most frustrating aspects of American politics is the failure of elected officials to do what they promised. We resent politicians who campaign on an issue — say repealing Obamacare — and seem to forget it after the election.
I know firsthand the rigorous demands of a campaign. One demand faced by conservatives in every election is to name programs they would abolish if elected. They all practice a ready answer, ticking off questionable programs they would abolish: Department of Education, Legal Services Corp., PBS, whatever. But during the last six times Republicans had majorities in either House of Congress, there was no attempt whatsoever to abolish anything. Bills were never even introduced, so the frustration of voters is easy to understand.
For me, it is much harder to understand the similar frustration people seem to feel when politicians do exactly what they said. For eight years, I heard people express disbelief about the intensity of the Obama “war on coal,” and the billions in subsidies lavished on the wind and solar industries. But there was nothing surprising about it. President Obama was pursuing exactly the policies he promised as a candidate.