President Obama’s stimulus package was the story of the week. The bill passed, but the bigger story may be what didn’t happen – or at least, didn’t happen yet.
TechPresident’s Nancy Scola was incredulous that President Obama did not mobilize his grassroots standing army to support the stimulus, even as Republicans began crying “pork.” Scola wondered if this showed the President felt he could take care of navigating the bill through Congress on his own. But some Obama critics – like Craig Colgan of TechRepublican – point out that the White House has not exactly on the cutting edge of new media, with a website that delivers little of the transparency, connection, and access that was promised on the campaign trail.
The answer may be that Team Obama cares more about the image of transparency than the actual substance. Consider Recovery.gov – a site which promises to track the stimulus package after its passage, so citizens can see where their tax dollars are going. A nice concept, but somewhat useless – after the bill passes, taxpayers can do little if nothing to change where their dollars go.
It may be that the Obama Administration realizes that, with less-than-ironclad public support, it may be wise to keep the people at an arms length while the stimulus is debated and ultimately passed by Congressional Democrats. But they will give you a great view once your money starts getting flushed.