Change We Can’t Believe In?

In her Washington Post column today, Ruth Marcus doesn’t mention President Obama’s 1-for-46 record on posting bills online for five days before signing them. But she does single out a similar promise: “When the details of health reform were being hammered out, he vowed, ‘We’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.’”

According to Marcus, dealmaking with the drug industry “underscores the dangerously wide gap between Obama’s idealistic campaign-trail promises and the gritty realities of governing. “

Observers will continue to note peeling paint and growing rust spots on the “Change” icon that swept President Obama into office. He set high standards by which his lawmaking practices will be judged, and he’s not meeting them.

That’s not a personal knock on the president. He would if he could. But even a president can’t single-handedly undo the power dynamics that have accrued in and around Washington, D.C. for most of the last century – especially not one who believes that exercising government power is good.