Barack Obama often seems disengaged, so why is he acting like a control freak over state Ebola quarantines.
While I think the President’s agenda often reveal him to be a control freak, I don’t see it often in his personal behavior as chief executive. He seems to care more about golf than many issues that seem important to others.
So what is going on that the President is actively opposing things that are not his business and should not be his concern?
Consider this New York Times headline: “Under Pressure, Cuomo Says Ebola Quarantines Will Allow Home Isolation.”
Facing fierce resistance from the White House and medical experts to a strict new mandatory quarantine policy for all medical workers who had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Sunday night that people quarantined in New York who do not show symptoms of the disease would be allowed to remain at home and would receive compensation for lost income.
Mr. Cuomo’s decision came after a weekend in which administration officials urged him and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to reconsider the mandatory quarantine they announced on Friday. Aides to President Obama also asked other governors and mayors to follow a policy based on science, seeking to stem a steady movement toward more stringent measures in recent days at the state level.
I don’t get it.
Why can’t the White House simply worry about its many duties and leave the states alone? Why is it taking the time to pressure governors?
Obviously, governors are supposed to protect and be answerable to the residents of their states. If President Obama took a special interest in Illinois, I would understand his personal desire to get involved (though it would still be outside his jurisdiction). But why should he make New York or New Jersey his special concern? Sending his aides to lobby against their decisions makes no sense to me. If he wanted to mention he disagrees and explain why, then he could do so. But it is not his business to meddle in state affairs.
Buried in the New York Times story you can easily discover why the governors felt they had to resort to quarantine, whether you agree with them or not. But the story frames the issues, as you can see from the above quotation, as if the President is obviously right and the governors were wrong. Also, they assume an almost dictatorial role for the president. I have in mind especially this line: “Neither governor notified the White House” that they were going to implement mandatory quarantines. No kidding. They are the governors of their states. The President is not the governor of any state.
So why does he now suddenly get all controlling?