President Obama is reviving and strengthening the EPA, OSHA and the SEC. You know, just like Bush. John Judis via Steve Benen writes:
[T]here is one extremely consequential area where Obama has done just about everything a liberal could ask for — but done it so quietly that almost no one, including most liberals, has noticed. Obama’s three Republican predecessors were all committed to weakening or even destroying the country’s regulatory apparatus: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the other agencies that are supposed to protect workers and consumers by regulating business practices.
Now Obama is seeking to rebuild these battered institutions. In doing so, he isn’t simply improving the effectiveness of various government offices or making scattered progress on a few issues; he is resuscitating an entire philosophy of government with roots in the Progressive era of the early twentieth century. Taken as a whole, Obama’s revival of these agencies is arguably the most significant accomplishment of his first year in office. [...]
And a warning about the consequences of the midterms: Clinton tried the same thing in his first year, but the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 ended that process almost instantly.