Monday, November 8, 2010

What To Do About That Man In The White House

I have been a fierce supporter and defender of President Obama in the past.  I want to still do that but after the midterms it's becoming more and more difficult.  If the next two years are going to be a repeat of the last two, it'll be impossible.

What I mean by that is if Mr. Obama continues to try and reach out to Republicans (read: appease) then I'm done with him.  I defended the President to the left as a pragmatist but it appears I was wrong on that.  The President is an idealist - one who really thought he could unite the country all by himself.  Nothing wrong with that on its face but idealism has to be seasoned with reality for it to work.

The reality is that turning one's cheek only works twice.  The Republicans have shown time and time again that they are only interested in regaining power and they'll obstruct any and everything to get it.  To them, it's party over country and they don't care who they hurt as long as they can stop the Democrats then blame them for not doing anything.  Repeatedly saying that no matter what you'll "strive to work with" them only encourages them.  The days of bipartisanship are over - now it's time to fire up the machine and steam roll over them.

That this should have happened well before we lost the House and a ton of state legislatures should be self-evident.  The opportunities and advances we could have made beyond the impressive number of things the Democratic Congress accomplished is breathtaking but instead we wasted time trying to make conservatives, outside of our party and within, happy and willing to work for the good of the country.

So much for that idea.

What actions Obama and the Democrats can do now has been limited but still do-able.  There's still executive orders to make more advances and the veto pen to protect what progress we have been able to make.  Given the limits, it's time to jump on the bully pulpit and cable TV and start going on the offensive.  Call the Republican claims what they are - lies.  Point out the very real differences between the nutcases on the right and the fact that all the Democrats did was what they were elected to do in 2008.

This is going to have to start at the top with real leadership from the White House.  Professor Obama is going to have to become President finally and fight. 

If he is unwilling or unable to do that, then I say it's time to look for someone else to lead the party and the nation in 2012.  Primary challenges don't always have to be divisive and split the party - in order for that not to happen Democrats are going to have to be willing to say that if a primary challenger gets Obama turned into a fighter and going the right direction but loses the challenge then its mission accomplished.  That's what happened last election in the governor's race in Oregon.  Then-Governor Kulongoski seemed to be turning right and was challenged by two primary candidates.  Gov. Ted won the primary but got the message.  He emerged a better governor and candidate and his party primary opponents unified behind him to win him a second term.

President Obama was elected on a platform of hope and change.  The change is underway, the hope is that he finds the steel in his spine to get us through the next two years with minimal damage from the Tea Party crazies the Republicans have become.  This time President Obama really does only have two years to get this done.  If he does, he'll bring back the enthusiastic base who elected him in '08 but stayed home this year to win another term.

If he doesn't, and there is no challenge in the primaries, then pay close attention to the Republican presidential primaries.  It'll show us who our next President will be.

1 comment:

sanjeev said...

In any case, it takes little specialized training to reach, as Flynn did, the central point that for all his tinkering and legislative innovation, FDR utterly failed to correct the Depression. Flynn’s admiration for Herbert Hoover may have been misplaced, but it was based on his perception that Hoover, unlike FDR, saw business recovery, and not puerile scapegoating of "economic royalists," as the key to lifting the nation out of its unprecedented slump. Roosevelt himself said that he had never read a book on economics; as Flynn put it, "it is entirely possible that no one knew less about [it] than Roosevelt." Ignorance was indeed bliss for FDR, who seems to have held that no so-called economic law was any match for his iron will.
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