Fiddler- in- Chief
In government, there are always two choices . You can respond to a crisis , or shrink from it. You can choose "Don't just stand there....do something!" , or Don't just do something, Stand there!" It has always been thus.
In the Great depression, Herbert Hoover chose to just stand there, and Franlkin Delano Roosevelt chose to do something! To paraphrase Robert Frost, "two roads diverged in the woods, and Roosevelt took the path less travelled by , and It has made all the difference! " The leading Republican contenders would have it Hoover's way. No new taxes, No new programs, no new spending, no more pencils, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks, don't just play dumb, be dumb. Better yet, be dumb, deaf , and blind!
Now as we approach the Seventh Inning stretch, stepping up to home plate is Barack Obama, and he can choose to play the part of Babe Ruth, or he can choose to bunt. Which will it be?
So far, the choice has been to bunt, or even to refuse to swing the bat of the bully pulpit . The Tea Partiers are shouting from the Granstand for him to fiddle and let Rome burn. They are even lighting fires in the parking lot.
The White House political team seems to be urging Mr. Obama to fiddle a little faster, but accept the fact that Rome is going to burn because the arsonists have been put in charge of half the government .
The Republicans are a noisy crowd. Their "just say no" mantra of Obama's first two years has become "just say No way in hell "!, and the President seems haplessly ukered into his own corner, unable to match his formerly inspiring rhetoric with any kind if bold new deeds. His lack of Harry Truman persona has caused his poll numbers to go into a mudslide.
So, what to do? Is there a way out? Is it time for the proverbial Hail Mary pass?
To borrow a phrase from non Presidential contender Sarah Palin,,,,"You betcha!"
The times call for bold action to accompany bold rhetoric. If the Republicans refuse to play ball, and choose to sit out the rest of the game, so be it, They do so at their own electoral peril. But for them to be electorally imperiled, the bully pulpit must be resurrected, and the megaphone dusted off . This is no time to use the professorial lectern.
The large lady has yet to step up to the microphone to belt out a tune. There is still time to seize the initiative. There is still time to lead, The time for fiddling has passed.
What say you, Mr. President? Are you up to the task? Or should we just wait to call out the firetrucks to douse the remaining ashes of the audacity of hope? The choice is yours, Mr. President.