Friday, September 9, 2011

Call out the Boogeymen!

Call Out the Boogeymen!

A wise person once told me, “Never should on yourself or anyone else!” Now, say that ten times fast. Or say” You should pass this bill right away!”, five times, like President Obama did on Thursday night. The result of this admonition is the same, it gets the person’s back up who you are “should-ing”, and strengthens their resistance to oppose, rather than support, what it is you say they should do. It is simple human nature.

Now, President Obama knew, going in, that he was entering the Lions’ Den. His mistake in the presentation , however, was in holding out hope for the hopelessly opposed, and trying to shame them into doing something that may benefit the American people, but will not benefit their political agenda, both long and short term. After all, the Republicans in Congress already have jobs...their own, and they want to keep their jobs, and will go to whatever extremes are necessary to do so. They simply want to insure that President Obama loses his job in November of 2012, so it is not in their interest to do anything to save him from the loss of that job. So, they will find multiple excuses for not supporting the Jobs bill...and they will twist the truth to say that they have already proposed many jobs bills which the President and the Democrats in congress have rejected (translate that more tax cuts..) This is political bloodsport...pure and simple, and the sooner the President recognizes this inevitable fact, the sooner he may be able to save his own job by fixing the blame squarely on the shoulders of those responsible for the current political imbroglio..the recalcitrant Republicans in the do nothing Republican Congress.

That’s how Harry Truman saved his job in 1948, and the same principle applies in 2012. Call out the Boogeyman for who he, or they, are, and point the finger at them, repeatedly. This is what they have been doing to him ad nauseum on talk radio. Time to reverse polarity and fight fire with fire. If President Obama does not have the fire in his belly to do so, he will suffer indigestion for the next 14 months, all for naught, while in the end, he will fade away as a first and one termer.

The American people, and yes, those critically undecided Independent voters in the middle, already clearly understand one thing. He is not the one who has failed to extend the olive branch. All you have to do is look at the expression on John Boehner’s face during Obama’s speech to see where they are, and have been, at. They wouldn’t even give him the courtesy of setting up the speech for an earlier time, let alone the courtesy of a response. Boehner mumbled something about the American people being more interested in football, than in listening to a Republican response. Clearly, they think this is nothing more than an “Save Obama’s job” bill, and the more he entreats them, the more convinced they become. Time to move on, go past them, and take the case to the American people directly.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch Mc Connell quoted something from Albert Einstein about the definition of insanity being doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. He is right on that point, only the insanity is not in proposing jobs bills that the Republicans think are flawed from the start, the insanity is in believing that you can get a different result from an entrenched oppositional party that has made naysaying their signature response to anything this President may do, and de-legitimizing his status as President at every turn they can the sine qua non of their own success barometer.

Take a chapter out of the book of Harry. It is time to give the Republicans hell, Barry! Not Purgatory, not Limbo, but hell...and and don’t mince words or equivocate. Tell it like it is. To quote the immortal Harry S. Truman,” I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell. ... I just tell the truth and they think it's hell.” Tell them the truth Mr. President, and keep telling it until at last the truth sets you free. The only way to deal with this crowd is to send them packing in 2012. Sad, but that is just the way it is. Use the megaphone of the bully pulpit at every turn, and enlist your friends and Democratic comrades to do the same. That is the only formula for ultimate success.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Give 'em Hell, Barry!

Note to Obama Speechwriters for Thursday night!

In order to regain his base and restore his popularity with the American people, in his primetime speech to a Joint Session of Congress Thursday night ,   the President needs to change the dynamic of the debate,  step to the podium,  and tell Congress, which is even less popular than he is, that the jig is up.  He needs to clearly state that he will no longer cotton to their fancies, or those of their lobbyists, and instead,  that he will dance with the crowd that brung him. Having been unable to woo the Republicans to embrace the spirit of bipartisanship and to put country ahead of party for the last nearly three years, he is going to stop trying and start fighting for what he believes in!

    To  further woo the unwooable is a fools errand. He has tried compromise, which has only weakened him. He has argued to convince the better angels of their nature, and they not only remain unconvinced, they have scorned him.

He has even unwittingly accepted part of the blame they have wittingly assigned him for the debt ceiling debate debacle, with the likes of Sean Hannity even referring to him as President Downgrade! He may have become President downgrade by his own hand by downgrading the bona fides of his own leadership in failing to fight for those values which he and his followers believe in! He has lessened  his own relevance in the marketplace of ideas because he has validated theirs and their agenda, simply by marching to the beat of their drummer, rather than creating a drumbeat of his own cadence.”

    The pundits would have you believe that “It's the economy, stupid!’ That no incumbent President can be assured of re-election, when the jobless rate is still soaring above 9 %   and the stock market in a downward roller coaster ride. I say... Not true, in this very limited fact pattern. He could make the case that what he inherited was nothing short of a debacle, and that he has at least staved off an even greater debacle so far, and it would be believable...because it's true!

  But to do so...he has to speak truth to the pretenders to the throne, and make the case for what government can do to help the private sector regain it's footing, so we can bounce back for real. To do so though...he has to be genuine, not disingenuous. He needs to face his tormentors and call their bluff. Americans will rally to support a tough talking truth teller much faster than they will come to the aid of a tough talking , but weak kneed negotiator who has  never met a Republican plan he hasn't wanted to cave to.

    He can stare down the beast on Thursday night, and tell Congress and the American people straight out that there is indeed a deficit problem we need to tackle, and that  is the deficit in the amount of taxes we collect from those most able to pay! Our deficit comes from our failure to collect taxes from those to whom much has been given. To wit: those Americans who earn over $250,000, only 43% of whom paid any income tax at all last year!

They can afford accountants and lawyers who can guide them through the tax code to loophole heaven. They can afford  the lobbyists who created those loopholes by having their bought and paid for Congressional minions vote the loopholes into the tax code to begin with.

    Tax cuts and deficits do not mix. Ask any economist . Our current red ink problem stems not from the projected insolvency of the Social Security or Medicare system, but from the very tax cuts former President Bush spearheaded the enactment of at a time of balanced budgets and even budgetary surplus. Couple that with two unfunded wars and an unfunded prescription drug program.  We have met the enemy, and it is not Grandma, or future Grandmas. It is those advocating for a continuation of those  very tax cuts which have become the government funding/deficit problem. We have met the enemy, and it is our own timidity.

   Speak truth to power MR . President! Be true to your  school! Rah rah , sis boom bah!
Cheer for what  you  and your followers believe in, and let the chips fall where they may!  The alternative is to exit stage left, long before it is time for you to do so. Raise the curtain anew on your Presidency. Don't let them bring the curtain down around you,

    Mr. President...Fight , fight, fight ... With all of your might! In so doing you will regain your "mojo", and return your followers to the fold, and with your renewed and re-energized base, together we can keep the audacity of hope alive.