Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Let's face it. President Obama has been ukered by his opponents after they hoisted him by his own petard when he accepted, with inappropriate hubris, the renaming of the affordable care act as Obamacare. I believe someone once said, "pride goeth before the fall!" Someone else ( Dutch political philosopher Soren Kierkegaard) also said '" if you label me you can dismiss me".

    Once he accepted the label, his opponents were able to focus the opposition to everything the President stands for by centering on  his signature achievement, health care reform.

     It matters not that the idea of mandating universal purchasing of health insurance plans was a Republican one. Obama actually took a chapter out of Mitt Romney's Massachusetts play book and implemented the idea on a national scale, much to his complete discredit by his unrelenting Republican opposition which decries anything and everything associated with this President . As my father used to say, “When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas”.

     The Republicans  have adopted as their motivational mantra the need to repeal Obamacare. They claim it is responsible for sluggish job growth, excessive national debt, and almost everything else including tooth decay. This is now in addition to their original cries of "socialized medicine" and "death panels".  The problem is the sheer unending incessance of their anti Obamacare chants have blurred the ability of the average voter to focus on the positive accomplishments of this same President. That is a shame, but it is Barack Obama's shame because of his  own unwillingness and/or reluctance to fight back. In his world,  facts matter,  and rationality prevails. Unfortunately,  in the world outside of  Harvard Law review circles, repetitive ridiculizing is more potent than  professorial probity.

     Let's face it. The last time a US President was as vilified and de -legitimized as Barack Obama was nearly seventy years ago, when Harry Truman couldn't catch a break with the Republicans,  even if he bought them all winning lottery tickets. Then again, governmentally sponsored lotteries didn't exist back then. We actually funded the national government through a system called the Progressive income tax, which forced the well to do to pay their fair share of the bill. Sadly, that system too has fallen on such hard times, and become prey to so many loopholes that people are even crying out for a "fairer" flat tax.

     The only solution to regain his lost footing and to get back into the game is for Barack Obama to sprinkle himself with the fairy dust of a Harry Truman persona, and "Give 'em hell", not hieroglyphic histrionics.

     Former Vice President Dick Cheney recently opined on the Fox News Channel that President Obama in proposing cutbacks in the post cold war military budget was not driven by world circumstances as much as by budget considerations. “He’d much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops”, said Cheney.  That type of delusional diatribe must not go unanswered.  Barack Obama , should call a press conference, and call out Cheney directly on his duplicity and demagoguery.  He should demand an apology , and hold Cheney’s record up for examination at the same time.  There comes a time when you just can’t take it lying down anymore, and that time has long since arrived.  Would that Obama would show some sense of indignation, and/or downright anger and antipathy toward his less than civil critics.  They continue to label him and dismiss him, and should no longer do so with impunity.

     He needs a strong defense, as well as  a good offense, politically speaking, both of which seem to be lacking as a result of his ponderous temperament. Long boring factual dissertations simply do not cut it in this facts be damned Fox News saturated world of pious platitudes, pungent sarcasm and pontificating punditry. Obama needs to sharpen his rhetoric and his elbows if he is to get back in the game and make a real difference. The other option is to keep sliding into the dustbin of history and to leave a lackluster legacy in place of the luminescence that might have been. Here's hoping the President will saddle up and ride out the rest of his term with the roughridering bravado of Teddy Roosevelt and the common man,  common sense courage of Harry Truman. It's worth a try.