Monday, November 15, 2010

Lame Duck Advice For Obama

Paul Krugman
EJ Dionne Jr
Gail Sheehy
"The lame-duck session of Congress that kicks off this week will test whether Democrats have spines made of Play-Doh and whether President Obama has decided to pretend that capitulation is conciliation." - EJ Dionne Jr
"The obvious point is the contrast between the administration’s current whipped-dog demeanor and Mr. Obama’s soaring rhetoric as a candidate. How did we get from “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” to here" - Paul Krugman

President Obama is back from his goodwill tour of Asia, just in time for the next session of Congress. Because not much is expected to be accomplished, it's being called a lame duck session. Republicans are vowing to be tough, but they don't have any clout until next year, so it's all hot air working with smoke and mirrors... Two more years of misdirection, talking about tax cuts when there are no new strategies for starting up new businesses and creating new jobs. The top 1% of our richest people are taking in over 23% of our profits, with more families falling below the poverty line, and extending the Bush tax cuts will allow them to keep on taking in more. Almost makes me want to watch Sarah Palin's Alaska to get my mind off of things...

But we will have two more years of everyone being frustrated, our problems grow larger and more in-your-face, while the lame ducks in Congress waddle around looking for grubs. Even a mild mannered man such as Paul Krugman is telling Obama to man up and change his self-defeating attitude. I think that Obama needs to start spending his weekends traveling around the country, talking to people and listening to their concerns, spend a few more weekends in the VA hospitals, volunteering in soup kitchens and free clinics, visit a few old politicians with Alzheimer's... In short, lose the aloofness and become engaged with more common activities for the next two years, and it will guarantee him four more.

On the other hand, Obama needs to spend more time with Hillary Clinton, and even Bill Clinton, learning how to be more diplomatic, to have some grit behind those eloquent speeches. Instead of letting Nancy Pelosi twist in the wind, he should be supporting her, making sure that her term as Minority Leader will be just as successful as when she was Speaker of the House, and she was the most successful Speaker in over the last 60 years...

I would encourage more media coverage and interviews with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, let them put their feet in their mouths at every opportunity. After a good year, well over 127 hours of Mitch's one-note message, the public will be chewing their own limbs off to get away from McConnell. Boehner will be drinking himself to death in front of our eyes, and then we will be crying out for the sanity of a Michael Steele. They even make George W Bush look good...

To facilitate this Republican meltdown, host weekly meetings with both Democratic and Republican leaders. Then, host other meetings with the incoming freshman Congressmen. The idea is to host weekly meetings so there is a constant flow of ideas going around, or at least the attempt made of doing so. Since Obama used to teach Constitutional law, he could have something interesting to talk to the tea party folks, help dispel some of the more vicious and obviously made-up rumors about his administration. When Boehner and McConnell try to bully their fellow Republicans into not attending these meetings, at least they will look like the jerks more interested in partisan in-fighting.

Probably the biggest mistake Obama has made, is to let the grass roots anger at the government be transferred over to him. I'm not talking about the racist, personally vicious attacks; those were going to happen anyway, because we have a long way to go towards becoming an actual enlightened democratic nation. No, I'm referring to the undirected anger that caused people to form tea partys, and constitutional parties, that was cleverly owned by conservatives manipulators like Dick Armey, who now is considered their savior. If Obama had confronted that kind of anger in the beginning, used it to make a national dialogue, let the anger vent, there would have been no rallies against Obamacare or whatever the imagined culprit was. That anger had the chance to be transformed into something more useful; as it is now, it's still a destructive force threatening to alienate the political process even more.

Maybe we need an Aung San Suu Kyi of our own, someone who has been to the ninth Buddhist hell and back, and still has been able to heal and transcend her personal situation. Someone who inspires more than a few mama grizzlies, someone who can raise a daughter that won't get pregnant before she's 18, someone who makes you proud to be an American. Oh well, maybe in some future generation...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Thanks for commenting. I always try to respond...