Friday, February 06, 2009

Yes, More Like This, Please

Courtesy C&L:

“When you start hearing arguments, on the cable chatter, just understand a couple of things,” [President Obama] said. “No. 1, when they say, ‘Well, why are we spending $800 billion [when] we’ve got this huge deficit?’ – first of all, I found this deficit when I showed up, No. 1.

“I found this national debt, doubled, wrapped in a big bow waiting for me as I stepped into the Oval Office.”

Yes—don't miss an opportunity to hang this mess around the neck of the Republicans like a big stinking dead albatross. As first weeks of Obama's presidency have gone by and the Republicans and their de facto media allies have seemed to be gaining an implacable momentum in their efforts to mock, slice, dice, and julienne-fry the stimulus proposal into a too-little-too-late mess that Obama and the Democrats can nonetheless be blamed for come 2010, I've been clinging to the hope that this is all part of some grand strategy: let the cable natterers natter and the Republican crybabies cry, then mount the bully pulpit and slap them all around with some well-timed, well-targeted national addresses that will remind the non-Beltway part of the country (a) who really made this economic mess and (b) who got elected to fix it—and maybe remind people just how incompetent and/or dishonest large chunks of the media/political elite have been revealed to be during the last eight years. And lo! apparently the Big O is planning a prime-time news conference for Monday and (hopefully) an address from the Oval Office as well.

Please, please, please, Mr. President: use every bit of the considerable political acumen that you possess to regain the momentum and put these satans behind thee where they belong. I hate to invoke Machiavelli, especially a sentence after alluding to Christ, but to adapt the Florentine: Sound bipartisan if you must, but act in as partisan a manner as the times demand. We've had decades of tax-cutting and deregulating and government-bashing, and look where we've ended up. It's time to stop listening to the current crop of Republicans; there are simply too few of them with brains and/or consciences. Send them to the kiddie table where they belong, and get on with the business of governing. Scrap the bipartisanship nonsense; in a sane society it might mean something, but in our society it's merely a euphemism for "more of the same"—and as you've just said:

"I don't care if you're driving a hybrid or SUV. If you're driving toward a cliff, you have to change direction,'' Obama told his party, applauding the words of their new president at the start of a weekend retreat. "That's what the American people called for."
Amen. Now please grab the damn steering wheel and don't let go.

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