We need to stop worrying the tea party will whine

So I hear you saying that simply conceding defeat to the tea party without trying is the only way to reelection for Obama? Because it hurst our feelings when they yell at us? And then, to do what? Exactly what president Mitt would do, since you’ve given everything away and decided never to fight long ago? if Obama is going to settle for Republican austerity measures (and my, haven’t they worked out well in Europe?) that won’t help the country, what difference does it really make if Obama or Romney are in the oval office?

You seem to think Obama should push for what you would consider centrist, and I think you’re forgetting that the Reps and tea party will scream just as loudly and call Obama a socialist with the same fervor no matter what he proposes or says. Whether Obama asks for ten trillion to put a man on Mars next year or simply asks for a larger paper clip to hold the ream of budget cuts together, they’ll scream bloody murder just as loudly. They’ve proven that over and over. This week Warren Buffett said we should stop coddling the super-rich, and immediately the Fox News talking heads worked themselves into a class war frenzy and called Buffett a socialist. I kid you not.

I think one of the great faults of Obama’s presidency is that he worries too much about hurting the Republicans feelings. He needs a little bit of FDR’s welcoming their hatred (heck, he still can’t admit they hate him). He’d find, as FDR did, that if he has the people’s back, they’ll have his. His approval ratings are down for the simple and single reason that the American people don’t feel like he has their back. And we’ll never believe he does as long as compromising with bizarrely extreme Republicans remains more important to him than fighting for the American people.

Sure, a grand go to the moon program might not get through, but I think it would get the people behind him, and at least distinguish him from the Republicans, which he hasn’t done much of lately. And, when your house is burning down, you don’t timidly ask for a modestly sized hose with a middling stream of water. You want the biggest damn hose they have. When you’re in a crisis, you need big action. Americans understand that. Republicans don’t. And maybe Obama doesn’t.

And if some large program somehow took hold and got started, I don’t see how it could fail. Getting to the moon could have failed. But here, at worse, people would be working, rebuilding the country’s infrastructure and economy. Even if we don’t become energy independent in a decade, we’ll have put millions of people to work and made strides to move the country into the 21st century–and we’re falling dangerously behind much of the world in that.

Whatever Obama comes out with, it has to do at least three things. 1) Provide a way to actually put a lot of people to work quickly. 2) Do it by more than vague tax incentives and spending cuts, cause if that is your plan, why not have president Romney? And 3) he has to give a passionate, challenging speech that will rouse people to action and provide real, concrete steps in the here and now, not some point in the future.

if he doesn’t do at least those three things, he’ll be well on the way towards doing something that should be impossible: losing the 2012 election to one of the current field of Republican candidates.

Brilliant, low cost ideas to get us out of our economic mess would be nice, as would be streets paved with gold. I’ve seen no one on the left or right or center suggest such a thing might exist. So if you know of this elusive animal, anyone, please do tell.

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About JP

We're two guys who met in college, in 1980. We've stayed in touch, and like to talk politics, current events, music and religion. JP is nore liberal than Sid, but not in every way. We figure that dialogue stimulates ideas, moderates perspective, and is in general friendly. These are things we need badly in these dangerous times. The blog name is taken from a song by Bruce Cockburn.
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