Won’t Somebody Help That Poor Man?
It’s never a good thing to pity the President, yet it was hard not to while watching his press conference yesterday. The gist of his comments seemed to be his hope that Republicans had finally learned their lesson. Maybe now, after this historic repudiation of the Democrat Party and its leadership, Republicans will stop throwing up road blocks and will start doing what they’re told.
The President’s narcissistic disorder was on prominent display yesterday. According to Obama, there were only two reasons the Democrats were repudiated by virtually the entire adult population of the country.
1. Obama hadn’t fixed the economy fast enough, and
2. He didn’t do a good enough job telling the public what a great job he was doing.
Oh well, maybe the Indian people will “get” him better than we will. The size of Obama’s entourage, (in excess of 2,000 friends and family, along with a navy flotilla of more than 30 ships) should go down well in a country whose cinema consists of frequent over-the-top musical production numbers featuring hundreds of happily gyrating dancers and singers.
The American people, for some bizarre reason, are still bitterly clinging to guns and holding their hands over their ears to avoid their Presidents “facts and science.” They didn’t “throw the bums out” because they were afraid, they voted them out because they were angry. They were angry at a Congress who tried to force unpopular programs down their throats. They were disgusted with a system allowing or even encouraging legislators to vote for bills they hadn’t read, to approve laws which hadn’t yet been written.
Most of all they were furious at their President who based his campaign on lies and proceeded, from Day One, to rub the public’s face in his deceit. He ran as a “post-partisan” paradigm shift. Instead, he was the progeny of bare-knuckled Chicago politics. He ran as a post-racial unifier, and attempted to pack his cabinet with some of the ugliest racialist advocates ever to rise to the surface of the Washingtonian septic field.
The President says the last thing the American people want is to refight the battles of the past two years. He is dead wrong. That is exactly what the American people want to do. They want to repeal the travesties imposed upon them, and they want their representatives to find some way of coming together to find solutions to the problems which government ought to address, while keeping their hands off matters which are none of their business. They want this process to be deliberate, sound, open and above board. In other words, they want the new Republican majority to keep the President’s promises.
That should be the GOP’s objective. Putative Speaker of the House John Boehner should call upon the President and his party to listen to the American people. He should ask them to agree to repeal Obamacare, and to sit down together and attempt, in a truly bipartisan manner, to find solutions to the truly pressing issues many Americans confront when dealing with health care. Rather than revamp the entire system, they should look for ways to streamline the government’s role in health care, and to bend the cost curve downward.
They should ask the President to cooperate with their noble objective. If he does, they should build upon the opportunity to work together and address other issues. They should go back to the drawing board and come up with a new, responsible, workable financial reform package. They should cooperate on developing an energy policy which addresses issues existing today, on this planet, not those in some speculative future, floating around in the giant padded room of Al Gore’s brain.
If Obama is willing to work with Republicans, if he is willing to grow, and to learn how to be an effective leader, how to truly be an American President, the GOP should be eager to work with him. They should, even if this increases Obama’s chances for reelection. If Obama does manage to grow up in office, if he can begin to approach greatness, then it would be in the country’s interest for him to be reelected.
The last time Republicans were ascendant in the House of Representatives, they mutated from a governing party to a bloc whose sole objective was the retention of power. They lost their way and were roundly rejected by the American people. They were cast into the wilderness. The only reason they aren’t still wandering there is the Democrats misread their mandate. They weren’t elected because they were Democrats, they were elected because they weren’t Republicans. It is the same this year. The American people have given Republicans a reprieve, solely because they aren’t Democrats. The GOP had better heed the public this time. There are no third acts in American politics.
An honest, sincere and consistent, proactive call for bipartisanship can be a winning policy for Republicans. The problem with Obama’s sense of bipartisanship is it was synonymous with Republican surrender. That has to change. If Obama and the remaining Democrat leaders are willing to play along, we can accomplish genuine reform. If they aren’t, Republicans still have a mandate, which is to repeal Obamacare. If the President vetoes their repeal, the proper response is to call again, to beg, to plead, for a bipartisan response to the public’s needs. Then they decline to fund the program.
The key here is to constantly plead for genuine bipartisanship, so that the blame for inevitable gridlock is assigned where it is due, on the President and the remnants of his party. This is a formula for a sweeping victory in 2012. Plus it has the added advantage of being the right thing to do.