I like to use "7 Things" to get a bit off topic from human rights every now and again. And today, my eye is on the President's big job speech before the joint session of Congress. 2008 has come and gone, likewise 2010. It's a new ballgame right now for the President. What does the President need to do to hold off his opponents and regain the magic in the 2012 race?
7. Separate Romney from RomneyCare
Back in 2008 I was convinced that Romney, not McCain was actually the more robust Republican candidate and that has not changed. Why? Because while Rick Perry reminds people of George W. Bush, Mitt Romney will begin to remind people of Ronald Reagan very soon. Just as every Democrat developed Clinton's thumb-point, Romney's actually begun to affect a Reagan-esque aw-shucks stutter. The "Romney=Reagan" meme hasn't reached the media echo chamber yet, but when it does it'll be the end of Perry.
When Romney does become the Republican candidate he'll immediately go to work telling Democratic audiences how the Affordable Care Act was actually his idea while simultaneously telling conservative audiences how he'd dismantle it. The President can't let him have it both ways.
And while he's at it, President Obama would do well to make it known that a Romney presidency wouldn't be a return to Ronald Reagan. It'd be more like a return to Herbert Hoover.
6. Face the suspicion that he's a closet Republican head-on
Progressives don't like to admit it, but President Obama is exactly who he said he'd be. A look back at the 2008 Democratic debates will quickly yield that conclusion. Jobs were never his priority - averting a second Great Depression was. He never said he'd wrap-up Operation Iraqi Freedom in a single term. His consistent stump statement was, "we have to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in." Likewise, he was never an advocate for single-payer healthcare (and neither am I, but our reasoning is different I think). Do I wish he'd legislate for progressives and campaign to independents instead of doing it the other way around? Absolutely. But progressives who stay home out of a feeling of betrayal would be making a mistake (unless, of course he approves that pipeline which would absolutely be grounds for divorce).
5. Let go of the rope
Every attempt at compromise with the current Congress has failed. In the tug-of-war with the Republican Congress the President has been getting dragged through the mud. It's time to let go of the rope, run the country through the executive, and let them under-legislate themselves out of a job. It's the Presidential thing to do.
4. Fight it out on foreign policy
He got it right on Libya. He found Bin Laden in a Pakistan suburb when the previous administration was still trying to smoke him out of a cave somewhere. He even briefly got China to consider adjusting their monetary policy. Nobody in the Republican field can hang with President Obama's foreign policy record. It's not even close.
3. Look out the White House window
When a few hundred people show up at your doorstep to protest the Keystone/TransCanada XL pipeline you don't need to look at polls. It's a horrible project and the responsibility for ending it rests squarely on President Obama's shoulders. If he doesn't do so, he shouldn't be the least bit surprised when environmentally-minded Democrats and independents stay home next November.
2. Preview the memoir
Last week on the Thom Hartmann Show, Thom made an astute observation:
"John Boehner did everything but put 'boy' at the end of that letter [denying the President a joint-session on the date he asked]."
When President Obama writes his memoir people are going to be astonished at the extent of the racially-motivated opposition that has coalesced against him. However, we can't wait 25 years for the truth to come out. The truth is this country's legislature and business communities are packed full of people who simply refuse to work with an African-American President. They hate Obama so much they don't care what happens to America and they're getting away with it so long the administration is silent on the issue. America needs to know what's going on right now.
1. Jobs, jobs, jobs!
It's not like we're out of ideas here. There's a push among progressives right now to tie all those cushy coporate tax-breaks to actual job-creation, for example. But, why stop there? If America's old-economy industrials don't want to hire Americans why not push massive stimulus money out to new-economy start-ups that will? The early leaks of the President's jobs plan indicate he's looking to spend some $300 billion on job training and preventing teacher layoffs.
If that's all there is to it I don't know if America will vote for President Obama again. He's said over and over again on the campaign trail that the economy is like a car that the GOP drove into a ditch. If that's true, I don't see how a $300 billion oil change is going to help the situation. I'll be listening with much of America tonight to see what's really in the plan. Only if the right people are pissed-off at the end of it will we know we are finally getting back on the right track.
Filed under: Uncategorized