No matter what one’s point of view is on Obama or his policies, there is no doubt that he is under estimating his mandate for change and in real danger of losing the war for the hearts and minds of the people that gave him that mandate.
The tsunami of populist rage coursing through America is bigger than Daschle’s overdue tax bill, bigger than John Thain’s trash can, bigger than any bailed-out C.E.O.’s bonus. It’s even bigger than the Obama phenomenon itself. It could maim the president’s best-laid plans and what remains of our economy if he doesn’t get in front of the mounting public anger.
While I don’t think an old dog can learn new tricks, I’ll concede that Obama felt a need to at least “try” for bipartisanship so that he could say he did. So now that it has failed and Republicans and Blue Dogs have seen how easy it is to beat him, what next?
Face facts: Republicans cleaned Obama’s clock this week.
In his first weeks padding around a White House that still has nails on the walls waiting for new pictures, and phone and e-mail kinks, Barack Obama could not locate the bully pulpit and ended up being bullied. –snip–
The lawmakers had been feeling disillusioned that they were carrying Mr. Obama’s water on the bill, while Obama aides triangulated and promised that the bill would “improve” in the Senate.
Nancy Pelosi told her leadership team that she had told the president, “I don’t mind you driving the bus over me, but I don’t appreciate your backing it up and running over me again and again.”
The same way the man made levees in NOLA were no match for Katrina, the stimulus bill, no matter how big, is unlikely to hold back the destruction brewing in the American economy and just waiting to hit millions of American families across the land.
The message of November was clear. At least, I thought it was.
Enough is enough! Republicans, aided and abetted by rudderless Democrats, destroyed this country with their greed, partisanship and class warfare. Voters want America and Americans put first, and by god, they expect Obama to do just that.
Instead, Obama listened to the “insiders” just as Clinton did. And just like Clinton, he got a message that was close but no cigar. Bipartisanship is not the goal, nor is more capitulation by Democrats on tax cuts, the war or anything else. Sooner of later they are going to have to explain to Americans why Democrats are ineffectual as the minority and majority even with a Democratic President and Republicans are not.
Freedom is having nothing left to lose; and for way too many Americans, this is the plain truth. The same is true of the Obama presidency whether his insiders know it or not. Fair or not, Obama is the man that Americans expect to deliver and to rescue the country. Being bullied by Republicans and cozying up with insiders like Summers and Geithner isn’t going to help him one bit. He needs to dump the beltway advisers and go for change with gusto. Americans are demanding it. Obama will deliver it, or Dems will lose to it in 2010/2012.