President Obama Has To Tell Americans The Truth

Even HuffPo is guilty of the “both sides are guilty” plague infecting the news bidness.  Anyone paying attention the last couple of years knows that it is Republicans, particularly Tea Party Republicans in Congress, who have caused the legislative gridlock and dysfunction in our national government. Yet, we have this from a left-leaning news outlet:

dysfunctionalThe message here and throughout the journalistic world—from which most Americans get their news—is that Republicans and Democrats have essentially an equal share of the blame for the inability to govern the country, which, of course, gives Republicans some (limited) cover to continue to do their dirty work.

Personally, having given up on mainstream journalists to tell Americans what is really going on in Washington, I am beginning to blame President Obama, who alone can command the focused attention of the media, for not making it clear each and every day what it is that Republicans are willing to risk and the reason they are willing to risk it.

John Boehner and Mitch McConnell routinely blast the President and Democrats, and rarely does the President respond in kind. Being Lincolnesque has its place, but now it is time to become the Lincoln who would not tolerate rebellion, even if in this case it is only the Republicans’ refusal to responsibly govern.

If necessary, he should execute a plan to visit John Boehner’s Ohio and Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky and all the congressional districts of the zany Republicans in the House who are most to blame for the dysfunction we see. Since reasoning doesn’t seem to have an effect on these Republicans, perhaps national embarrassment will.

Whatever the case, an aggressive Obama, who is willing to forcefully explain to the country the real dynamics behind that word “dysfunction,” and willing to defend popular entitlement programs against a Republican minority who feverishly want to cut the hell out of them, should tell Republicans today that he has offered his last “deal,” that he will stop giving in to their unreasonable demands and, in a word, tell them to take it or leave it.

And remind them that he will tell anyone who will listen just whose fault it is that the country will face yet another recession.



  1. King Beauregard

     /  December 28, 2012

    You did hear it here first: HuffPo is a toilet.

    That said, I think you’ve sold me on how Obama should make an issue of this: by embarrassing specific Republican leaders. That’s a better plan that what I had envisioned (crankily pointing the finger from the podium, like he did at the Supreme Court the other year).


    • King B,

      Even if the fiscal cliff is avoided in part or totally, there is the looming debt ceiling fight. I believe this time Obama will fight much differently than he did last time, including publicly exposing those who would be willing to wreck the country in service to a reactionary political and economic ideology. I only hope that his fight will be aggressive enough to actually make an impression on the American people, an impression that will not only serve to squash Republican efforts to “win” a debt-ceiling fight, but to effectively end the reign of Republican extremism. Although I’m still not sure Obama has such a fight in him, I am more hopeful than ever, for whatever that’s worth.



  2. Troy

     /  December 28, 2012

    I agree. The President should expose these liars for what they are. He has nothing to lose. They hate him anyway. The right wing media has truly infected the journalists on the left who are now going along with their misrepresentation of the facts. Stand up Mr.President and make it clear to the American people just who is driving our country over the cliff.


    • Troy,

      Your point about how the right-wing media has “infected” other journalists is a good one. I have seen mainstream journalists pick up on Fox-ish talking points and act as if there is real news there. It makes me sick to see it, but it happens all too often.

      By the way, I have a feeling that if Republicans do what they say they are going to do, which is fight over the debt ceiling again like they did last year, that President Obama will “make it clear to the American people just who is driving our country over the cliff.” I believe him when he said a while back that he would not go through that same fight again. And the only way to avoid it is to rat them out to the American people by calling them out.



  3. I don’t doubt that Duane is right about Lincoln being Obama’s paradigm, and it is apt.

    Passions over slavery in the mid-ninteenth century were even higher than they are now over socialism, and yet Lincoln remained craftily above the fray (while paddling furiously beneath the waves). I can see wisdom in Obama doing the same, for a couple of reasons.

    First of all, an overly aggressive approach by this first black President would inflame the bigotry that roils just beneath (and some above) the surface of political discourse, and that would be hurtful to the national interest. Secondly, it seems to me it would be much better to go on over the cliff, let tax rates rise on everybody as mutually agreed by both parties last year, and then let the President and the House Democrats propose a tax reduction for the 98%. It’s not really a cliff, it’s a slope.

    Politics can be played as a short game or a long one. If the Tea Party opts for the short, reality will dawn on the electorate as those first paychecks get clipped, the unemployed stop getting their checks, and the media start to cover the lines at the food banks. It will then be clear who was right and who are the impediments to government. Obama needs to calmly point out the truth – that it is the majority of the majority, and no one else, who are preventing all compromise. When that is fixed, and there’s nothing like a really angry constituency to make things happen, then I submit that will benefit progress for the next four years.

    Will people be hurt by this course of action? Obviously. But it seems to me the pain would be minor compared to four more years of government gridlock.


  4. He needs to kick ass and take names, and, as you stated, tell this country that Cantor, McConnell, Boehner, Kyl, and others are causing the problems through obstruction and protecting their base, the nation’s one percent.


    • Jim,

      You and I both know President Obama is not the ass-kicking type. I don’t think it is much to ask, though, that he begin to name names and point out what those names are doing to the country’s well-being. I am totally serious that the President should undertake a national tour of extremist Republicans’ districts or states and call them out, if the debt-ceiling fight in six weeks or so materializes. Americans need to know who is willing to wreck the country for ideological purity.



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