Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Good Speech, Wrong Listeners

The President is telling an audience to work hard, develop problem-solving skills and learn how to get along with others. "Whatever you resolve to do," he will say, "I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it."

That advice will come today in a nationwide address to schoolchildren, but the message is needed much more in the one he will deliver to a joint session of Congress tomorrow night.

The Hard Right has been howling over the prospect of Barack Obama promoting socialism in education and in the health care system, with about as much truth in one charge as the other.

His back-to-school message urges the young to learn from the successful: "JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, 'I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.'"

He may be delivering essentially the same message to Max Baucus, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid et al about health care tomorrow night, but there are no JK Rowlings or Michael Jordans in Congress, just a collection of goofoffs brawling during recess and trying to ace an A from voters in their next test.

But the President will keep trying in the hope that there is some truth in the bromide that no one is ever too old to learn.

1 comment:

Holte Ender said...

"a bunch of goofoffs" You were being very polite by saying that.

He will be nice to them or they will go into a sulk, but I hope he uses his rhetorical skills and gets through to them.