Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Obama Tries Out His Truman Act

Too little and too late, the President is out channeling the Harry Truman of 1948, who won with attacks on Republicans of a "Do Nothing Congress," inspiring the battle cry of "Give 'em Hell, Harry!"

But in personality and style, the urbane Barack Obama is ill-suited for the role of the cranky old man who turned around a sure-to-lose election back then. His Truman tryout yesterday evoked more laughter than cries of outrage:

"When it comes to just about everything we’ve done to strengthen our middle class, to rebuild our economy, almost every Republican in Congress says no. Even on things we usually agree on, they say no. If I said the sky was blue, they say no. If I said fish live in the sea, they’d say no. They just think it’s better to score political points before an election than to solve problems."

Claiming that critics "talk about me like a dog," he asserted: "They’re betting that between now and November, you’ll come down with a case of amnesia. They think you’ll forget what their agenda did to this country. They think you’ll just believe that they’ve changed. These are the folks whose policies helped devastate our middle class and drive our economy into a ditch. And now they’re asking you for the keys back."

The President was even willing to go personal, taking a swipe at John Boehner as "the Republican who thinks he’s going to take over as Speaker" dismissing the saving of teachers, police and firefighters from cuts as mere “government jobs.”

But less than two months before Election Day in a time when more and more early ballots are being cast, the polls keep looking worse and worse for Democrats.

In doing his Truman impersonation at this late date, the President may want to remember what Adlai Stevenson, a two-time loser, said in comparing himself to John F. Kennedy who won the White House:

"In classical times when Cicero had finished speaking, the people said, 'How well he spoke' but when Demosthenes had finished speaking, they said, 'Let us march.'"

This year voters certainly seem to be on the march--but not in Barack Obama's direction.

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