Friday, September 07, 2012

The Elephant in Obama's Room

All that undeniable truth, all that heart, all that wisdom, all that sheer rightness, yet not a direct word in the President’s eloquent acceptance speech about the undeniable reality that, even if he wins reelection, can make it all irrelevant.

In a political climate where the bottom-line truth can’t be spoken, both the President and Joe Biden barely sideswipe it. They speak passionately, the crowd cheers, but nobody acknowledges the elephant in the room:

Even if they are reelected, unless November ballots also wrest control of Congress from a treasonous Tea Party, all their sane rhetoric will change nothing.

Obama and Biden are only nominally running against Romney-Ryan. The true opposition are Boehner-McConnell and the minority of zealots who hold them—-and the nation—-hostage in both houses.

As if to underscore that essential truth, the day also brings excerpts from Bob Woodward’s new book about last year’s debt ceiling debacle, a needless crisis manufactured by Tea Party willingness to decimate the nation’s credit rating to score political points.

In Woodward’s account, Obama starts out by benignly viewing Boehner as a willing negotiating partner who “can’t control the forces in his caucus now” and ends up “spewing coals” when the Speaker pulls out of their private agreement in order to “rattle the president a little bit into being serious.”

In praising last night’s speech, a New York Times editorial nonetheless notes: “The president and his tight inner circle were oblivious to the Republicans’ explicit warning that he would not get the slightest cooperation from a party and a Congressional caucus driven by an implacable hatred of Mr. Obama that is mostly ideological but also fueled by his race. It took nearly three years for the Obama team to recognize that central fact.”

Do they recognize it now and, if the President wins reelection, can he do it with coattails strong enough to sweep the Tea Party traitors off his back?

Update: Reports say Democratic strategists dialed down the President’s speech as a result of focus group testing. Hope and change? Focus groups?

1 comment:

Frank said...

Hi, I noticed you don't have any comments on your last few posts, and I thought I should say something. I've been reading your blog every few days for a few months and appreciate your thoughtful take on news. Thanks.