Where Is The President Obama We Elected?
You're allowing the Republican party to Jimmy Carter-ize you. They're ignoring your accomplishments, portraying all of your assets as liabilities. They're making you look like a wimp, and the American people can't stand a wimp - regardless to how nice a guy he is.
[An Open Letter To President Obama]
I've always been one of your biggest supporters. I remember looking on with moist eyes the day you threw your hat in the ring, because I knew even then that I was witnessing the beginning of a new era in America. Even then I knew that you were destined to become the next president of the United States, so along with millions of others I embraced the audacity of hope.
While I've voted in every election since I've been eligible, this time it was a little different. This time around, for the very first time in my life I set my cynicism aside and invested my time, money, and emotion into a campaign. I defended you in my columns against even the slightest hint of criticism. I wrote letters and corresponded with people and groups all over promoting your interests, and I even arranged for my bank to send you a modest check each month.
I didn’t do these things because I saw you as a rock star; I did them so I could contribute something more than just lip service to change in America.
Now, I'm asking you to reciprocate, because you're on the verge of deeply disappointing millions of people.
When I first heard the pundits beginning to point out that the far left was becoming disenchanted with the way you're caving in to the GOP, I began to grieve. Yet what made it even more painful was knowing that their mild admonishment hadn't gone far enough. The truth is, it’s not just angry radicals who are becoming disenchanted, it's your entire base. It's just that it's only the radicals who are speaking out - at this point.
In one of my previous articles I pointed out how much I admired the fact that you tended to give reason priority over ideology. I found it quite refreshing to see a politician who assessed every issue on its on merit instead of basing his decisions on pre-chewed and regurgitated dogma. I had hoped that such a mindset would help to break the gridlock in Washington and serve to help the American people to get the kind of governance that they deserved.
But it became clear early on that the GOP is having none of that. They clearly demonstrated that it wasn't effective governance that they were after; their primary motivation is to bring you down and regain power, by any means necessary. So why pretend otherwise?
I though you’d recognize that fact and quickly replace your carrot with a stick - or more appropriately, a brick.
To my horror, you're still trying to pet a snake in Washington. Wake up, Mr. President. It’s time to show them your backbone. If you don't, by this time next year you'll be branded and through.
Somehow I managed to miss Harvard; but as a proud product of South Central Los Angeles I have extensive experience when it comes to aggression. So believe me, mindless aggression can never be appeased through kindness. The Republicans are like coyotes. They're still feeling you out at this point, but once they're convinced that there’s nothing to fear, they're gonna have you for lunch.
They're all bullies, and the first place a bully goes when he’s looking for lunch money is to that guy that's always going around trying to make friends with everybody. He draws the bully like a mouth to a flame, because the bully perceives Mr. Nice Guy's need to seek out friends as a sign of weakness.
You're only into your seventh month as president. While you're putting up a good front so far, the reality is, they already have you backed in the corner while they're encouraging blatant insurrection all over the country.
They're publishing cartoons about your assassination; telling blatant lies about your initiatives; and, showing up at your town hall meetings armed to the teeth. You even have a war criminal running around shaking his finger at you for having the audacity to investigate his crimes - and at the same time telling the people that you're too weak to defend them from attacks.
So the fact is, you’re not looking too good.
You're allowing the Republican party to Jimmy Carter-ize you. They're ignoring your accomplishments, portraying all of your assets as liabilities, and you’re too busy trying to make friends to fight back. They're making you look like a wimp, and the American people can't stand a wimp - regardless to how nice a guy he is.
The bottom line is, how are you gonna protect us from Osama Bin Laden when you can even protect us from Dick Cheney? So what should you do about this situation?
Fortunately, growing up in the inner city was instructive in this area as well. Most young boys in the ‘hood learn very early in life that if they want to save themselves a lot of unnecessary fighting, they should grab the biggest bully in the crowd and wear his butt out. Thereafter, everybody else will leave you alone.
It's really not as daunting a task as it seems, since most bullies are actually wimps in disguise; that's how they know who to target.
So you should start by revealing Cheney for the wimp that he really is – and I guarantee you, he's probably the biggest wimp in Washington. He's just been hiding behind his positions, and has learned to play the cold silent type.
Don't forget, this is the very same Dick Cheney who hid behind his wife's apron strings to get out of Going to Vietnam. Thus, you should start by unleashing Attorney General Holder to do a full and unfettered investigation of the Bush Administration's war crimes; just like the Republicans would surely do if the situation was reversed.
Thereafter, there's a literal certainty that the fingers of Bush's corruption would creep so deeply into the Republican party that they wouldn’t have time to think about anything but saving their own butts.
Then you should also setup a public relations office in the White House to both coordinate your initiatives and trumpet your accomplishments. In the area of healthcare, for example, you need to do more than just talk to the people about the hardships that the private insurance industry has visited upon the America. You need to demonstrate it by going about the country and gathering up people who have personal hardships to share; with a special emphasis on finding Republicans who fought against the Clinton healthcare plan.
Use these people to do political ads about what they had to endure, then run those ads continuously, all across the country.
The very same kind of ads could be produced using small business owners; discussing what they were paying in healthcare costs five years ago as opposed to today, and the impact that it's had on their businesses and their ability to hire new employees.
I've also noticed that the economy is rebounding; yet I've heard very little fanfare about it. That's a big deal. The White House public relations office should be all over that. It seems to me that if you do nothing else in your term of office, the fact that you averted a second Republican-generated Great Depression, and without GOP support, is something that the American people should know about.
Finally, I once heard you mention that you didn't support reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. That's a complete giveaway to the Republican party, and it makes absolutely no sense.
The argument that the fairness doctrine hinders the right of free speech is totally specious. The fairness doctrine doesn't hinder speech, on the contrary, it promotes it.
It mandates that if a broadcaster disseminates inaccurate or slanted information that it must provide equal time for opposing views. Thus, there's nothing in such a policy that would hinder free speech; it simply makes it costly and inconvenient to tell a lie.
The American people have just as much right to expect truth in content with respect to what goes into their minds --and the minds of their children-- as they do with what goes into their bodies.
One is just as important as the other, since accurate information gives people the necessary knowledge to act in their own best interest. As every insurrectionist knows, depriving the people of accurate information is the easiest way to deprive them of their rights.
That's why the GOP is dead set against this policy - because it's impossible for them to compete in an informed environment.
For more columns by Eric L. Wattree please visit wattree.blogspot.com
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