Written by Paul I. Adujie
President Obama is famous for his delicate balancing acts and his suave Olympian neutrality. President Obama's unflinching and unyielding dreams of bipartisanship is legendary and Olympian in proportions.
These are some of the attributes which Richard Stengent, Editor in chief of Time Magazine, described recently, as Mr. Obama's sweet reasonableness, a politesse and reasonableness, which does no good for Mr. Obama. This above the fray intellectually suave decorum of Mr. Obama, as it is, remains a wedge between the Democrats' proper rendition of current American narrative in the lead to midterm elections in the fall of 2010; And there could be repercussions in November.
Obama as candidate, always appeared to be ahead of his opponents in ideas and responded to counter everything the opponents conjured up, or hurled at him, but now, President Obama and his Democratic team have been on the defensive since inauguration. Obama seem not to be able to say the right thing anymore or when he does speak his mind, he tends to prevaricate, soon after.
Why can't Obama and the Democrats find the audacity to mock Republicans' wrongheaded prescriptions for the economy? Tax Cuts for the rich, the rich who currently, are not investing now and not hiring. Republicans prescribe, on the other hand, Freezes on Spending, and both prescriptions are silly, and are contrary to what most American economists recommend, particularly so, in view of the fact that the economic dire strait in America, was brought about by the Republican Party, with George W. Bush in the White House, the time Americans were plunged America this economic recession-depression.
All through the preceding 15 months, Obama allowed and the Democrats were sleepily complacent, and in that vacuum default position by the Democrats, Republicans and their surrogates and proxies in Tea Party , adversaries, to frame the issues or hijacked American national issues and narratives; And as a consequence, the American electorate have been indoctrinated to see Obama Care as profanities and expletives and Grandma Death Panels became the ultimate obscenity core pornographic voyeuristic expression. Senator John Kerry, similarly allowed the Bush Campaign to define him in 2004, Senator Kerry, a war hero was given a downward definition, and Mr. Bush who actually evaded or dodged the Draft or conscription for war in Vietnam, came out smelling like roses and strong on national security.
And now, in eerie resemblance-recurrence, and with roughly 50 days to midterm elections, some Democrats are campaigning against their party policies, in trepidation of seething electorate, enraged and made dangerous and potent weapons against the Democrats by the Republicans, who have put Americans, as Mr. Obama rightly put it, in the ditch, through recklessness. Democrats are now even afraid of the S word also known as Stimulus! But why? Just because Republicans are now against everything the Democrats stand for and the Republicans even use to stand for? Are the Democrats spineless? We know that the American economy can use another stimulus package, to help generate jobs in this jobless recovery. Another stimulus package geared toward public infrastructures renewals, expansions and rehabilitation. Why are Democrats now afraid to even mention Stimulus Package now? Oh, yes, Republicans spendthrifts during the last 8 years, are suddenly self advertised as deficit hawks and Democrats are suckered?
This silly ambivalence on the part of Democrats in the past, was what led Vice President Al Gore to distance himself from President Bill Clinton as Gore ran against Governor George W. Bush, this was how Bush was inflicted upon America, winning against Gore, a better qualified presidential candidate and an incumbent vice president who served with Mr. Clinton, Clinton who produced surplus and whose administration fostered a robust economic growth!
The silly symbolism of redecorating the Oval Office smack in the middle of this jobless recession, and the additional double fault of having Michelle Obama the first lady go on vacation in Spain and shaking hands with the king of Spain a gesture which would have drawn snares from the surviving passenger of Amistad slave ship, just as it has with many American voters who thought the American first lady entitled to vacations but then asked, why in Spain instead of somewhere in New Orleans or Hawaii for frequent flier miles.
The facts and evidences are on the side of President Obama and the Democrats. But, there does appear to be spinelessness, timidity, timorousness and tentativeness as if dictated by the Republicans and their surrogates or proxies Tea Party extremists.
Or how else does anyone explain and even pretend to justify the firing of Shirley Sherrod? An African American woman was fired unfairly, by a United States president of African descent or his agent. She was fired in a preemptive overreaction and overcompensation, to support the fact that Mr. Obama and his administration is post racial and would hack an African American down, if and when accused of anything, even before the details, the facts and evidence are available? And to be fair, we know and we will mention that Mr. Obama has personally assuaged the feelings of Ms. Sherrod. But the blunder remains a dent and stain on Mr. Obama as an over-doer in his sanguine intellectual impartiality when issues concern peoples of African descent.
There is this overdrive and over-extension and overtime work, not to appear to favor African Americans. As a consequence, three African Americans and counting have left the Obama administration under pressures, in less than two years of the Obama administration.
Delicious irony in all of this, is, it is sadly the case that the overconfident Republican Party opponents of Mr. Obama, have happily achieved a snatching of the narrative from the Democrats. But the truth is, it was the Republican Party administration of President George W. Bush which led America to the two foreign wars and the requisite deficit spending. Republicans are adept at manipulating the emotions of the American electorate. Republicans see politics as war, Republicans know how to cynically manipulate the electorate on every issue, national security, war, religion, the deficit, unemployment etc. Very calculatingly and cold in their executions of such ploys. But the Democrats are incapable of fighting dirty? Or at minimum, the Democrats should wake the electorate up from short attention spans or willful amnesia. After all, the Republicans are the root causes of all American current challenges and crises, other than the multiple variables of normal or usual economic cycles.
It was the Republicans who awarded tax cuts and tax relief to the super wealthy in America, the super rich who are less than 1% of the American population. And yet, it is the Republicans who are happily announcing their relentless efforts to block and be a blockade to every efforts by Mr. Obama and his Democratic Congress to repair and unravel the funk in which the Republicans have led Americans into. Republicans are not tentative, timid, timorous or measured! It was the Republicans who engaged in multiple foreign wars and thereby overextended the American empire financially and militarily. It was the Republicans whose era of lax or dearth of regulatory regimen, led to the breaches of financial levees and dams on the road to financial implosion and continuing imbroglios.
The Republicans are audaciously and arrogantly engaging in revisionism, and announcing to short-attention span Americans that the current double deep recession and jobless recovery is the fault of Mr. Obama and the Democrats!
The Republicans are with a straight face, also badgering the American electorate with hoodwinks silly platitudes that they the Republicans are the fiscally prudent conservative hawks, while the Democrats are the spindrifts who are splendidly unconcerned with American burgeoning and bludgeoning deficits spending. Republicans and their Tea Party surrogates and proxies, are overconfident, Democrats and fixated in ambivalence and second-guessing themselves and their own liberal agenda!
The Republicans are the financially fiscally disciplined political party which is angling loudly to offer tax cuts to the wealthy while America pursue two foreign wars and tackles double dip recession? Republicans are the deficit hawks who initiated bailouts for too big to fail companies, a policy which Mr. Obama and the Democrats had to adopt? The Republicans often act and make pronouncements, locked step and barrel, the Democrats on the other hand, never seem capable of acting in unison, or stay on the message or have, maintain and sustain party discipline and cohesion! The Democrats risks squandering the November 2008 great mandate given Democrats, as the electorate repudiated the Republicans resoundingly.
Politics and political competition in a democracy is like war or military action. The unwritten rule of war is kill or be killed. Similarly, the rules of engagement in political interactions, electioneering campaigns etc, require the candidates or leaders to be proponents of the issues. A talented and creative political leader must define, assert and persistently promote core ideas, ideology and be issues driven.
The reality of current American politics is such that the Republican Party, and its leaders are often the ones who define the issues and in effect, American national narrative. But, the Democratic Party members are seemingly always playing catch-up
Neoconservatives asserted themselves and defined the issues, foreign and domestic, in all respects, with regard to American public policies, including wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, including of course the deregulation regime, which led the American economy, by extrapolation, the world economy to its current comatose state. The parlous state of the job market, or the so-called jobless-recovery, is a direct relationship with Republican Party public policies for the preceding 8 years prior to the ascension of the Democrats to the control of the US Congress and the White House.
But despite these glaringly clear incontrovertible antecedents of the Republican Party and their cronies, it turns out that the Democrats are always the ones on the defensive and apologetic hot-seat, when in fact, the Democrats are the ones who are just now doing the heavy lifting of cleaning up the messes which was created by the wrongheaded policies of the Republicans
President Barack Obama finally seem to have gotten the point of the forthcoming elections in November 2010 or the so-called midterm elections, as referendum on Mr. Obama himself. He has started to realized that his entrenchment in unavailable bipartisanship is unhelpful to him and the Democratic Party. Republicans have confessed to their unreasonable desire to obstruct and derail Mr. Obama's agenda, and worse, Democrats seems timid, timorous and tentative in articulating to the American people, how we got the in the mess in the first place, through these same unapologetic Republicans. And so, I chuckled elatedly, when Mr. Obama started to sound, finally, as a wounded lion or a snake with an injured tail!
Mr. Obama implored Americans to put America on Drive and not in Reverse. D for Democrats of course, and R for Republicans; and in the contexts, a vote for Republicans would be to return American public policies in Reverse and Return to the sordid 8 years of the Republicans at the helms of American affairs, while a resounding vote for the Democrats this November midterms votes, would be votes of confidence in what the Democrats have been trying to accomplish in the preceding couple of years since Mr. Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009.
Democrats need to remind voters why the Republicans were voted and booted out in November 2008 general elections. American voters must be reminded precisely how we got to the funk in which we are now. American voters must have their mind refreshed to the effect that, Republicans got us all into the monumental mess and the Democrats are merely doing the clean up of the huge mess created by the Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz crew, hence the American voters themselves resoundingly repudiated the Republicans and their ineffectual wrongheaded policies. And, the question should be asked of the voters, who wants return to those terrible days?
The economy is still in a jobless recovery, the foreign wars are still debacles and quagmires of controlled chaos. But do we really want to return to the days of Bush-Cheney unilateralism? The voters must be told that the economy is still is in "the day after a nuclear meltdown" and we do not want to return to another firing of another atom nuclear weapon, even as we try to clean up the 8 years which lead up to the meltdown mess which we now confront.
Democrats should let the Republican and Republican lackeys, Tea Party etc, latch unto joblessness refrain, the Democrats should explain to the voters how the joblessness came about and took root at the cusp of Mr. Obama's ascension to the White House. In essence, Democrat should tire of making the case that the Democrats inherited three wars, two foreign, Afghanistan and Iraq, and then, the global economic meltdown and necessary corporate bailouts of banks, financial institutions and American automobile industry, with the exception of Ford Motors
The midterm elections are for the Democrats. Democrats should define the issues and let Republicans retain their infighting within the Republican Party as to who is more extreme on wedge and fringe issues such as the construction of mosques in New York City, California, Tennessee and Wisconsin etc. Let the Republicans duke it out with the Tea Party interlopers and gofers
If President Obama and the Democrats stick to enunciating concisely, how we got to where we are in Afghanistan, Iraq and the domestic economy which Republicans left in autopilot, corporate laize affaire and of self-regulations and self-policing hence the current foreclosures, joblessness with PSTD in from Afghanistan, Iraq, New Orleans and PTSD from joblessness, PTSD from joblessness etc, Democrats, sticking precisely to the refrain of efforts which the Democratic Congress and White House have made, contrasted with the Republican Party of No, the Republican Party of obstructions and deliberate thwarts of Democrats agenda for the electorate, Democrats will prevail in November 2010. But being timid, timorous, tentative, and or apologetic will not help the Democrats, it will make them look like part of the problems created by the Republican Party, which the Democrats have been trying to unravel, tackle or solve.
Recent election primaries have clearly indicated positive outcomes for the Democrats, where they engaged in vigorous explaining of President Obama's legislative accomplishment within the Democratic Party arrangement and entire legislative agenda as achieved since January 20, 2009. President Obama accomplishments in the first two years have been very impressive and only comparable to the New Deal Era legislative agenda outcome of the Roosevelt age.
President Obama and the Democrats will do well to run on the exemplary record of legislative and policy accomplishments. Explain, claim it, own it, and bask in it! Let the electorate know that Health Care Reform is good for everyone. Let the electorate know that regulatory reforms for banks and financial institutions is an imperative. Let the electorate know that the Republicans dug a huge precipice pit and crevices, from which the Democrats are working day and night to dig us all out of! This is the way to victory for the Democrats.
There is nothing that the Republicans and for that matter, their surrogates and proxies in the Tea Party have that I want. But, I do hope that it is not too late for President Obama and the Democrats to articulate the American narratives, where the nation is and how we got there and all the efforts made so far by President Obama and the Democratic Congress. President Obama's Press Conference at the White House, his first in many months, is a good start, before that, his appearances in Milwaukee and in Cleveland, respectively, were impressive. President Obama should remind the voters of the losses he inherited, and now that he owns the inheritance of humongous blunders by Republicans, explain all the bold and audacious actions taken so far and other actions contemplated and the obstacles which have been placed by the party of no!
President Obama seems to have found his voice again, he appears to have found his fighting spirit and now states the high stakes clearly, very clearly, at every opportunity. It is hoped that these efforts are sustained and are not too late. A positive outcome is sorely needed and it hinges on the Democrats' ability to state the case again and again, and run on their impressive record of achievements since January 2009, many accomplishments, particularly legislatively, in the preceding 15 months or since President Obama's administration.