Sunday, January 31, 2010

Let's Get Ready to Rumble...or Reconcile

Monday, February 1, 2010

I like it.

I like the new President Obama.

Talk of utilizing nuclear power.

Talk of off-shore drilling.

Talk of tax cuts to encourage business growth and subsequent job growth.

And the president took on the GOP - on their turf and on their terms.

I like it. I like the feistiness. I like the talk of bipartisan ideas. I like the efforts to talk to Republicans directly.

Perhaps the Tea Party people were heard after all. Perhaps Scott Brown's victory made a difference. Maybe the president sees the need to wrangle in the fringes of the right and try to find common ground.

Now, if only I can get him to do the same with the Democrats that ran things off the rails in 2009.

Many conservatives criticized the president on his appearance at the GOP House retreat in Baltimore on Friday. They felt that President Obama was being rather condescending, professorial, and perhaps revisionist with some of his responses while going through the live televised question-and-answer he conducted with the participants of the retreat. Maybe they thought his answers were, at times, terse. At the same time, they were probably just as packaged as some of the questions coming from a body full of candidates looking to keep their jobs and accumulate more power as mid-term elections loom on the horizon.

Or many this was just the tough love talk that both sides needed to have after a failure of 2009, one where Republican ideas were never seriously considered by a president and supermajority (may it R.I.P.) that felt that it could take political and legislative risks with impunity while Republicans refused to budge much at all to compromise their positions while staring down the wrong end of the Capitol Hill numbers barrel.

If President Obama is serious about becoming the centrist he attempted to run as during 2008 and pull in his party's extremism, he has a good chance of being able to gain some considerable legislative wins during 2010 and, perhaps, lessen the losses for his party in November. Reigning in Pelosi and others may come with the ire of some Democrats and left-leaning media types, but it may also come with victories that translate into betters numbers with employment, energy needs, and support for his initiatives in handling the war effort overseas. A majority of America likes Barack Obama the person but, to date, have not been able to rally behind (or, in some cases, like) President Obama the chief legislator.

The type of tough-talk directness that we saw from President Obama and the House GOP is along the lines that we expected to see in 2009 in order to hammer out the ideas coming from all sides in a process that was supposed to yield the best solutions for a struggling America.

Again, if this is a start to a new way of doing things in Washington: I like it.

And, for the record, I won't hold the president attempting to make his 2009 legislative endeavors (led by Speaker Pelosi and Speaker Reid) appear to be centrist if he doesn't continue to hold President Bush accountable for the growing lack of confident Americans are having in Washington. At some point, we each are only what we believed in, and sometimes that is enough to prompt us to defend even our failures just as the president did in some regards this week. However, as we know, the nation doesn't get much of a puncher's chance of knocking out this recession and other crises without our leaders finally getting in the ring - on equal footing - to duke it out. if this process leads to real conversation, real reconciliation, and real change, then let the combatants in Washington go at it as the results will yield something that Americans can believe in, more Congressman can agree to, and people can benefit from.


  1. I read your piece on The Root, and I agree with you to a certain extent - living in Camden, NJ, I've seen the Democrats do nothing to earn the black vote (actually, to earn ANYONE'S vote), yet have blacks continue to vote for them in droves.

    But it doesn't seem to me that the white Tea-partiers care one whit if blacks join the movement or not.