Sunday, March 1, 2009

Obama Comes Out Swinging in Weekly Address

Love the escalating rhetoric here. 

via Matthew Yglesias by myglesias on 2/28/09


In 1936, Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered an important campaign speech in Madison Square Garden, saying among other things:

For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent. […]

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me‹and I welcome their hatred.

For some time now, I think many progressives have been waiting to hear something similar from Barack Obama. And in today's edition of the weekly YouTube address, I think we get something like it. Talking about a budget that will cut taxes for most families while raising them on a few, increasing federal aid to college students while reducing federal aid to private sector student loan writers, and boost health care coverage while reducing subsidies to health insurance firms, Obama says:

I know these steps won't sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they're gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this: So am I. The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long, but I don't. I work for the American people. I didn't come here to do the same thing we've been doing or to take small steps forward, I came to provide the sweeping change that this country demanded when it went to the polls in November.

I'm not sure whether or not this kind of feisty presidential rhetoric and leadership is actually as decisive as some liberals think, but it is nice to hear.

1 comment:

Restless Native said...

I think it is high time that, pardon the expression, we call a spade a spade. The face of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh, actually said that he hoped Obama fails. He also drew an analogy as a Steelers fan (Dick Bold is considering cancelling his membership in the fan club) wishing that Warner would fail when he took the ball for the last drive in the Super Bowl. Absurd at best, traitorous at worst.

The governors (largely of really shitty states like LA and SC) who are not going to take the stimulus funds are going to have a tough time explaining to the recently out-of-work NASCAR fan that their children will go hungry, but for a really, really good and principled reason. Unreal. I also loved Bobby J's alomst catatonic response to Obama's speech and his dismissive dealing with "something called volcano research". We probably shouldn't waste any money studying hurricanes, either.

The GOP is in utter disarray and their "spokesmen" are buffoons. Steele crowed in joy of having "laid a goose egg" on the President's desk with the stimulus vote in the House. Nice. Better to be "right" and hungry than actually try to influence things such that your beliefs are reflected in the legislation, a la Specter, and the lovely ladies from Maine.

The hard-core GOPers haven't the faintest clue how to operate, much less legislate, without being in the majority. Give and take and thoughtful analysis be damned.

So as not to needlessly arose the ire of the GammaBoys and Girls of the world, I will also say that the Dem leadership in Congress is lamentable. Give me Babs Boxer over Pelosi any day.

The shame of it all, and for this I think we can thank the good ole' boys around Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay, is that the redistricting and scorched earth game-playing that has surrounded congressional happenings for the last 18 years or so has made it very difficult to get reasonable people elected from most districts/states. Lincoln Chafee and the rest of the NE Republicans are in exile from their party, which was hijacked by unreformed Dixiecrats and unabashed culture warriors.

We need to resurrect the Sensible Party discussions. Never been a better time. Maybe we can get the DA from Law and Order/TD Waterhouse commercials top run. He looks presidential.