Thursday, February 05, 2009

Obama Steps Out

Looks like President Obama is tired of having the Republicans control the dialogue on the stimulus package.

Barack Obama has an op-ed in today's Wahington Post, very pointedly reminding everybody that elections have results and that it was the GOP economic strategy that caused the economic crisis we are facing today. He begins by carefully defining exactly what the crisis is, which is good because it appears that many in Congress and a lot of the media don't really grasp the severity of the situation. The next step is addressing each of the arguments put forth by the GOP while very carefully not exactly mentioning that they are, in fact, the Republican talking points. This is the bully pullpit.
In recent days, there have been misguided criticisms of this plan that echo the failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis -- the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems; that we can meet our enormous tests with half-steps and piecemeal measures; that we can ignore fundamental challenges such as energy independence and the high cost of health care and still expect our economy and our country to thrive.

I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change. They know that we have tried it those ways for too long. And because we have, our health-care costs still rise faster than inflation. Our dependence on foreign oil still threatens our economy and our security. Our children still study in schools that put them at a disadvantage. We've seen the tragic consequences when our bridges crumble and our levees fail.

Every day, our economy gets sicker -- and the time for a remedy that puts Americans back to work, jump-starts our economy and invests in lasting growth is now.
Finally, President Obama reminds everyone of the fact that Americans are fed up with the partisan games in DC. He calls on members of Congress to do what's best for the country, not what they see in their myopic political vision. We will just have to wait and see if the Republicans can temporarily grow up and think straight but it is going to be a stretch.
These are the actions Americans expect us to take without delay. They're patient enough to know that our economic recovery will be measured in years, not months. But they have no patience for the same old partisan gridlock that stands in the way of action while our economy continues to slide.

So we have a choice to make. We can once again let Washington's bad habits stand in the way of progress. Or we can pull together and say that in America, our destiny isn't written for us but by us. We can place good ideas ahead of old ideological battles, and a sense of purpose above the same narrow partisanship. We can act boldly to turn crisis into opportunity and, together, write the next great chapter in our history and meet the test of our time.
It will be interesting to see how much play this gets in the traditional media. If it were written by Newt or Karl we could guarantee hours of talking head coverage but it is just the POTUS after all.

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