His push for energy reform and healthcare reform have made his poll numbers go down
and fewer Americans like him now than when he was elected ten months ago. The corporate
flacks and pundits then opine that Obama is putting his entire presidency at risk; and that
he should back off, retrench, retreat, or go find Dick Cheney's undisclosed secret bunker and
hang out there. The corporate media shills go so far as to proclaim that he is risking the
Democrat's chances in 2010 in the mid-term elections; and some seem to indicate he could
be costing himself his own re-election in 2012. These corporate Cassandras weep and gnash
their teeth at the President's "plummeting" poll numbers. Doesn't the President know
that people disagree with him? Doesn't the President know he is staking his career on
these proposals? Doesn't the President know he is less popular today? The honeymoon
is over. The bloom is off the rose. He isn't the darling he once was. Oh the humanity of
I wonder how President Truman would have faired in this corporate media world.
After fighting a world war against them, President Truman proposed a plan to economically
rebuild Europe, particularly Germany. The Marshall Plan would cost hundreds of billions
of dollars in today's money at a time when the nation is reeling from war. Truman had
already angered lots of Americans by desegregating the military. His national popularity
at the time was reported to be at about 30%. (Can you imagine a President's ratings so low?
Oh yes, George Bush.) What would "Hanbaugh" have to say about spending billions to
rebuild Germany? Can you imagine what paroxysms of rage would spew forth out of the
regressive echo machine? O'Reilly would go nuts. Faux News would declare Truman a
closet Nazi. Will, Krauthammer, Barone, Crystal, and Barnes would be tearing their hair
out excoriating a proposal to benefit our "enemies" while the economy at home is barely
recovering. Dobbs would wonder if Truman were really an American or a fifth columnist
in disguise. They would all declare him politically a dead man walking.
This is actually a fun game you can play with your friends. Pick an issue that is
progressive: social security, medicare, voting rights act, civil rights act, G.I. bill, FHA
loans to buy your homes, Clean Water or Clean Air Acts or the creation of the Environmental
Protection Agency (Oh, can you imagine what "Hanbaugh" et al would do with a government
agency to protect the environment? How much more commie/socialist can you get?)
Then see who can come up with the best outrage, headline, tag-line or slogan. We could
turn it into a party game. Instead of playing "Pictionary", you could invite your friends
over to play "Reactionary".
The President's popularity is down from the heady days of January 20th. The President
is encountering stiff resistance to his ideas. The President isn't selling his ideas well enough.
The President needs to be more involved. The President needs to be less involved. The
President has proposed too much. He isn't focused. He is too focused. Oh! Oh! Oh!
Does anyone remember that Obama promised to do all this when he was running
for President? The same man who steam-rolled John McCain and expanded the Democrats
control of Congress, promised to reform healthcare, change our energy policy, improve
education, improve our foreign policy image, rebuild our economy, and create new jobs
in new technologies. Americans voted for him to change things. Not all voted for him.
More than 40% of the country said they didn't want him or his ideas. Tens of millions
of Americans rejected him. Yet, opposition to change has brought out the black crepe
hangers warning of doom and gloom for him and the nation.
Fact: Every poll taken shows a majority of Americans want healthcare reform.
Fact: Over 60% are in favor of a public option. Fact: Americans don't want pre-existing
conditions to prevent them from getting coverage and they want the cost of healthcare
reduced. Fact: Americans want a new energy policy in this nation which makes us less
dependent on foreign oil and addresses the problem of climate change. (A majority of
Americans believe global warming is real.) Fact: The President's personal popularity
is still very strong and the popularity of his opponents is still in the dumper (latest polls
show Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell's popularity is at 18% and House
Republican leader John Boehner's popularity is at 13%). Americans trust the Democrats
on the economy and healthcare and energy more than the Republicans; and as of today,
the Republicans have not offered a single new proposal to counter anything Obama has
suggested. In fact, South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint says that killing
healthcare reform "...could kill Obama's Presidency"; and he is all in favor of that.
The President knew he would take hits because no one likes change at first. He knew
the polls would go down. So what? He knows something else too. If he can get a bill into
a conference committee, he can shape it as he wishes. If he can get a healthcare reform
bill, an energy reform bill, an economic stimulus package, and more money for community
colleges through this Congress this year; he will have kept his promises and will ride a tide
of positive feeling into the mid-term elections and beyond. By doing nothing but opposing
the President, the Republicans guarantee themselves permanent minority status in this
Don't let the "nattering nabobs of negativism" in the corporate media get you down.
Call your Senators and Congress people. Demand they support the President. In particular,
call Senator Diane Feinstein and tell her that she won't get re-elected if she opposes the
President on healthcare reform or energy legislation. Inundate her office with feedback
so there is no doubt left about the consequences for her if she fails to be a loyal Democrat.
Then sit back and watch. This is going to be good theater for a few more months.
Oh, copies of the new game "Reactionary" will be in toy stores just in time for the
Holiday rush (Oh, I'm sorry, Christmas rush, O'Reilly will have a field day with that one).
Be sure to get your order in early. What do you think? I welcome your comments and
rebuttals. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org