I wish my second trip to the White House was under better circumstances. The fact that the results of last night’s elections left a nasty taste in my mouth that three cocktails couldn’t erase (while Politico’s coverage might be questionable, they do know how to throw a party).
I was invited back to attend the POTUS’ press conference this afternoon. By now, everyone’s hashed, sliced, diced, assigned blame and everything under the sun regarding the midterms. We took some painful hits. Russ Feingold – GONE. Alan Grayson – GONE. Kendrick Meek – screwed over by his own party and now GONE. It was very clear that Meek’s staying in the race had no effect on the outcome – I did the math and even if he had gave up to the oil slick known as Charlie Crist, the Tea Bag candidate was still winning by a 2-to-1 margin.
And I know many of you groaned when you heard the POTUS say he wants to work with the ReThugs in charge come January. There was something else, so subtle, that many of you, while groaning, probably missed it all together.
The last POTUS I saw humbled to this extent was Bill Clinton, back in 1994, when the machinations of the Democratic Leadership Council cost the Democrats BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS, and ushered in Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America” which was more like a CONTRACT on AMERICA.
President Obama compared himself to Clinton and Ronald Reagan (though Reagan didn’t seem to have too much trouble dealing with a Democratic Congress – he still deregulated every damn thing), and I couldn’t help but wonder is he going to respond the way Clinton did? What I mean by that is, “Will the POTUS stop playing nice and start challenging his foes, since they are so hell-bent on making sure he’s a one-term POTUS?”
From where I sat, it seems like the POTUS has nothing to lose at this point. He might as well go for broke, and refocus his energies on what we sent him to Washington to do. While Health Care Reform was a major accomplishment, the priority of accomplishing it was probably off. It was more about the economy than anything else, and to hear him ponder on the economy, (he kept repeating it like “Why didn’t someone tell me?), I got the feeling the POTUS’ inner circle set him up to fall in craptacular fashion. He is bravely assuming the blame and taking the hit, while those who helped him to charter this course have slimed away like the slimy bastards they are (cough, Rahm, cough).
So when the POTUS said, “If the Republicans don’t like my ideas, let’s see what they bring,” everyone heard it.
And missed what he meant.
The POTUS, if you were listening carefully, issued a really subtle indication that maybe, just maybe, he’s going to start fighting back. And if you were focused on the fact that his speech was more pragmatic than jovial; that he seemed somewhat out of it – YOU MISSED WHAT HE ACTUALLY SAID.
Since the ReThug Congress Critters now control the House, they have two years to either sit on their collective asses and do nothing but investigate, subpeona and harass the POTUS, or get the work done of creating jobs, stimulating the economy and putting Americans back to work. That was the referendum issued last night: “Since the Democrats didn’t get it done, we’ll give you a shot.”
Essentially, the POTUS was saying the same thing. Translation: “All right, I messed up. But, I’m still willing to work with you. If you don’t like my ideas, then you better bring some to the table when we talk, ’cause come 2012, I will be able to hold up evidence that I tried to work with you in good faith, and you didn’t get the job done.”
In other words, if the Republicans are better than the Democrats, the POTUS ever so subtly said “PROVE IT.”
The ReThugs know how to win campaigns. But they can’t govern worth a damn. All they’re interested in is having POWER to make others suffer. Doesn’t matter if their ideas are for the good of the whole – the elites are who they’re concerned about.
What the ReThugs have done, is back themselves into a corner. They will have to get stuff done. No one is going to be interested come January if there’s no unemployment check because the majority of the House didn’t pass an extension and since there’s no extension in the House, nothing goes to the Senate. They will have to PROVE they are better than the Democrats at GOVERNING.
No one’s going to care about how these mofos obstruct the POTUS for the sake of obstruction if the economy is still in the tank. If no jobs are created to stimulate the economy. No one’s going to care except for those who are now going to be running thangs. The ReThugs can’t lead on obstruction – eventually, the goobers who keep voting against their own best interests might greet the new Majority Leader, the Tan Man, John Boehner, with a load of buckshot if there’s a government shutdown and nobody’s collecting a check.
They’re going to have to PRODUCE. And they’re not familiar with that concept. Period. And once the POTUS cleans up his West Wing and get some experienced people who can craft the message and willingly engage in direct combat, because we are REALLY GOING TO BE AT WAR, the message gets delivered this time, and not directed by the media. The POTUS has to grasp the concept that you cannot play nice with SNAKES. SNAKES can be upon point of being frozen to death – someone takes them in, restores them back to health and then the snake bites them in the ass.
“Why did you bite me?” the caretaker asks. “Because I’m a snake,” says the snake. “And you knew I was a snake when you took me in.”
Joe Lieberman was a SNAKE. Rahm Emmanuel was a SNAKE. Tim Geithner and Larry Summers – SNAKES. Key people the POTUS relied on the give him relevant and effective advice in governing and failed to do so - ALL OF YOU ARE SNAKES. You let this brotha down. Why would you insist that Health Care Reform was more important than PUTTING UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE BACK TO WORK? What the hell were you thinking to allow the POTUS to spend his political capital that way and set him up for the blood bath?
But now, the tables have turned. You ReThugs dancing in the streets last night – PROVE that you can run the country better than the Democrats.
PROVE that you can rejuvenate the economy. Or lower the deficit. Keep the country out of more wars that we can’t afford. Protect and fund domestic and social programs. PROVE that the Tea Bag Gang doesn’t speak for all of you by representing themselves and bonafied BIGOTS.
PROVE that you can do it better. PROVE IT.
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris
Technical Contributor: Brandon Sheats