So where, and how, will the President go? Well, hair follicle experts may have noticed he hasn't tried to hide his gray. Is that a play for sympathy? Others immediately invoked the spirit of Harry Truman to celebrate, somewhat wistfully, the President's apparent newly discovered backbone. Chris Matthews, as good a weather vane as there is of Washington-Think for outside-the-Beltway consumption, immediately seized on the Truman metaphor to try to will best results:
"Give 'em Hell, Barry. When Truman stood there at 36% in the polls and told the Republican Congress to get back to work [he] fired up the Democrats by challenging Republicans to fulfill their own promises. Here is Obama doing the same, demanding the party of complaint, joining jobs instead of going after unions and other items on their ideological to-do list like Medicare and protecting the wealthy. I think I know why the President let loose today. There was a poll for people ready to hear just what he is saying. no matter what you hear on Fox, a strong majority blames the current economic condition on two factors. the Bush administration, and Wall Street. only one in 12 blame President Obama."
Um, Chris ... The President didn't say anything about jobs. As for Medicare (and Medicaid) he sent all sorts of signals he's ready to cut (and run?), cut (and slash?), i.e., leave his "sacred cows" at the door. Secondly, Mr. Obama keeps insisting, in a nauseating repetition of a presidential pattern of cave-ins to the Republicans, that they actually are good faith negotiating partners. That's a tired old broken record, sir, and we're sick of hearing the same defeatist tune. The American people are WAY AHEAD OF YOU. It's surprising you have such tin ears, given their prominence.
Most of us are flummoxed by the President's attitude. President Obama invited us to call him "naïve," but we know he's too smart to be constantly steamrolled by the GOP. Or is he? Even David Brooks, a conservative columnist for the Times, was disowned by the RADICAL EXTREMISTS after he wrote the TRUTH about the Republican Party.
But every so often, even a guy like Chris inadvertently stumbles upon the truth ... like a broken clock. His blind faith in "Give 'Em Hell, Barry" is buttressed by the poll he cited. Back in the day, principled leaders refused to be governed by polls. Even foreign leaders, in the occasional appearance at Meet The Press, Temple of the Idiot Punditocracy, would remark that their countries are not run by polls. But Harry Truman remains the Gold Standard. As Chris noted, he stood at 36 percent in the polls when he challenged the Republicans. And he won! FYI, Chris, here's what Truman had to say about polls:
Has President Obama absorbed Truman's lesson, anyone? Blind faith in our 'fair weather Truman' may be enough for Chris but there's still that gnawing suspicion the President hasn't kicked his cave-in rep (not rap) as his greatest challenge awaits. The fate of our country literally hangs in the balance, on President Obama's resolve to stand fast to our most cherished values, yes if you will, Mr. President, our "sacred cows." So here's some AWESOME Blind Faith messaging for Mr. Obama:“How far would Moses have gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt? What would Jesus Christ have preached if he had taken a poll in the land of Israel? What would have happened to the Reformation if Martin Luther had taken a poll? It isn't polls or public opinion of the moment that counts. It's right and wrong and leadership.”