Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What Obama Can Learn From Truman - Nothing

The New Republic wished
With an economy seemingly on the precipice of a renewed recession, an angry conservative movement that regards him with disdain, and a disillusioned liberal base disappointed in his first term, Barack Obama’s bid for reelection next year will, by all indications, be a tough, maybe even uphill fight. But daunting as the campaign may seem, the president can at least take some solace in a precedent from 64 years ago: Harry Truman’s campaign for reelection in 1948—successful, despite a poor economic climate, and a polarized electorate—offers a promising path for Obama’s reelection. The question is whether he’s prepared to take it.
He is not, and they would not work if he did.
In terms of the difficulties they faced, these two Democratic presidencies have plenty of parallels. Most prominently, both were hampered by crippling midterm elections, fueled largely by anger about the poor state of the economy, which produced sweeping and across-the-board loss of seats for their party in Congress. In 2010, Democrats lost 63 seats in the House and 6 in the Senate, losing the House after four years in the majority and losing most of their comfortable cushion in the Senate. In 1946, Democrats lost 55 seats in the House—where Republicans grabbed a comfortable majority for the first time in sixteen years—and 13 seats in the Senate, giving Republicans there a 51-45 edge, their first majority in fourteen years.
But the Democrats did not cause the economic hardship then like they did this time.
.... In what will no doubt sound familiar to watchers of the current Congress, the sweeping GOP victories in 1946 convinced many Republicans that they had achieved a lasting ideological victory—that the American public had finished with the liberalism under FDR and Truman, and embraced their brand of conservatism. They were wrong. Voters had reacted to short-term economic conditions, and to a post-war mood for change, but not for a new right-wing ideology.
This is not a short-term economic problem that more of Obama will fix. It is an economic problem caused by Obama, and more of Obama will make it worse.
But it was Truman’s triumph to realize that the hyper-partisan Congress was as much a political boon as it was a political liability. Truman seized upon the conservative over-reaching and openly fought against what he dubbed the “Do-Nothing Eightieth Congress.”
Obama may claim the Republican House is doing nothing, but he would be lieing. They are just not doing anything he likes. They passed a budget, which 800 days of a Democratic control of both houses could not do, and when Republicans get the Senate in 2013 they will pass one too. And the Republican President will sign it.
.... The sitting 112th Congress, like Truman’s 80th, is dominated by a Republican House that believes that its sweeping victory reflected a huge public mandate to dismantle government as we know it.
No it is returning to a Free Market system like the country has know for most of its 200+ year life, and abandoning the Socialistic / Crony Capitalistic system Obama wants.
The overreaching in this case does not involve passing laws that get enacted over a presidential veto, but in precipitating artificial crises—over appropriations that are set to expire in a new fiscal year,
If they were that inconsequential then why not go along with them.
over a debt limit that has always been raised without preconditions
Which is the problem. We should have dug our heals in long ago. Before both Bush and Obama did so much spending we could not afford.
to create hostages
No weapons were used, the only force was the democratic force of a vote, No one or nothing was held hostage.
and force extreme actions.
Like the President not getting everything he wanted.
Far more than the 80th, the 112th is a true “Do-Nothing” Congress,
Not DO Nothing, Do nothing bad. Like the Hippocratic oath, Do No Harm.
producing little progress,
from the viewpoint of a "progressive"
and showing little interest, on key national policy areas from education to energy.
False, we want to reduce Federal control of both, and return it to the states.
But, unlike Truman, Obama has constantly sought common ground with Congress.
Like a mother who gives a child a choice, eat your broccoli or your cauliflower, and the child does not like either. How about a choice like eat one vegetable you don't like and you can have desert (despite what Michelle says).
.... Harry Truman’s 1948 campaign showed how much voters yearn for a strong and demanding leader
And And Obama's campaign will show he is no Harry Truman, but the country will get the strong leader they want in 2013 - a Repiblican.

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