Dowd today: "...President Obama is so wrapped up in his desire to be a different, more conciliatory, beer-summit kind of leader, he ignores some verities.
Sometimes, when you’ve got the mojo, you have to keep your foot on your opponent’s neck. When you’re trying to get a Sisyphean agenda passed, it’s good if people in the way — including rebellious elements in your own party — fear you.
Civil discourse is fine, but when the other side is fighting dirty, you should get angry. Don’t let the bully kick sand in your face. The White House should have impaled death panel malarkey as soon as it came up.
By the time the president got feisty in a speech on Monday, the inmates had taken over cable TV, much like the spooky spirits swarming up over Bald Mountain in “Fantasia.”
Even Steve Hildebrand, the strategist who helped shape Obama’s historic win in the Iowa caucuses, complains that his former hero “needs to be more bold in his leadership.” Disenchanted at Obama’s disengaged approach on health care and gay rights, Hildebrand told Politico’s Ben Smith that he was “losing patience.”
It was one thing for Obama to delegate freely when he was on the Harvard Law Review, but it’s madness to go play golf and delegate freely to Congress, letting Nancy Pelosi make your case. After signaling that there was nothing he’d fall on his sword for on health care; after dropping Van Jones at the first objection from Glenn Beck — a demagoon who called Obama a “racist” — the president is getting to be seen as an easy mark.
If Obama didn’t have a knife-thrower like Rahmbo in the Oval, Democrats would be totally convinced that the president would fold in a heartbeat..."
Is that a verity? Is it necessary to step on throats sometimes to be a good president?
I appreciate the Rahm/Obama good cop/bad cop dynamic. But one would hope that the country would self-heal this kind of foolishness without requiring a resort to "fear" as Dowd suggests.
I think it is time for a passionate re-statement of what's at stake here. Let's see if he can pull it off tonight.