I couldn’t agree more with American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator Robert Reich. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. The man knows a thing or two.
I really wish President Obama would heed his words…
“Occasionally I may make some of you angry because I’m going to reach out to Republicans and I’m going to keep on doing it,” President Obama said at a Democratic fundraiser last night. “Even if some of you think I’m a sap I’m going to keep on doing it because that’s what I think the country needs.”
Given the current state of the Regressive Party I don’t think this is what the country needs, at least not in the way Obama has been reaching out — putting compromises on the table before negotiations have even begun (cutting future Social Security benefits); setting lines in the sand and then caving (insisting the Bush tax cuts would not be extended to incomes over $250K and then extending them up to $400K); giving them easy escapes from the consequences of their policies (avoiding the fiscal cliff); allowing them to use the filibuster to thwart a large majority of voters (background checks before gun purchases); trying to reassure them by moving to the right (increasing deportations); and legitimizing their views (setting up Simpson-Bowles deficit commission and saying government budgets are like family budgets).
The way to “reach out to Republicans” is to be mercilessly tough on them — using the powers of the presidency to punish and reward them (and their constituents), holding them publicly accountable, leading the charge against the filibuster, and not giving an inch. When Obama reaches out to them as he has, congressional Republicans see only weakness, and they’ve used that weakness against him time and again.
- Former US President Bill Clinton officially joins Twitter (thenextweb.com)
- Robert Reich: Everything You Need to Know About How Chained CPI Will Screw Over Seniors (alternet.org)
- Robert Reich: Bi-Partisanship We Don’t Need: The President Offers to Cut Social Security and Republicans Agree (huffingtonpost.com)
- Political economist Reich bullish on economy (fresnobee.com)
- Robert Reich: What Obama Should Do Now (huffingtonpost.com)
- Bi-Partisanship We Don’t Need: The President Offers to Cut Social Security and Republicans Agree (ukprogressive.co.uk)
- Obama and Bush, distinct presidents with overlaps in policy and aspirations (timescolonist.com)
- Obama: Washington Is ‘Not As Functional As It Could Be’ (kstreet607.com)