Why doesn’t President Obama call the Republicans out? Why doesn’t he pound on the lectern and let Americans know he’s damn mad? The obvious answer in my eyes is because it would be completely counter productive. President Obama was able to get elected because he completely ran counter to the stereotype that black people are too emotional. Dee Dee Myers said it, Christopher Orr examined the problem with the calls for Obama to embrace angry populism here.
I’m literally dumbstruck at why there seems is a plurality of Progressives who are stomping up and down and yelling until they are blue in the face about how the President should just get mad. I had no idea that people thought they were signing up for a liberal version of President Bush, who shot from the hip and was always sure to make sure others knew who was in charge. They wanted someone to swagger into the White House and exact punishment upon the Republicans to counter the constant hammering the Democrats had taken for the last eight years. They wanted to stand upon the hill and proclaim “It’s Our Turn Now!”.
This isn’t how the most powerful nation in the world should be governed however. We ultimately have to behave like adults if we would like to continue to move this experiment we call the United States of America forward. Every time President Obama says the words bipartisan there is a gnashing of teeth and a chorus of wails that follows. The majority of American people want bipartisanship though. That is what the polls say. Allow me to give some advice to all the advice givers.
If you are tired of Obama reaching out to Republicans only to be rebuffed and attacked by the Republicans how about you direct some of your energy towards the Republicans who are acting in bad faith.
It seems to me like when an issue comes to the forefront a common response is, “yeah I know Senator Such is Such is holding up Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell but when will Obama finally get tough with these guys?!” or “Yeah I know Senator Person I have to say before I get to attack Obama negotiated in bad faith but when will President Obama stab a Republican on the Senate Floor”. Listen people we live in a nation of checks and balances….CHECKS AND BALANCES! If you want your Congressperson to act in a in a manner that includes actual governance, here’s an idea call your Congressperson!
Now don’t get me wrong President Obama definitely could have handled his messaging much better during his first two years in office but the exultation to “Get Angry” only makes sense if you are operating under the assumption that a majority of Americans would respond positively to that and I’ve yet to see an angry black man who is beloved by the majority of the nation.