Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hoping For The Real Thing

As we expected, last night's GOP debate at the Reagan Library looked more like an Obama re-election committee than a group of potential challengers to President Obama.

We hoped for specifics from the Republican candidates; we got very few. We wanted honesty; we got very little. We wanted more discussion of how each candidate would create jobs; we heard mostly the talking points and platitudes we sadly expected. Romney's big moment, where he defended Social Security seems to directly contradict one point of his 59-point jobs and economic plan from earlier this week. Perry lied like cheap rug. Michele Bachmann just seemed to fade away.

Of the eight foolish, ill-informed, pandering puppets on the stage, only Jon Huntsman appeared to us to be even marginally worthy of competing for the Presidency. We're not the only people who thought he won the debate last night.

Truthfully, he may have been the only REAL Reagan Republican on that stage.

If President Obama did anyone a favor by agreeing to move his speech on jobs to Thursday evening, it was the GOP candidates on that stage in California Wednesday night. If he'd given his speech before the Republicans spoke, they may have looked even more inept than they did.

That doesn't mean we're giving a pass to the President tonight - or in the 2012 campaign.

We're well aware of the information that has been leaked about the President's speech tonight: that there will be about a $300 billion stimulus, and that it will include things like payroll tax cuts for WORKING Americans and infrastructure spending - both items that Republicans have supported in the past.

Those are good ideas - ideas that have already proven to create jobs through the stimulus, though the original stimulus should have been MUCH larger, as many of the best economists have been saying all along.

We're also aware that the Republican talking heads and the right-leaning corporate media will continue screaming that regulations and a tax burden are the real problem, even though that lie has already been debunked by many of the private sectors' most successful businesspeople and economists.

Like an infant who's learned that screaming and tantrums result in attention and treats, the extremists on the political right have come to think that if they scream their lies until everyone else becomes weary and gives in, their version of reality will somehow prevail. Like that same infant, they must be re-trained to learn that behavior is unacceptable, offensive, and ultimately won't get them what they want.

What they want on the right is the same thing many on the left want tonight. They want to see President Obama take full command of his position.

He needs to be bold. He needs to be direct. He needs to tell Congress that they WILL get off their lazy asses and do something to help America get back to work - or he will use every inch of leeway accorded to the Office of The President and he will begin programs to put Americans back to work himself.

And then on Friday, he needs to follow through. Immediately.

America needs help. NOW. As we said, earlier this week, we don't expect the President's speech tonight to solve all of the country's woes. To think that words alone will solve the issues would be ridiculous.

However, if President Obama wants to convince independents, Democrats, and Republicans alike that he's the right choice in 2012, he needs to be at his best tonight.

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