Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Where's the "fierce urgency of now?"

"Yes, we can!"

As President Obama begins his Campaign 2012 for re-election against a GOP field that ranges from the terminally disingenuous to the dangerously demagogic, we have a "must-read" commentary from Ezra Klein (the WaPo's Wonkbook), reflecting on some undeniable weaknesses of the administration's approach to dealing with its opposition - most notably a failure to take a compelling counter-argument directly and dramatically to the American people:
I don’t blame Obama for being unable to change Washington. I don’t blame him for being unable to pass cap-and-trade. But I blame him for ceasing to try. And for sometimes letting what can be done distract from what needs to be done...

Back when Obama won the South Carolina primary, he warned of a “status quo that extends beyond any particular party and right now that status quo is fighting back with everything it’s got.” If anything, he was understating his case. But he was right to try to inspire voters to cast away their skepticism, to say that “where we are met with cynicism and doubt and fear and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of the American people in three simple words — yes, we can.”

Lately, the administration’s creed can be summed up more modestly: “Hopefully, the Senate won’t let them.”
The contrast with the 2008 campaign — which correctly saw some virtue in ambition, even if what it promised was unrealistic — is stark.

Read Klein's entire piece, "What happened to the 'fierce urgency of now?'", HERE.

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