An open letter to President Obama
December 4, 2010 | Mr President:
With all due respect, sir, I just have to say it: You are screwing up big time! It pains me to say it; I voted for you and was ecstatic when you won. I thought what Gerry Ford said after Richard Nixon resigned: "Our long national nightmare is over." But it's not working out that way, and you need a good kick in the pants.
You had the admirable intention when you took office to change the way Washington works, and you have reached out to the Republicans over and over to demonstrate your sincerity. But don't you get it? The Republicans want you to fail more than they want the country to succeed.
They have told you over and over again: "No!" Mitch McConnell could not have been more clear when he said, “The single most important thing we [Republicans] want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Not to get the country out of the economic mess it's in. Not to get the country out of the wars it's in. Not to "form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..." No, they want you to fail.
Nevertheless, you keep making concession after concession to them — trying to be reasonable — and get nothing in return. They keep voting against things they, themselves, used to be for, all because it will make you look bad. And it's working really, really well!
I suppose you think voters are going to see you as a reasonable person. The fact is, McConnell is playing you for a fool, and he can't keep the smirk off his face whenever he appears behind a microphone.
Sure, you've accomplished a lot in the first half of your term: prevented a second great depression, rescued the financial system and the automobile industry, passed health care reform, financial reform, and so on. But it doesn't matter, because even your supporters are fed up with what seems to be your inability to ever take a stand on anything. During the campaign you were marvelously clear about so many things — and people came out in droves to vote for you! 53% to 46%
The Republicans have given you a gift: the things they are most in favor of right now — tax cuts for the very wealthiest, continued discrimination against gays and lesbians in the military in the form of "don't ask don't tell," health care reform, financial reform, and so on — are all things where the American people are on your side!
Wake up: the Republicans are never going to compromise. Everybody except you knows it. Get into the press room, out on the driveway, or wherever — without your teleprompter — and learn from Truman: Give 'em hell, Barry! The American people would rally to your side if you would just define what your side is. If you did that, I suspect even the members of your own party in Congress would probably rally to your side.
You are going to go down as a one-term president unless you find your spine and start to stand for those things you campaigned on. Because, frankly, right now it looks like you're lost, adrift in the political currents.
C'mon, man, show some spunk. You should be the one throwing elbows, not taking one in the lip.
I and millions of other people want you to succeed. But you've got to want it too!
When I tried to send my message to the president, I got the following response:
However, I did immediately get a "Welcome to the White House Email List" message, even though I said I didn't want to get emails from the White House.
Maybe not be a good sign.
Last updated on Apr 13, 2018