By Maureen Dowd, New York Times,August 16, 2011
After assuring Obama that she was a supporter, an Iowa mother named Emily asked the president at a town hall at the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah what had gone wrong.
Standing in a setting that was Martha Stewart-perfect — a red barn with an American flag, surrounded by white pines, red cedars and pink zinnias — the president looked breezy in khakis and white shirt. But he seemed to tense up as Emily spoke.
“So when you ran for office you built a tremendous amount of trust with the American people, that you seemed like someone who wouldn’t move the bar on us,” she said. “And it seems, especially in the last year, as if your negotiating tactics have sort of cut away at that trust by compromising some key principles that we believed in, like repealing the tax cut, not fighting harder for single-payer. Even Social Security and Medicare seemed on the line when we were dealing with the debt ceiling. So I’m just curious, moving forward, what prevents you from taking a harder negotiating stance, being that it seems that the Republicans are taking a really hard stance?”
The president defended himself with a tinge of resignation: If the crazed bullies put a gun to your head, you must surrender.
“Now, I know that people would like to say ‘Well, just do something to get these guys under control,’ ” he told Emily, adding: “You don’t want to reward unreasonableness. Look, I get that. But sometimes you’ve got to make choices in order to do what’s best for the country at that particular moment.”
Making lemonade out of a bad or damaged lemon may not be enough to achieve a second term in the America of 2011, and the President must know that. "Settling" for a second-best, in the face of politically gun-toting hot-heads who have taken, not only the U.S. government and economy hostage to their malignant brand of "kool-aid" but also threatened the economy of the western world, (with obvious help from Europe) is not good Democratic politics either.
We all know where the president stands, "theoretically" but in the melee of negotiations, he seems to give too much ground to the people already drunk on their own kool-aid.
And the country has a history of following the gun-slingers...just look at the way Texas Governor Rich Perry has ridden into "town" to save the U.S. from "that dangerous Obama."
It is a very simply country, really, when it comes to voting. It likes testosterone, machismo, alpha male leadership DNA in its leaders, especially when compared with "ivy-league" and thoughtful and moderate, and complex thinkers who seem to be acting like a 'hen-pecked husband' while the gun-slingers ride off with the booty, in this case the White House.
I know a little bit about his problem. I served as a small-time clergy in one of their "western frontier" towns back in the 90's and one of the most often heard compliants about my service was that I was "too ivy-league" for their tastes. And, without much ado, I was literally sent packing, back to the land of 'pinko commie bastards', Canada.
The U.S. and the western world need Obama, for the next four years, and the U.S. or a sizeable portion of the voters in the lower half of the North American continent seem to want a "fight" to preserve their own bigoted, selfish and narcissistic brand of fundamentalism, in an otherwise increasingly complex and complicated world.
If Obama has an of the "Rocky" genes in his blood, he had better find them, and let them loose, in his own modest and moderate manner; otherwise the "crazies" are going to take over the 'hen-house' leaving the rest of us gaping and sighing about what "could have been"....again!
Neither Obama nor the moderates deserve that fate. And the western world cannot tolerate another Texan who wants to send government packing, and leave the field to unbridled capitalism...we all know where that leads...