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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-03-11 02:06 PM
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Memo To President Obama
I'm posting this because Bruce Bartlett gave this advice; he doesn't have a whole lot of respect for the rethugs in general; might be some very good advice.

What He Should Say In The SOTU
Memo to Obama:

Find a few good opponents
By Bruce Bartlett



One of the biggest problems you have faced over the past two years, Mr. President, has been the extremely poor quality of your opponents in the Republican Party. With precious few exceptions, conservatives have made no effort to engage your administration on an intellectual level. Their criticism has been limited almost entirely to lies, caricatures, and ridiculous charges. Even respectable publications such as Forbes magazine have indulged in the same sort of conspiratorial anti-Obama nonsense being peddled by unhinged talk radio hosts and right-wing bloggers.

The widespread repetition of these ideas among Tea Party members and partisans who care nothing about the truth has emboldened Republicans in Congress to adopt scorched-earth policiesputting holds on every administration nominee despite the persons qualifications, filibustering every bill that comes before the Senate regardless of its merit, and engaging in the pettiest obstructionism imaginable.


In the midst of this mayhem, it may seem you have little choice but to deal exclusively with the likes of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, who are themselves beholden to the base and determined to obstruct at all costs. But thats not necessarily the case. There are Republican governors, former Republican members of Congress, and even a few conservative intellectuals who still have the capacity for independent thought.

The fact that these responsible conservatives arent elected members of Congress matters less than you might think. The presidentany presidenthas a lot of power to anoint leaders, confer status, or simply raise someones profile. Much as Oprah can instantly turn a book into a best seller simply by letting it be known that she is reading it, so too can the president get someone an interview on every news program in the English-speaking world just by inviting that person in for some personal face time at the White House. And he can do this just as effectively for his enemies as his friends.

Admittedly, the pool of Republicans who actually care about policy and think their party has some other purpose than defeating you in 2012 is pretty small. There are none in Congress right nowat least none with the courage to act on such convictions. But Republicans who actually have to perform in office, such as governors and mayors, dont have the luxury of doing nothing except pontificate in front of the Fox News cameras. Some of them would be willing to meet you halfway.

more...

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2011/1101.bar...

Bruce Bartlett, a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House, is a columnist for Fiscal Times and Tax Notes. His latest book is The New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward.
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-03-11 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. I never expected that out of Bruce Bartlett.
Good on him. I hope the President listens to him.
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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-03-11 04:12 PM
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2. Wow, Bruce Barlett? Really? I'm impressed!
Edited on Mon Jan-03-11 04:31 PM by Liberal_Stalwart71
Edit to add:

The Father of Reaganomics gives Obama good advice. The only thing that I disagree with is that Obama/the Democrats *did* in fact incorporate many Republican ideas into the health care reform package. The most unpopular of these is, of course, the health care mandate. That was not only an idea that Mitt Romney incorporated into the MA health care reform package when he was governor; it was first proposed by Orrin Hatch and Charles Grassley, both of whom are now crying about how unconstitutional a health mandate is. Apparently it wasnt when they proposed it. More Republican ideastax breaks for small businesses, end-of-life counseling or death panels, buying insurance plans across state lines, removing coverage for illegal immigrants, and guaranteeing that abortion services would not be covered under these plans. These were all originally Republican ideas!
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-03-11 04:13 PM
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3. It's certainly interesting advice
Edited on Mon Jan-03-11 04:14 PM by ProSense
Admittedly, the pool of Republicans who actually care about policy and think their party has some other purpose than defeating you in 2012 is pretty small. There are none in Congress right nowat least none with the courage to act on such convictions. But Republicans who actually have to perform in office, such as governors and mayors, dont have the luxury of doing nothing except pontificate in front of the Fox News cameras. Some of them would be willing to meet you halfway.


But the crop of Republican Governors (Chris Christie, ugh) leave a lot to be desired.

Also, let them meet the President halfway and stop grandstanding, especially about infrastructure cuts. They appear willing to help Washington Republicans in their attempt to sabotage the recovery.

The President doesn't need to rescue the Republican Party from itself.



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