Democrats Need to Learn that Nice Guys Finish Last
One of the few legitimate criticisms of President Obama is his sometimes inexplicable insistence on trying to reach a compromise with the Republicans in Washington. In former days, when we elected people to Congress they knew that, regardless of party affiliation, they were there to improve the lives of the people that elected them. They might have supported the other party's candidate for President, but when the election was over they put that aside and worked with the other side for the common good. President Obama still believes this. He came to Washington believing that he could find common ground with the Republicans and that they could work together to achieve the common goal of making America a better place. Alas, too late the President has learned that there is no common ground with the Republicans. They have made quite clear that they do not care about the interests of the American people. They sign pledges written by extremist lobbyists that promise to ignore the will of the people and the common good in favor of a thirty year old failed agenda. They openly boast that their goal is not to improve America, but to make the President look bad by causing as much suffering in this country as they can. And we have seen the results - as successful as the stimulus program was, it was a third smaller than it really needed to be. As much as the Health Care Reform Law is a historic step forward in protecting all Americans, it is nowhere near the single payer plan that would end corporate greed in health care for all time. An offer to cut four TRILLION dollars in spending in exchange for a 0.2% increase in marginal tax rates that would only affect 340,000 of the richest Americans was rejected even though that led to the first lowering of America's credit rating in history.
It's time for the Democrats to stop pretending that the Republicans are interested in doing anything other than serving their corporate masters. They've seen the harm the Party of No has inflicted on this country, and if they don't stop caving in to blackmailers, the nation will never get out of the mess these failed Republicans have caused.
Article excerpt follows:
Democrats Need to Learn that Nice Guys Finish Last
By: Sarah Jones
May 22, 2012
I’m going to type this super slow in the hopes that it gets through to some of our Democratic leaders: You people need to learn to frame issues and you need to do it without apologizing for your beliefs.
The President had to explain Monday at the Chicago NATO Summit exactly why Mitt Romney’s history as an alleged “job creator” at Bain Capital is relevant to the 2012 election. Why did he have to explain something so obvious? Well, because some Democrats seem to be confused about what exactly qualifies as ugly campaigning, as we saw from progressive Democratic Mayor Cory Booker Sunday on Meet the Press and Monday on the Rachel Maddow Show. Sadly, Booker is not alone in his false equivocations of ugly campaigning or his reflexive cowing to right wing framing of Democrats as anti-business.
The President praised Booker before getting into clarifying that this issue is not a “distraction” but an important part of the debate regarding how everyone who is working hard and acting responsibly can have a shot at success. Obama pointed out that his job as President is to take everyone into account, not just some people, “My job is to take into account everybody, not just some.”
This is how it’s done:
“And I think it’s important to recognize that this issue is not a, quote, distraction. This is part of the debate that we’re going to be having in this election campaign about how do we create an economy where everybody from top to bottom, folks on Wall Street and folks on Main Street, have a shot at success, and if they’re working hard and they’re acting responsibly, that they’re able to live out the American dream.
Now, I think my view of private equity is that it is — it is set up to maximize profits and that’s a healthy part of the free market. That’s – that’s part of the role of a lot of business people. That’s not unique to private equity, and as I think my representatives have said repeatedly, and I will say today, I think there are folks who do good work in that area, and there are times where they identify the capacity for the economy to create new jobs or new industries. But understand that their priority is to maximize profits. And that’s not always going to be good for communities or businesses or workers.
And the reason this is relevant to the campaign is because my opponent, Governor Romney, his main calling card for why he thinks he should be president is his business experience. He’s not going out there touting his experience in Massachusetts. He’s saying,’ I’m a business guy and I know how to fix it,’ and this is his business.
And when you’re president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot. Your job is to think about those workers who get laid off and how are we paying them for their retraining? Your job is to think about how those communities can start creating new clusters so that they can attract new businesses. Your job as president is to think about how do we set up a equitable tax system so that everybody’s paying their fair share that allows us then to invest in science and technology and infrastructure, all of which are going to help us grow.
And so, if your main argument for how to grow the economy is, ‘I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,’ then you’re missing what this job is about. It doesn’t – it doesn’t mean you weren’t good at private equity, but that’s not what my job is as president.
My job is to take into account everybody, not just some. My job is to make sure that the country is growing not just now, but ten years from now and twenty years from now. And so, to repeat, this is not a distraction. This is what this campaign’s going to be about, is: what is a strategy for us to move this country forward, in a way where everybody can succeed? And that means I’ve got to think about those workers in that video just as much as I’m thinking about folks who have been much more successful.”
Democrats need to take a long hard look at how this President campaigns and how he leads. He is known as a “pragmatic centrist” but in reality, his beliefs are firmly rooted in economic fairness and equal opportunity for all. Obama manages to frame the issues through the prism of empathy (see bolded sections above) that is the cornerstone of liberal thought.
Obama is going to define this election in policy terms that relate to people, and yet the same individuals who have accused him of caving to the Republicans will also refuse to stand by his fair review of Romney’s job record. Why? Maybe some Republican complained, Fox News declared this an “attack on Bain” and the MSM followed, or worse, the corporate cash called.
But Mitt Romney is the person who made his leadership at Bain Capital an issue. It is, after all, all he wants to talk about. Romney no longer wants to talk about how he supports instituting Arizona’s papers please law or restricting gay rights via the constitution. He wants to talk about jobs.
So talk about jobs we will.
Get a spine, Democrats. We can’t afford to lose this one and you can’t afford to luxuriate in your idea of yourselves as “nice” people as you falsely equate Reverend Wright ads with interviewing people who lost their jobs because of Romney’s leadership at Bain.
Sometimes the truth is ugly, but that doesn’t make you ugly for speaking it. In fact, if you refuse to speak the truth about Romney’s job creation record, you are part of the problem. That’s not nice; that’s a big stab in the back to the working class of this country.
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