To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, July 17, 2024


Method To Madness



I think I see the method in what seems like madness at times. I didn’t watch President Obama’s press conference live, but I did just listen to it. I don’t know if I am correct, but it is looking pretty brilliant from my standpoint.

On the AIG bonuses, they were waiting for legal grounds. Now George W. Bush would have just had Jon Yoo write up some crazy argument to cover whatever he was going to do anyway. I now understand the difference between taking over a bank – which is legal for the FDIC to do – and taking over an insurance company which the GOP has worked to protect: You, meaning Congress, make it legal and we will do that – not let’s just do something and have someone justify it later.

I loved the comment that Obama likes to know what he is talking about before he pops off with something an idiot, like Cheney or Bush, might say. He obviously understands what he is talking about as opposed to “we have to do this or the world will collapse or Al Qaeda will win.”

Obama is out front in reality. He isn’t saying we are reading a poll or we are reading all the e-mails. He is there, in person, asking what do you need? He isn’t asking some lobbyist. He knows we probably do not know what needs to be done to meet the need. He is there and, although he gets a lot more threats than Bush did, he is still not screening his audiences.

The GOP can say “we know what you need,” as they always do, but they are not out there and they are not drawing those kinds of crowds. We are seeing an actual bully pulpit in action.

They can say he is a celebrity, but what is wrong with a president being a celebrity? He is not allowing someone else to explain what they think he means – he is doing it himself.
I can see the method, I think. The only alternative is for the GOP is to say Obama needs to be here [in Washington] doing the job he was elected to do. Bush wasn’t in D.C. for over 365 days of his eight years – and that is one-eighth of the time – and the GOP didn’t complain – and he was on vacation.

In reality, Obama is the only person, other than the VP, who was elected to represent all the people. Members of Congress are there to represent the interests of their constituents, and they tell you that everyday by not answering mail from anyone outside their districts.

If Obama succeeds we all will because the people will trust him with anything, even some very partisan issues. When he says it is better to lead with abstinence and add contraceptives, I think he is instilling a new sense of self worth to people who may not have had that in the past. I can’t think of many people right now who would be more successful at explaining the need for a good education and why having children you can’t support is a bad idea than either one of the Obamas.

Neither one of them preach, but they sure get the idea over.

I can’t say this about many people – including some relatives – but I would trust the Obamas with any child, including my grandchildren if I ever have any.

I think even we, on the far left, are going to get some of what we desperately want, if we just remain patient. I know how hard that is. No one is going to get everything that they want. I think even the super-majority in the Senate will go the way of the Do-Do along with the Do-Dos who put it in.

I am encouraged and that isn’t easy to say. I haven’t agreed with everything Obama has done and I am certain I won’t agree with everything he is doing or will do in the future, but if he manages to pit the people against the ideologues in the GOP and win, I am in favor of it. However, I am PO’ed at the Blue Dogs being so cozy with the GOP.

Karen Webb lives in Moore, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

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Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.