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Remember Hope?

President Obama toured the Midwest this week doing his best to redirect focus from his disastrous defeat over the debt ceiling to the issue that everyone outside of Washington wanted him to be concerned with: Jobs. But other than learning how great of a photo backdrop palettes make, we still know very little about how aggressive the president is going to be in this fight. What he has here is the perfect opportunity to push himself off the ropes and start finally swinging again.

Former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich (@RBReich) has been way out front on the issue of a comprehensive jobs plan. Aside from proving he appears exactly like I imagine comedian Jon Benjamin’s father to look, Reich’s recent media tour and frequent substantive tweeting has distinguished him as the leading progressive voice on this issue at the moment. And guess what, Mr. Reich was also a member of Obama’s economic transition advisory board. I can only hope this means he has the president’s ear.

So what is Reich’s position? In a phrase, it’s be bold Mr. President. So far Obama’s presidency has been defined by a whole lot of pragmatism. Great. I’m all for a pragmatic approach to solving our nation’s issues. The problem is that Obama’s pragmatism is too easily trumped by the Right’s bully politics. The Republican strategy of fighting tooth and nail for every political ounce of flesh has driven the so-called compromise point far far away from any policy that resembles Obama’s vision; barely pragmatic.

What the president must do with his jobs package next month is deliver an opening salvo to the debate so dramatic that it galvanizes the Left and gives us something worth fighting for. A strong jobs package that includes a robust WPA style program for giving people immediate jobs, an infrastructure bank that is empowered to actually fund big ticket items, and real money going straight into state coffers to make sure teachers and other public employees don’t have to be laid off will send the message to all the people that voted for him that Obama isn’t afraid of the big bad Republicans. Obama needs to show his base that he knows how to lead; that he remembers that spirit that invigorated the nation and made us feel the sensation of something we seem to have forgotten in the months since. Hope.

If we have learned anything from the 112th congress it’s that the anti-Obama strategy is to not let any bill pass that has any chance of being perceived as a win for the President. In this political climate, the Republicans are going to bitch and moan and cry about whatever jobs package Obama puts forth. Come on Mr. President! It’s time to give them something to really cry about.

For more specifics on Robert Reich’s plan, visit

Posted by enderzero at 9:01pm on Aug. 17, 2011  


  1. Jared H says:

    Thanks for putting into clear words what many have been feeling for months . . .

    Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:49pm  
  2. Mere says:

    I think taxing the top two percent of big componders is a winning strategy. Glad to have a President I can stand to look at and listen to even if he hasn’t come into his own yet.

    Aug. 18, 2011 at 10:38pm  
  3. Adam Robinson says:

    I could not agree more. In light of the recent Republican royal rumble it is clear that the ONLY position of power the right has is their ability to deplete our boy’s ability – he comes off as a diplomatic little bitch (and may as well be).

    Forget the notion of the Perry jobs – this country is not fueled by jobs created by over-population or Texas’s auto-pilot oil booming industry (NOT to mention, according to my boy C. Kraus from the NYT, that Texas is coming off the worst disparity of education funding in its history backed by the ever increasing barrier between REAL jobs and low-income temp positions – mostly held by blacks and Hispanics without health care). Wrap that all up with the fact that Texas has cut most of its R&D spending along with its 27 billion dollar STATE deficit within the next 2 years of its budget **i.e. long term planning in red** and, again it is clear that the right isn’t exactly in the right.

    What is clear in all this political bullshit? – Yes, Obama needs to get his act together and begin to restore the hope that landed him in Washington closing in on 4 years ago. BUT, he is still our man to get the job done. Nobody is blaming him for the country’s position. We all know who and what got us to where we are. Perry walked into a gold-mine and hasn’t yet admitted it. Obama walked into a dysfunctional bowl of policy hood-rats and continues to be the noble and respectful man that we were all excited about to trust in to lead this country.

    Dear Mr. Obama, we are all still with you – shit, we haven’t been more excited to stand by your side yet. But, step the FUCK up. Create some jobs and demand that Washington listen to you.

    There used to be a time in this country where the president was the decision maker – not the negotiator. I think it’s time we dip back in to THOSE golden ages.

    Aug. 20, 2011 at 10:13am