Political Opinion: It’s the message stupid!

It’s not the time to keep hanging outside, waiting for compromises within your own party or the other party, OR SPECIAL INTERESTS. It’s time to lead at the front of your agenda, not from behind the walls of the dismal approval ratings of the Senate. Make people vote on things they say they support. Make people cast tough votes.

It’s the message stupid!

Well, here we are. One year later, and it seems that all hell has officially broken loose. Progressives are freaking out about President Obama’s first year in office. You can find infighting on any news channel or blog. The White House still seems super cool and relaxed, while its base is deciding who or what to attack within its own group, including them. Democrats in the House and Senate are scared because of one senate seat lost, which still gives them one of the largest majorities in this countries history – this was given to them by the people when they voted in 2008, in case you, or they forgot what happened that short time ago.

Republicans appear to be learning the wrong lessons from Scott Brown’s victory, which is the idea that somehow we have all forgotten they presided over this counties almost certain death, and everyone wants them to lead us again. This is of course not the case for reasons that are obvious. Scott Brown hardly mentioned the word Republican in his campaign and they know it. He might prove to be someone willing to work on legislation, especially coming out of that state. Only time will tell on him.

The media likes to cherry pick what they deem to be relevant in the political world. “This election means more than that one,this one is without a doubt a referendum on this person and that person, this plan is less popular than that plan.”  I call foul, and I say Bullshit!! Massachusetts does not speak for the rest of this country, nor does California or New York, or the Deep South. This is considered the most diverse country for a reason. However, losing Massachusetts is a big deal, bigger than anything we have seen politically almost all year. The country is upset, that’s the only truth, and it has been for quite sometime, way before Obama decided to run for President. The big deal from this election is the lessons learned, and what happens now moving forward. This point in time will decide the fate of this young Presidency, and the fate of the rest of our security, both domestically, and internationally.

The major determining factor from here is clearly the message. I watched tons of spin after the Mass. election – especially from the White House. They were clearly too cool for school. You can’t say you feel the people’s pain when you’re excessively calm. I still trust this administration, and support them. But they need to seriously react in a more genuine way. The President seems to think that we need more capitulation to the “right.” If somehow Joe Liebermann’s suggestion to retreat to the “center” is correct. We never left the “center-right” as far as I am concerned. Any spending that’s been done has been nothing but required, not part of an overall political agenda designed previously, but a sure fire way to save us from another depression – it worked!!

Furthermore, the President had to do the things he has done, he had to save Capitalism. Conservatives should be kissing his ass for that, but they will never give any credit for anything. Regardless, he has made the hard choices, even if it means being a one term President, but now it time for “Change.” It’s not the time to keep hanging outside, waiting for compromises within your own party or the other party, OR SPECIAL INTERESTS. It’s time to lead at the front of your agenda, not from behind the walls of the dismal approval ratings of the Senate. Make people vote on things they say they support. Make people cast tough votes. Individualize bits and pieces of legislation every week until 2012. Give a press conference every morning before each vote. Explain in basic terms what the vote will determine for Americans, how you a “Democratic” President is helping them. Then explain what a vote against it means; do this every day until the American people get the message, and then tell them again.  It’s the message stupid! And of course the Economy!

The reality of this country to me is that people are pissed and want someone to explain what we’re going to do. This is the White House’s failure. This is the Presidents failure. I am all for grace, and prudency. I am all for being pragmatic, but not at the cost of losing the sense of your own beliefs, or at least forgetting to convey them. Its time Barack, it’s now or never President Obama. What’s it going to be?

Important notes from the Brown’s election:

18% of registered Democrats voted for Brown over Coakley in Massachusetts.

Those same people voted for President Obama.

82% of the people who voted for Brown, who also voted for Obama in 2008, from all parties, support a Public Option.

57% of the voters who voted for Obama in 2008, who switched and voted for Brown said they want Democrats to go further on Health Care.

Joe Lieberman has a disapproval rating of 67% in Massachusetts.

23% of the people in Massachusetts, who voted for Scott Brown, said the Health Care bill went too far.

41% said they were unsure why they oppose the Health Care bill.

It’s the Message Stupid!

– Ryan Boos

Polls were taken from Boldprogressives.org (click to view more interesting poll numbers from the Brown election)

6 thoughts on “Political Opinion: It’s the message stupid!”

  1. Ryan, great post. What resonated with me was when you said lead his agenda from the front. I also feel he has been cherry picking things between both parties to try and make everyone happy, and not the majority of people who voted for him. Right of center has not changed. But more amazingly is you would think Republicans would be thrilled. Not a chance, this guy instills more venom in a republican than ever, and at this point they may want to send him a thank you card. I also wait patiently, with little patience left, that he will for once take the opportunity to use the advantage in the senate to do what those senators were elected to do, by the same people who also elected him. At the very least, don’t campaign on change and reform and then do neither. Waiting for either. I am terrified to see the future of our country if he doesn’t accomplish anything outside of trying to make everyone happy and failing miserably and a Brown, Jindal, or a Palin is our next leader. One lesson he could have learned from George W would be to have the balls to push his agenda through whether or not the opposition party wanted to hang out for coffee afterwards. Get r done Barack!

    1. Indeed he needs to take a page from W’s book on being more bold, that would be the only page. Well, he is being bold, but not expressing his message as he should. Its not so much I believe Brown will be any different. I do think he will vote mostly with Republicans, however he has his own constituency to deal with Massachusetts, which will expect him to be moderate and to the left on many social things. He is pro choice, and he did vote for the Massachusetts quasi universal healthcare plan. I too am losing patients but he said something that stuck with me yesterday while he was in Ohio. He essentially said I didn’t come here to Washington to do the easy things, which is to do nothing. Doing nothing creates no controversy and pleases everyone. I came here to get things down, rather than kick the problem to another time. I do agree with him on this, if he was doing nothing at all or even doing less than we hoped, the climate of our politics might be less dramatic, but then again I am being an optimistic thinker with that point. If he gets in front of his agenda, much like he did in Ohio, then we will see results, he will see the people rally again for him, I still have faith. This President is always going to find a middle solution. Unfortunately I think its the only way anything will get done. Now, there is going to be a bill that is coming up which challenges the rules of the filibuster, Tom Harkin from Iowa has written a letter and is penning the bill. It will essentially be descending vote requirement which will happen every two days and be in increments of 2-3 less votes required. Congress is the reason Obama’s first year is a blur, well, coupled with his message problem.

  2. Ryan – Great points, and I am optimistic this will end with significant changes in our country for the better, I just hope he gets 8 years to make those changes ;) I know the people will rally for him for sure. He is a champion style person and it wouldn’t take much for everyone to be back on his side and any one of his agenda wins would be significant for the people. I will look into the Harkin bill as well.

    I had a conversation with a friend of mine who always has an interesting perspective on everything and I was waiting to see what he would have to say about the SC ruling. But he made a few points on the for it side, but his comments on the against it side really made me think toward the bottom. I ask him because he is an incredible intellectual that thinks well, but also disagrees with me about pretty much every issue in existence :) I have converted him a few times….

    I began by asking him his thoughts on the ruling……

    “To me, the bottom line is property rights. I have the right to use my money however I please, including spending however much of it I want to propagate any political message I want, including trying to get people to support a political candidate.

    I also have the right to pool money with other people for a combined effort in propagating political speech, including support of a particular candidate. I also have the right to do that in a way where we enter a contract that defines the terms by which that money is dispensed according to decisions made by a group of people to whom we delegate the responsibility to make those decisions. One example of such a group of people is a candidate’s campaign committee. Thus, I can’t escape the conclusion that, at least as an individual, there is no limit to my right either to spend my money on political speech in favor of a candidate or to donate my money to a candidate’s campaign committee.

    I also have the right to enter contracts with other people similar to those described above where we pool money, not just for political speech, but for a business venture, making and selling widgets. And again I and those who invest along with me have the right to do that in a way that includes terms by which we delegate to a group of people our rights to decide how that money is spent, including spending it on political speech and including donating to candidate campaign committees.

    So I don’t have to believe in some abstract idea of corporate personhood with all the other ideas that people might truck into that label. I just have to believe in individual property rights to believe that those rights protect our rights to spend our money on political speech as individuals and in combination with other individuals via corporations.

    All that being said, there are certain privileges that the government grants to corporations, especially limited liability, that don’t apply to individuals. And you can add to that all the extra-special privileges for extra-special corporations in all kinds of ways, from various bailouts and other direct corporate welfare, to specially designed tariffs just for their protection, to regulations that stifle their competitors. None of those things derive from basic individual property rights and our rights to enter into contract to intermingle our properties with other people in a corporations. Nor would government-based corporate privileges exist in a true free market. Those are all things I’m against. Unfortunately, I fear that yesterday’s ruling stands to make all those problems that characterize our anti-free market corporatist economy even worse. I’m not sure what the answer to that problem is.”

    Tracy

    1. Much to ponder here and dissect…

      I think when a discussion/decisions begins to compare individuals to corporations, we create a false platform, as if there is some equality between the two. Its true that a person can spend their own money up to a certain amount per year/primary/general election, however the argument for me comes from a different point of view. This country is controlled by the corporations, and how much more room do they need. Its bad enough when the people elect individuals to represent them under the former rules. Look at 2009 as an example of legislative procedure producing a country wide confusion. This was all stemmed from special interest adds during the whole year. Now, my fear is that its been a dirty fight with wins on both sides, but regardless there is a process where people have been heard, even if their opinion is sometimes coming from message from these same interests who have blurred the lines of reality. So, the question is, with the new influx of political money coming down the pipe line, will we ever even get a chance to fight, or will the corporations already choose and win before legislation has been developed? Its not just about the people, its about the Military Industrial Complex, the environment, trade, multinational corporations, healthcare, essentially everything you can think of might change for the worst and then directly effect the already watered down policies that attempt to protect us. I hope I am wrong!

      Previous post was great!

  3. I think you summed up the current problem the president is facing and suggested practical strategies for future presidential operations. I think Obama is already using one of your suggestions by removing the huge political motivation of positioning himself for being a two term president. It appears that he would rather do what’s right, even if it costs him a re-election. At least he has said that publicly. We’ll soon see. With that said, he will try to govern from the middle. He must get fellow Dems to be satisfied to get “chunks” of Republican co-sponsored legislation done. I think he is okay with this strategy that you suggested. The right of the Right will always challenge him; it’s the left of the Left that must really worry him. But, keep writing good stuff. I have enjoyed it.

    1. Politics is always a tough call. The president is a very skilled individual, which goes without saying. I just hope he continues to push back on his challengers by getting his messages in the Zeitgeist. These days its a new cycle that always finds someone to make a fool of, or something. In this case its been the President’s policies. I think he’s winning the 2010 message, lets just hope that the majority of the people begin to realize that his program ideas are going to help them. Its an amazing thing how the Right gets people to rally against what’s good for them. Thanks for reading.

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