Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union Question

The villagers are all offering slices of conventional wisdom about what Obama should and shouldn't say in tonight's State of the Union address. Exhibit A: George Packer misses substance altogether, again, with his suggestion that Obama "must say something memorable." Anything memorable, apparently. Big help, there.

At times like today, it's best to turn to someone who isn't anchored in the group-think sump of Washington D.C. politics. Brown University professor and author James A. Morone and is one such. In today's L.A. Times he raises the central question Obama must answer: "Do the Democrats stand for anything?"
Parties prosper when they connect their passions and their principles to their policies. Remembering that could save healthcare reform -- and the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. Forgetting it makes the majorities irrelevant, even if they manage to hang on to them.
In fairness, it's a question for all the House and Senate members, as well as for Obama, regardless of party: What, exactly, do you stand for, people? Are the Republicans capable of nothing but "no," blatant lies, and willful obstructionism? Are Democrats really so feckless as to let tens of thousands of Americans in need of health care die every year just to curry favor with the insurance industry or (understandably) confused constituents back home?

As the professor writes, Lyndon Johnson offered this encomium to Harry Truman when signing the first Medicare bill: "Many men can make proposals, [and] many men can draft laws. . . . But few have the courage to stake reputation . . . and the effort of a lifetime upon a cause."

Tonight, we want to see just how many elected officials in the hall -- from President Obama on down to the lowliest senator and congressman (think of Jeff Miller) -- stand for something concrete and have the courage to stake their reputations on it.


Anonymous said...

Ain't gonna with Miller. Even Republicans laugh at him. He stands for nothing except empty slogans and Jeff Miller.

Bryan said...

Jeff Miller has a reputation?

I want to see some documentation on that.

Nancy said...

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This is Nancy from Israeli Uncensored News