Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Robert Kuttner: Obama’s meager pitch meets a brick wall

In his state of the union address, and his opening remarks in a meeting with House Republicans the same week, President Obama was inspiring and optimistic, once again reaching across the aisle in the hopes of getting the opposition to meet him halfway. After months of frustrating obstructionism from the GOP, you’d think he’d have learned his lesson. There is nothing coming from that side of the aisle. Nothing. And what the American people need now is true leadership—not conciliation.

Robert Kuttner sees not just Barack Obama’s presidency but the country as a whole teetering on the brink. In this op-ed for the Boston Globe, Kuttner has a few words of advice for our embattled president.

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S State of the Union address was a reminder of why so many Americans invested so much hope in this man – and why he often makes us want to scream. There it all was again – the sheer decency, the intelligence, the plea for an appreciation of complexity, the call to higher purpose combined with feeble particulars, and the signature pursuit of impossible common ground.

“What the American people hope,” he said, “what they deserve – is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences, to overcome the numbing weight of our politics.”

But this just isn’t in the cards, no matter how much the president wishes it. The Republican response to his high-mindedness was the same tactic the GOP has been successfully deploying all year: total obstruction.

Obama made a strategic mistake in framing the problem as “the numbing weight of our politics,” as if the problem were “politics” in general. It isn’t. The problem is a president with one set of remedies to a dire economy downturn, and Republicans who simply won’t play, even when he meets them more than halfway.

Vermont’s independent senator Bernie Sanders put it well. “In order to dance, you need a dance partner, and there ain’t no dance partner out there.”

When Obama boasted of all the tax cuts he had delivered – the preferred Republican remedy for everything – there were cheers from the Democratic side of the aisle, while Republicans sat in stony silence. “I thought I’d get some applause on that one,” he teased, looking over at the Republican seats.

Read the whole article here.

 

Related Articles:


Revisiting Naomi Wolf’s Call to Patriots–10 Years Later

Reading Naomi Wolf’s book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot today is an eerie experience. Written in 2007, it detailed the ways in which the Bush administration was beginning to chip away at the freedoms of American citizens. It outlined the ten steps dictators or would-be dictators take when their […] Read More

Chelsea Green: In the Media 2016

Oh, 2016. Where did the time go? Each year, Chelsea Green receives hundreds of mentions (well over 1000 in 2016) in the media both big and small. From interviews, to excerpts, to opinion pieces by authors we’re always working to make sure that the mission and message of each book is spread far and wide. […] Read More

Yes, America We Can Make It … Really

Uncertainty got you down? The political world may seem like it’s crumbling around us, but this we know: We can make it, America. Literally, we can make things. Houses. Gardens. Food. Below we’ve selected some of our classic how-to and DIY books (and some new favorites) to help you sustain your self, family, and community. […] Read More

Chelsea Green on Instagram: Our Most Popular Photos of 2016

What a year for Chelsea Green on Instagram! We began the year with 500 followers and are now fast approaching 4,000 photo-loving brewers, gardeners, cheesemakers, permaculturists, foodies, seed-savers, homesteaders, foragers, and more. Our most popular posts of 2016 say a lot about what makes you happy: mushrooms, innovative garden designs and techniques, tiny cabins, and […] Read More

Slack and Taut: Defining a System’s Resilience

A resilient future (or a resilient present, for that matter) needs to be slack, not taut. What do we mean? Core to the concept of a Lean Economy is understanding the need to move toward a “slack” market rather than one that is “taut.” When British economist David Fleming died unexpectedly in 2010, he left […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com
+1
Tweet
Share
Share
Pin