Saturday, July 03, 2010

Leadership and Rhetoric

Boehner says that economic regulation is “using a nuclear bomb to attack an ant,” and Obama replies that he is “out of touch,” asks if we think the “economic crisis is an ant and we need an ant swatter to deal with it.” News pundits far and wide cheer Obama as having “scored some points.”

Scoring points is fine if you are playing basketball, but we don’t elect a president to play basketball. Obama did not rebut the policy endorsed by Republicans with that little piece of asinine rhetoric, nor does he do so when he claims that Republicans “just say ‘no’ to everything.” Engaging in point-scoring rhetoric is not going to solve the problems that face this nation, one of the largest of which is the lack of serious political dialog.

Democrats, Obama first among them, need to quit merely mocking the rhetoric used by the Republican and Tea Party speakers, and start seriously addressing the policies that they espouse. The despoilment of the Gulf of Mexico needed the hand of regulation to prevent it, and that kind of preventive regulation cannot be provided by the kind of “small government” advocated by the opponents to the Democratic Party. Democrats need to address that issue instead of merely playing rhetorical games over clumsy wording and cheap slogans.

We need a political leader in the White House, not a cheerleader.

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