In my opinion, President Obama has been too forbearing for too long. He has responded to the most vicious personal attacks by seeking to find some shred of agreement with his critics. Now, apparently he has awakened to the realization that nothing he says or does will placate his persecutors. And he is hitting back.
From what I know of the man, I don’t think he is on the warpath because of the personal sniping he has had to endure. He seems to be the forgive-and-forget type of person who tries to reason with his most rabid critics. I believe he is finally resorting to more aggressive tactics because his enemies have put the country in peril with their obstructionism and sabotage.
He is trying to protect America from some very dangerous forces.
In Salon today, Joan Walsh observes that the president is striking back at his critics by name. One of his targets is the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell.
Here’s an excerpt from her column:
On CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, McConnell objected to the idea that the federal government should provide the funds to keep cops, firefighters and teachers on the job.
“They are local and state employees,” McConnell said. “The question is whether the federal government can afford to be bailing out states. I think the answer is no.” He went on to whine, “Their story line is that there must be some villain out there who’s keeping this administration from succeeding.”
On his West Coast tour Obama is hitting McConnell directly, and he’s picked a great target. In Las Vegas yesterday, and again in San Francisco, he mocked McConnell for calling the effort to keep first responders on the job “a bailout,” as though they were irresponsible Wall Street banking firms that got taxpayer support. “These aren’t bad actors who somehow screwed up the economy. They didn’t act irresponsibly. These are the men and women who teach our children, who patrol our streets, who run into burning buildings and save people. They deserve our support.”
McConnell had it coming. As Walsh observes:
McConnell makes a perfect villain because, in fact, his obstruction didn’t start last week. He’s been forcing his caucus to stick together to thwart the president since before he was sworn in.
And, as I’m sure you know, McConnell has made no secret of the fact that his number-one objective is President Obama’s defeat in 2012.
I wonder at the president’s restraint in countering McConnell’s persistently toxic barbs. As far as I am concerned, the Kentucky senator deserves far worse.
Not because he and I disagree on everything possible. For example…
McConnell is against campaign finance regulation. He led the opposition to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act between 1989 and 1994. And he is for secret government surveillance of its citizens. He is responsible for the Protect America Act of 2007, which provides for government wiretapping without a warrant. He is also for the invasion of Iraq and keeping Guantanamo Bay open…
The list goes on and on…
But that’s not why my disagreement has turned to disgust. He is entitled to his opinions, wrong-headed though they seem to me.
What makes me really mad is his craven lack of patriotism. He is sacrificing the common good of his country to benefit corporations and individuals who fill his campaign chest.
The Koch Brothers, for example.
It seems that every time you pull back a curtain in Washington these days, you see the sinister faces of Charles and David Koch.
Among the richest of America’s billionaires, the Kochs are engaged in a wide-ranging assault on the Obama presidency and they seem prepared to ruin the country in the process.
Their agenda includes dismantling all environmental protection and corporate regulation and leaving the land and its people at the mercy of polluters and plunderers.
This is the kind of unseen force behind Mitch McConnell and his party.
This is the challenge facing President Obama. He is fighting not just to keep his job but also to protect those of us who do not belong to the richest 1 percent in the nation.