Truth and Democracy

Inviting those who live in the right-wing alternate universe to join the rest of us out here in reality.

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Location: Hackensack, New Jersey, United States

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dear Mr. President, (Grow a Pair, Quick!)

Dear Mr. President,

Even after working for your primary opponent, I voted for you Mr. President. I made tons of phone calls to other New Jersey voters, asking them to join me in electing you. It’s coming up on two years since those days and, quite frankly, I’m getting really frustrated with the White House I chose. This isn’t the inane ranting of some right wing lunatic; I personify your base of support. I am sick to death of watching you not stand up and fight for your principles.

You can begin later this morning by firing Gen. Stanley McChrystal. No career military officer since Douglas Macarthur has been in more dire need of unemployment. He has kicked the US Constitution to the curb and violated rule number one for an officer dealing with his superiors. It’s time for him to go. He’s had ample opportunity to privately discuss any concerns he has with you. Instead he chose to publicize them, inject himself into partisan politics in which he has no business, and possibly provide “aid and comfort” to our enemies. Trust me, if any General had been guilty of this kind of conduct while still in George W. Bush’s chain of command, FOX News and the rest of the right wing machine would be calling them a “traitor” and crying out for court-martial proceedings. Firing McChrystal is the least you can do. Do it. It would, for the first time in too long, indicate to your supporters (as well as your critics) that you are actually in charge in Washington.

I’ve watched you try to compromise too much for too long now. Enough. You sought bipartisanship on healthcare and you were accused of wanting to “kill grandma”. Then you let Senators from your own party kill much of the principled good the reform could have done. You compromised endlessly in the name of getting a bill done and it resulted in passage of a questionable law. Don’t confuse our happiness at making things a little better with a triumph. Attempting compromise with an uncompromising opposition is an unsettling pattern into which you have fallen. Republican minorities in the House and Senate are historically small. Yet, pending legislation on climate change and energy independence is dead because of their opposition. Immigration reform is dead at their hands as well, even as they blame your government for “inaction”. And financial reform still lacks the real and obviously necessary teeth.

Time and time again you have sought cooperation from a Republican Party which has been largely in partisan campaign mode since the beginning of last summer. Consider this a friendly intervention. There is an appropriate time for compromise and there are times when you have to fight for your principled beliefs to the bitter end. The GOP has shown you the path which they have chosen. What path will you choose? It’s time for clear, uncompromising and principled leadership. Will you “call the bastards out” and force them to defend their untenable ideology or will you continue to fight with at least one hand tied securely behind your back? Will you join the Republicans in partisan campaign mode from this very morning through Election Day in November? Don’t kid yourself that doing so would be “beneath” a president. They are currently slaughtering you, when it comes to defining your presidency. The only way you can wrest control of the debate away from them is to make clear to America the things you refuse to compromise on AND THEN STICK TO WHAT YOU ADVOCATE, no matter what they throw at you!

You are frittering away a golden opportunity even as I write this letter. You began it when you offered the right wing an olive branch by announcing an end to the moratorium on offshore drilling. You never begin a negotiation by compromising on principle. Now it is exponentially worse. Now, in the face of a disaster of epic proportions, one which cries out to be built into a whole new American approach to energy and a complete house cleaning of incestuous government regulators, one which proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that lack of regulations and enforcement literally KILL, your approach has been lukewarm at best and downright conciliatory at worst. I watched your Oval Office Address last week. I wasn’t impressed. Your opponents are laughing at you and your supporters are no longer sure that you’re the same guy they gave their all to elect. Even the devout centrist Bill Clinton, when the chips were down and principle was on the line, stared down the GOP Congress and forced their hands. The Republicans blinked.

Take a lesson from the history books. Look at Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman and even the above example of an otherwise bipartisan Bill Clinton. You own the “Bully Pulpit”. Show them where the “Buck Stops” and stare them down with Clinton’s “Eye of the Tiger”. The odds are stacked in your favor, if only you’d exhibit the backbone.

Let me leave you with a personal anecdote. Yesterday I had a knockdown, drag out debate on a political internet page with a self-described “Southern, Christian, Conservative”. I am a Northern, Atheist, Liberal. To say that he and I differ in our views would be putting it mildly. We argued back and forth for some time. I offered facts to back up my opinions and clear, concise and logical arguments. In the end we came to understand each other’s experience and viewpoints a little better but neither surrendered his core beliefs. In his last comment, he told me that he had gained a newfound understanding of my world view and respected the consistent passion I have in my beliefs. I had never compromised an ounce. The moral is that the GOP will never like you. They will probably never agree with you on policy. But if you stand firm and consistent with them, if you show them no mercy when engaged in debate, if you communicate and act with nothing short of the utmost passion in your principles, they will come to grudgingly respect you. More importantly, you will win back all of the 53% of the American people who chose you in the first place. Please heed this message.


Paul Roth, Jr.
Hackensack, N.J.


Blogger CRC said...

Paul, I'm with you, Obama has got to fire McChrystal. He is asking to be fired. That's fine. He has his own history which he'll have to defend. I think he will be painting himself into a corner along with Palin, Hannity (theater of the absurd) and Limbaugh. They are running at about 30% which will never make it. I, however, have been wrong before. There are dangers we have to face.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Risk Rapper said...


President Obama has a biological impediment that prohibits him from doing so, (growing a pair), thats his political party.

Continued war, dependence on fossil fuels, cave to the banks, civil liberties as something that can be easily dispensed require little fortitude and no testicular heft.

Obama's Change is sickeningly much much more of the same.

4:45 AM  
Blogger Paul_NJ said...

Don't hold back now James. Say what you feel!

5:09 AM  

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