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Ain't That Tough Enough?

By The Reverend Published: October 22, 2009

The Fabulous Thunderbirds, one of my favorite contemporary blues groups, made the song my blog title rips off famous back in the 90's. I entitle my post with it today because of the schizophrenic messages coming from conservative and Villager voices over the 10-months-in-office President Obama.

Here's what I mean.

If you click here, and review the first few pages of Google responses to the question, "is Obama tough enough?", you'll find that conservatives and Villagers (and a few Democrats), have been fixated of late with the question of whether President Obama is tough enough as President.

One example from those Google search results......

"...a narrative is emerging among some columnists, pundits, and academics across the political spectrum that Obama's low-key, cool, cerebral style, while reassuring on many levels, lacks the punch that is sometimes needed to advance an agenda in Washington, and in a perilous world."

Keeping those Google examples in mind, now look at what Politico Villagers Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen are saying today about President Obama....

President Obama is working systematically to marginalize the most powerful forces behind the Republican Party, setting loose top White House officials to undermine conservatives in the media, business and lobbying worlds.

With a series of private meetings and public taunts, the White House has targeted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the biggest-spending pro-business lobbying group in the country; Rush Limbaugh, the country’s most-listened-to conservative commentator; and now, with a new volley of combative rhetoric in recent days, the insurance industry, Wall Street executives and Fox News.

Feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken, but it sure sounds like Vandehei and Allen are saying that President Obama is acting TOO TOUGH.

According to Politico, Obama's White House is working hard to "marginalize" the very folks most responsible for the American disasters of the last decade, Republicans, huge powerful monied interests and the media propagandists who support both. According to the Villager Politico co-founder Vandehei, Obama's toughness in dealing with his political opponents is just so over the top....

"The White House approach could backfire if Obama looks too political or petty,....... Key commentators have argued that it is foolish of the White House to spend so much time slamming one network simply because it dislikes much of its programming."

So which is it schizoids? Is Obama too tough or not tough enough? Please, make up your minds, because the dissonance is starting to irritate me.

Tough talk is, you know, one thing, as we learned with the "bring 'em on" and "dead or alive" stupidities of the former "tough guy", George W. Bush. But let's see if the complaint that...Obama-is-too-tough-because-he' working....

So is the strategy working? White House officials point to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll to argue the answer is emphatically yes. Only 20 percent of those surveyed identified themselves as Republicans, the lowest in 26 years of asking the question.

Amazingly though, the Politico Villager writers then say this....

It’s impossible to credit the Obama White House for these numbers, however. Republicans can claim the bulk of the responsibility after a decade of scandals, unpopular wars, unprecedented spending and a broad loss of public trust.

See? Obama is behaving in a too tough manner regarding his political opponents, but Obama is not responsible for the historic lows in Republican approval and identification numbers. What Politico doesn't mention is the fact that those numbers have continued to go down SINCE Obama was elected. Americans are responding not so much to what Bush and his Boyz did from 2001-2009, that response came last November. Americans are responding now to how Republicans and conservatives are acting with a Democrat in the White House.

A staggering 83 percent of all independents surveyed said they don’t trust Republicans to make the right decisions.

Both political parties say that election outcomes are determined not by the right or left side voters, but by those allegedly in the "middle', independents. 83% of those "middle" folks do not trust Republicans to make the right decisions. That is headline material.

Is Obama just being too tough on his lying and smear-minded opponents? Is that it?

Or is toughness, genuine toughness...especially now....more than just childish neo-con slogan-threats by incompetent and ignorant conservative posers?

For 8 months, Obama gave Republicans, conservatives and right wing media screechers every opportunity to join him in moving the nation forward. Americans elected Obama with a mandate, and the new president offered nothing but an extended hand to his political opponents after he was elected. Obama took criticism for trying to appeal to Republicans in the stimulus debate. The same has been true of Obama's approach to health care reform.

President Obama could not have bent over any further backwards to accomodate his opposition. What did he get in return? Kicked in the teeth. But Obama knew that his unhinged opposition would reveal itself in all it's ugliness.....he has an uncanny knack of seeing the bigger picture.....and he strategized accordingly.

Former Bush clone, Dana Perino, perfectly captures the schitzoid problem within conservative and Republican circles....

“They won — why don’t they act like it?” said Dana Perino, former White House press secretary to Bush. “ The more they fight, the more defensive they look. It’s only been 10 months, and they’re burning bridges in a lot of different places.”

Huh? I thought when you were fighting, you were on the offensive, not the defensive.

Obama is fighting and winning, and he's doing it in a very intelligent manner. His opponents are self-marginalizing with their schitzoid and unhinged opposition proving that...

Obama is tough enough.



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