It might work against a politician who doesn’t want to fight back, but the standard left-wing advice to President Barack Obama to “get angry” never works, and reinforces the same bad behavior that is the cause of most of his failures. The stimulus, Obamacare, foreign policy “resets”–all of Obama’s greatest blunders are carried out with no consultation and shoved down the opposition (and the country’s) throat. And yet Democrats want more.
Juan Williams, writing in The Hill, isn’t responsible for the awful headline atop his article (“Williams: Time for Obama to Punch Hard,”), which calls to mind Jim Messina’s “punch back twice as hard” during the Obamacare debate (which some Obama supporters took literally, and preemptively). But Williams is responsible for such nonsense as telling Obama to “get angry.” Angry at whom? Republicans? The Constitution? The voters?
The reason there is a mismatch between the inspirational Obama that Williams wants to resurrect, and the sour, withdrawn, incompetent and thin-skinned Obama who sits with his feet on his desk in the Oval Office is that the president has never taken governing seriously. He never even tried to use the government shutdown to extract concessions from the Republicans. He just wanted them to “lose.” He got “angry,” so he got nothing.
I remain convinced that Obama thinks he is Chicago mayor Harold Washington and that today’s Republicans are the racist Democratic machine of the Chicago wards, and that all he has to do is beat them, while using his executive powers to circumvent them, as Washington did. Then the “fever” will break, and he will rule.
But this is not Chicago, and these Republicans are not the Chicago machine, and the country needs real leadership.