[Guest post by DRJ]
President Obama issues a weekly address that he calls Your Weekly Address. This week’s address entitled Republicans Blocking Progress rants about the GOP because of its “dreary and
political familiar politics.” Obama especially wants Republicans to agree with his plans to spend more money and pass energy legislation. Obama’s bottom-line message:
“Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, we’ve got an obligation that goes beyond caring about the next election. We have an obligation to care about the next generation.”
Of course, most if not all of Americans care about the next generation. This is Obama’s typical strawman method of presenting an argument he can’t lose, while also conveying that Democrats care and Republicans are greedy jerks.
Both as a candidate and as President, Obama has had a special ability to speak in generalities that most of us agree with and that inspire people to believe in him. This is another in a long line of examples. But the time for inspiration is during a campaign and being President requires specific plans, policies, and positions — something I know President Obama has plenty of but he refuses to share with Americans.
In West Texas, both in law and in life, this approach is called “laying behind the log” because you hide what you plan to do until the last minute. It can be an effective and successful strategy if your opponent isn’t paying attention, and I think this strategy is one reason why Obama tries to appear open-minded until the last minute before supporting or implementing a policy or proposal.
But this strategy isn’t as effective with a determined, knowledgeable and forthright opponent who pushes early and often to identify the opposing positions. That’s why I want Republicans to force President Obama to take a specific position, even if it makes them look obstructionist, so we can let the American people decide what’s best for the next generation. Because what we’ve learned over the past 18 months is the American people often don’t agree with Obama’s policies after they see the details.