POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and (sorry to say) sometimes even President Obama are making it hard for those of us who want to support them to maintain enthusiasm for their leadership … it is critical for the future of our democracy that our elected leaders show they can lead

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 28, 2010

Profiles in Timidity

The NYT writes (9/27/10) …

  • We are starting to wonder whether Congressional Democrats lack the courage of their convictions, or simply lack convictions.
  • Last week, Senate Democrats did not even bother to schedule a debate, let alone a vote, on the expiring Bush tax cuts. This week, House Democrats appear poised to follow suit. The idea is to spare incumbents from having to vote before Nov. 2 on whether to let the rich go on paying less taxes than the nation needs them to pay.
  • This particular failure to act was not about Republican obstructionism, of which there has been plenty. This was about Democrats failing to seize an opportunity to do the right thing and at the same time draw a sharp distinction between themselves and the Republicans.
  • President Obama has been steadfast — and basically correct — in calling to extend the Bush tax cuts for 98 percent of taxpayers and to let them expire for the top 2 percent. But by postponing a vote on the cuts, Democrats are increasing the likelihood of an eventual cave-in to Republicans, who are pushing for an extension of all the tax cuts, including the high-end ones.

Read the entire editorial at … http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/opinion/28tue1.html?_r=1&ref=opinion


Congressional Democrats have been disgustingly timid since the last two years of the Bush administration. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have been consistently afraid of confronting the Republicans head on, which is their only path to success. They were not elected to hide in the cloakroom and avoid important issues.

President Obama has been far more forthright and aggressive than the Congressional leadership, but he too has sometimes failed to act in an assertive manner

  • for example, in not ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell by executive order on day 1,
  • and by failing to tell his generals what the Commander-in-Chief wants in Afghanistan rather than letting the military dictate policy.

For those of us who want to be enthusiastic about our Democratic leaders, they are making it very hard.



2 Responses to “* Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and (sorry to say) sometimes even President Obama are making it hard for those of us who want to support them to maintain enthusiasm for their leadership … it is critical for the future of our democracy that our elected leaders show they can lead”

  1. melogos said

    Politicians are rarely timid when it comes to spending hundreds of billions of Americans’ hard-earned money. Politicians who exhibit the courage and fortitude to stand for their convictions in an election year are a welcomed sight. Unfortunately, many have demonstrated cowardice and wanton disregard for the wishes of the American people. Politicians from both sides of the aisle are responsible for decimating the American economy. See “Squandering America” at http://www.christianretirement.com Now is the time for truth telling, integrity, and courage of conviction.

  2. Lew Weinstein said

    Liz sent this comment for me to post …

    I do.

    The Democrats have not made an awe-inspiring improvement in the state of affairs but they have made progress on the financial front (new and tighter regulation of the markets, for example) and in the social needs arena, especially medicine, good things are happening.

    While there is still much to be done, the Democrats are failing to get out the news of what has already been accomplished. There is no such thing as modesty in politics so this must come down to incompetence.

    I think the Obama team needs a really good cadre of graphic artists to create a few shocking displays of the effects of the Democratic legislation versus the OMG-No! Republican stance.

    For instance, on the question of renewing the tax cuts, let us see (visually) on the left, the under- $250,000 incomes (the 98% of the population) and on the far right the $250,000 to mega-million incomes (2%). And let’s have smiles on the left and big crocodile tears on the right. Let the voting public really understand how this terribly small portion of the population is trying to torpedo them in order to gain political control.

    And let’s see how many average Joes will be able to help out their kids with insurance until age 26. You can be damned sure the tax-savy over-$250,000-ers will be taking advantage of that one while trying to vote Obama out.

    Keep it simple, as Clinton used to say. But get it out there. Not in the cute little stories of poor Mrs Swithers of Main Street but in the massive numbers of people who will be positively affected by some of the legislation already passed and by that to come.


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