President Obama today signed financial reform legislation, another biggie to add to health reform. I don’t see her in the NY Times photo, but it was reported elsewhere that the president gave a shout-out and a hug to Sen. Blanche Lincoln for her role in the legislation.
It’s nuts, I know, but I sometimes wonder if there wouldn’t be value in a counter-intuitive move by Lincoln to embrace Obama. Her numbers are low in Arkansas, Obama’s are lower. Why not bring him in anyway? Shore up the base and get in the face of the birthers, cranks, baggers and wing nuts with their reflexive Obama hatred.
Ask them: What is wrong with health care reform? What is wrong with financial reform? What is wrong with extended unemployment benefits? What is wrong with government spending to put people to work, just like FDR did? What is wrong with a push for cleaner air? What is wrong with respect for human rights? You certainly won’t win by finessing presumed sore spots. Go for broke. Defend the defensible. If you lose, be proud of how you lost.
Obama does himself no favors shrinking from his enemies. Makes him look weak. The Sherrod episode should be a broader lesson in the need for backbone in the face of the bullies.
I can dream, can’t I?