01.26.10

Obama Needs to Keep Attacking

In his first year, the president acted as if the GOP recession just happened. Clinton strategist Paul Begala on why he needs to take a page from the Gipper—and blast the opposition party.

In his first year, the president acted as if the GOP recession just happened. Clinton strategist Paul Begala on taking a page from the Gipper—and blasting the opposition party.

President Obama needs to get his ass on offense and keep it there. For his first year in office, he treated the Republican Recession like a natural disaster: something that just happened and he has to clean up. Wrong. The Republican Recession was a man-made disaster, caused by economic policies that turned Wall Street into a casino, where they played Russian Roulette with our money; tax cuts for the rich that squandered the surplus and didn't create jobs; an invasion of a country that was no threat to us, but has cost over $1 trillion—which the GOP put on the national credit card.

If you thought corporate lobbyists were powerful before, wait till you see them now that the five thieves in black robes on the Supreme Court have decided they have a right to buy Congress.

Take a page from the Gipper. In his first State of the Union address he said, "To understand the State of the Union, we must look not only at where we are and where we're going but where we've been." He then attacked Democratic economic ideas, blaming them for every problem on earth. He not only pointed fingers; he used all 10 of them.

Progressive economic ideas will jump-start the economy and create jobs. Will Rogers once said, "FDR explained the banking system so well even a banker could understand it." His economic agenda: jobs, jobs, jobs.

Richard Wolffe: Obama’s ‘Pivot Point’Part of creating jobs is corporate reform. If you thought corporate lobbyists were powerful before, wait till you see them now that the five thieves in black robes on the Supreme Court have decided they have a right to buy Congress. Obama needs to champion reform: corporate democracy, wherein shareholders decide compensation and determine what political activity a corporation undertakes with their money. Lobbying reform—end the deductibility of corporations lobbying the executive branch. There are scores of reforms he must champion if We, the People are to have a chance against Them, the Corporations.

The President has a four-year, no-cut contract. In the words of Andrew Marvell, he has "world enough and time." But members of the House are on the ballot in 10 months. If his majority is to survive, he needs to do three things: attack, attack, attack.

Paul Begala is a CNN political contributor and a research professor at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute. He was a senior strategist for the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign and served as counselor to President Clinton in the White House.