Saturday, May 25, 2013

Good Grief, Barack Obama, Please Grow Up!


The most famous running joke in the Peanuts comic strip repeats at the beginning of every football season. Charlie Brown asks Lucy to hold the ball for him so he can kick it. At the last moment, just before Charlie gets his foot on the pigskin, Lucy snatches it away. Despite years of torment, each new season Charlie Brown finds a reason to believe that Lucy will hold the ball down where he can kick it. But this never happens. Sound familiar? It's the story of Barack Obama and the Republican Congress.

President Obama keeps acting as if he has no history with Republicans: "This time will be different." But with each new policy initiative or political appointment, Obama runs up to kick the ball and Republicans snatch it away. Good grief!

It's admirable that Barack Obama wants to turn the other cheek and try to work something out with Republicans. Unfortunately, they're like Lucy, who has a character flaw that renders her incapable of cooperating with Charlie Brown.

Congressional Republicans have a pathological willingness to nurture resentment. Whether this is due to racism or having sold out to billionaires is not important. The reality is that contemporary Republicans are not interested in what's best for America; they are fixated on defeating Barack Obama.

Barack Obama has to understand this. He has to start acting less like Charlie Brown and more like Lyndon Johnson. He has to insist that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid enact the "nuclear option" to speed up the confirmation process. President Obama has to make it clear to Americans that Republicans aren't interested in what's good for the country because their sole focus is on defeating him. But most of all, Barack Obama has to learn the lesson that Charlie Brown never did. Lucy isn't going to let him kick the football. Ever. Good Grief, Barack Obama! Grow up!