Reporter's Note: President Obama wants suggestions. He’s asked us all to help. So in addition to my continuing studies on how to make the perfect Nutella and banana crepe, I am writing a letter a day to the White House.
Tom Foreman | Bio
Dear Mr. President,
So you launched this whole health care reform business, replaced the big brass over in Afghanistan, and watched a space shuttle launch all in the same day; must be quite a page in the old day timer. Good luck with all that. You don’t need me to tell you that reforming health care is a long, rough road. Just ask Hillary Clinton. And as for Afghanistan, I’m not sure whether the new guy in charge should get congratulations or condolences. I suspect, like my Aunt Mazie’s derma-peel, it’s going to get uglier before it gets prettier.
But here is one more item for your to-do list: It is high time for you to fire off a thank you note to Dick Cheney and the Republicans.
If any voters have any doubts about voting for you last fall, the GOP seems hell bent on helping them sleep better a night. Republican players are sniping at each other like the Crips and the Bloods in old L.A, and the former Vice President is passing the ammunition faster than peanuts at a ballgame.
The real weirdness is that the Republicans are doing precisely what your party was always famous for. Democrats, for ages, seemed ridiculously inclined to run around fighting with each other, making citizens nervous about their ability to run a church bingo game, let alone a superpower. Only a few years back I asked Democratic strategist Paul Begala what he wished he could have from the Republicans, and he said, “Their discipline.”
Not so much any more, I suspect. While your party basks in the reflected sunshine of your popularity, the Republicans are allowing a civil war to rip through their ranks. Seriously, it’s like they’re being paid off to throw the match. The more they fight each other, the less can they fight you. The worse they make their own party look, they better your party appears by comparison.
Admittedly, there is a potential down side. Weak opposition can make a president and his party sloppy and lazy. If you can railroad through any idea, why bother working up a good one? So there is a reason for some caution. But for the moment, the main thing you need is a blank thank-you card and a pen. It’s been a long time since a Democratic President has been giving a welcoming gift like this from the Republicans.
On another subject of much greater importance: Did you see the game last night? Wow, what a smoker! When it went to overtime I could hardly breathe. And then when Steckel steered that last shot home…ahh, that was hockey. Better than hot biscuits.
On to game seven! Go Capitols! Call if you want to come over and check the highlights on Tivo.
Find more of the Foreman Letters here.
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