April 1st, 2012
08:53 AM ET

Letters to the President #1168: 'Madness'

Reporter's Note: I write to President Obama every day.

Dear Mr. President,

So I have not commented yet on your comments from last Friday about the Republican economic strategies; to wit, you suggested that they just keep trying to do the same things while expecting different results; according to a lot of pithy websites and office posters, the very definition of “madness.”

I understand why you feel that way, or at least why you invoke that idea on the campaign stump. But I will remind you, as I often do, that an awful lot of Americans feel the same way, more or less, about Democrats too. I think that one of the underlying reasons your approval ratings remains weak and approval for Congress is in the basement, is that people who really wanted to see a lot of new ideas a few years ago now feel convinced that no one champions such things in D.C. …not Republicans, not Democrats, and not you.

In effect, many voters have told me, they believe that Washington is all about madness; that all of you keep retreating to your time worn positions and ideas, dressing them up in new bows and rhetoric and trying to sell them as new notions, when everyone knows it’s the same old snake oil.

Maybe that’s the way it has to be. Maybe there really is nothing new under the sun and sticking with old ideas is all we can do. But I will remind you that this is not what got you elected. No, what your supporters wanted was something different…something that broke us free from the madness of politics as usual. And the polls suggest, a lot of them are still waiting for that…and if they don’t get it from you before November, that could be the reason they’ll go looking for hope again in other places.