Friday, August 22, 2014

Here's How Obama Can Lead If He Will

Salon Magazine's Thomas Frank (or is it Frank Thomas?) has a suggestion for President Obama about not only saving his presidency, but turning the tables on obstinate Republicans and actually governing. It would be a clinic in presidential power, should he choose to follow the suggestions. The entire piece, well worth your time, is here, but here are some highlights:

Enforce antitrust law: This one would be enormously popular with everybody but the oligarchists (think Koch brothers and their GOP serfs like local Congressmen Bob Goodlatte, Morgan Griffith and Robert Hurt). Even the poor white trash Repubs would love it. Big companies like Amazon are forcing smaller companies out of business and simply taking over, doing what they will with prices. Small businesses would love this move by Obama. They haven't realized it, but the GOP has been a small business enemy for years, rhetoric aside. Should the GOP fight back here, it would lose its base constituencies and, frankly, there's not much it could do but bitch and withhold funds for enforcement from the Justice Department, which would carry its own risk.

Prosecute the big bank crowd, which has been scott free since nearly putting the entire economy in the tank. This group has been rewarded, not jailed and the resentment continues to fester in middle America. A few perp walks among the elites here would do wonders for Obama and his administration and would show that it is not in bed with these white collar criminals (even though it is). Frank suggests going after the Top 25. That would be a good start before the statute of limitations expires.

Work to stop college tuition's dramatic increases. This can be done, according to Salon, with a series of audits, bringing practices and placements into the light and weilding the enormous federal funding like the Sword of Damacles. High tuituion costs are bankrupting the middle class and its children and leaving a frightening number of Americans undereducated at a time when education is vita.

Those are Frank's suggestions. I would add these:

Stop appointing people like Monsanto executives to watch our food. That is one of the most egregious examples, but others abound. Look for people with resumes who want to serve the American public, not the industries trying to kill us.

Make a lot of noise about judge appointments and point fingers at the people in Congress who are blocking them.

Have the Justice Department question every instance of obvious gerrymandering in the United States and go after this hard. If he can un-do some of the district lines and have them re-drawn, the voting public might actually be reflected in House representation.

The point, though, is to stop playing nice and to lead. The tools are available to make the GOP intensely uncomfortable.

1 comment:

  1. Good ideas, all. I was wishing Obama would pull a Harry Truman and refuse to allow Congress's August recess until they passed some important legislation (like comprehensive immigration laws), but, alas, they went their merry way to spread further their lying, false ideology.