Saturday, December 20, 2014

Remember this story...

...about the Doors and the Ed Sullivan Show? "Hey, man," Jim Morrison famously said, "We just did the Ed Sullivan Show."

I thought of this when I read Timothy Egan's excellent column in the Times this morning, "Obama Unbound." From the piece (my emphasis):

President Obama is acting like a man who’s been given the political equivalent of a testosterone boost.

On normalizing relations with Cuba, on a surprising climate change initiative with China, on an immigration gamble that’s working, and executive orders to protect the world’s greatest wild salmon fishery in Alaska or try to root out gender pay disparities, Obama is marching ahead of politicians fighting yesterday’s wars. In setting an aggressive agenda, he has forced opponents to defend old-century policies, and rely on an aging base to do it. 

Are Republicans really going to spend the first year of their new majority trying to undo everything the president has done — to roll back the clock? Will they defend isolation of Cuba against the wishes of most young Cuban-Americans? Will they restore a family-destroying deportation policy, when Obama’s de-emphasis on sending illegal immigrants home has already given him a 15-point boost among Latinos? Will they take away health insurance from millions who never had it before? Will they insist that nothing can be done on climate change, while an agreement is on the table for the world’s two biggest polluters, the United States and China, to do something significant?

The President Obama of the last six weeks is willing to take that bet.

In his first press conference after the midterm elections, Mitch McConnell warned the president that if he acted unilaterally on immigration reform it would be " waving a red flag in front of a bull."

The President will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress on January 20:

Earlier this year, some conservatives reportedly suggested that House Republicans should forgo the invitation as retribution for Obama's executive action on immigration. 

My recommendation is for the President to get up in front of Congress and say the equivalent of, "Hey, man, I just did the Ed Sullivan Show."

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