The president reminded us of who's in charge
Monday night, after the president's speech, Chris Matthews, a guy who professes to be a liberal but about whom I must admit I have my doubts, stated the following: "The president should not have gone on national television to give a political address."
I strongly disagree.
The president is not only our leader, he's a politician. One could argue any time he opens his mouth and addresses the nation it's political and that goes for all politicians. I believe the president did the right thing by going before the American people on television Monday night. He knew people would watch, that radio would carry the speech live so people could listen and the TV stations would stream the speech so those who were online had access to it; he knew he would reach the masses with his message.
Now some say this was nothing more than a campaign speech, that they were surprised he didn't ask for checks as if he were fundraising in his bid for reelection; but they're dead wrong.
Let's remember, this is a president who was asked by the American people to stop the secrecy and to be more transparent than his predecessor. This is a president who was asked to listen to the will of the people, rather than ignore it as many feel George W. Bush did. The president promised transparency and he was providing that.
If the president had all of these debt ceiling meetings and chose not to keep the American people in the loop, he would be accused of not checking in, not being the transparent leader he promised to be. This guy can't win; at least not from the right's point of view. Although the president did point out the flaws with the GOP's budget plan, I do not feel he outright attacked the right. In the first few sentences of his address he spoke of both parties being at fault and applauded Speaker John Boehner's efforts to compromise; not so with Speaker Boehner, who I felt was reading a speech written by Rep. Eric Cantor.
The American people have a right to know what is going on, why we're headed to default, what's been accomplished with these talks, what these two plans offer and where the impasse between the left and the right truly is. It is his responsibility to do this. [Check out political cartoons about the debt and deficit.]
I believe the president remembered those meetings during the debates over healthcare reform, those closed door meetings and he saw the error in that. In hindsight, I'm sure he regrets that healthcare reform was not explained properly to the American people and how Americans were kept out of the loop while the issue was being debated by Congress.
We elected this president and all members of Congress to work for us, to represent our best interests. For those that believe the president shouldn't have asked America to weigh in, they better read their Constitution: "We the people" decide. The president was simply reminding us of our awesome responsibility and obligation as voters; and judging by the calls into Washington's switchboards Tuesday morning, his call for our input did not fall on deaf ears. [See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.]
The president asked the nation to let Washington know what we do and do not want with regards to this debt ceiling issue and I believe he was right in doing so.