Imperial or Ineffective?

The party is painting Obama as simultaneously too strong and too weak, and it's benefiting Democrats.

The Associated Press

Over-the-top attacks on President Obama aren't helping the Republicans.

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Which is it: “The Imperial President,” who consolidates power like some sort of dictator or the feckless, weak “Lead From Behind” president?

It seems like quite a daily struggle for the Republicans to figure out how to attack President Barack Obama. Is he too strong or too weak? Is he too aggressive or not aggressive enough? Is he trying to do too much or too little? In any case, many seem to want President Obama impeached. That worked out real well during the Clinton era didn’t it?

[Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]

Of course, it would be one thing if Congress were perceived as the go-to body, the get-things-done gang, the paragon of policies that are destined to make America great. Oops, how is that 9 percent popularity rating working out for ya?

Is the Republican Party the schizophrenic party that it appears to be? Or, as some articles have discussed lately, are they just the shoot from the lip party intent on winning in November?

The difficulty with this strategy may be that it is not just contradictory but that it is so over the top. It may work with the red-meat crowd and the radical right conspiracy theorists in the party but it doesn’t resonate with regular folks who don’t pay much attention to politics.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

They want results. They want action. They want to see people in Washington who deliver. And so far, the one person who seems to deliver in the swamp that is Washington is Obama.

Bringing the troops home? Check. Reducing the unemployment rate substantially? Check. Bringing the deficits down? Check. Saving the auto industry? Check. Passing the Violence Against Women Act and equal pay for equal work? Check. And the Affordable Care Act – no more pre-conditions, limits on treatments, three million kids on their parents’ health care, 7.1 million sign ups? Check.

So if the Republicans want to now criticize Obama for doing too much, let them at it.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Congress.]

Voters are ready for more strong leadership, not less. The more Obama delivers, the better.

The phrase “Imperial Presidency” was coined by the late historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. in response to Richard Nixon, not because of his actions on the critical issues of the day but because of Watergate and over reaching into the lives of those who disagreed with him. The fact is, that the phrase does not even come close to describing President Obama.

But the more the Republicans go over the top with their attacks, the more Obama and the Democrats will benefit.