On this Monday's Morning Joe, Hardball host Chris Matthews decided to go on a full blown tear at President Obama for not being bold enough with confronting the Congress and not getting out there and publicly demanding that the obstructionist Republicans do more to get people back to work and cooperate on investing in our public sector. While I agree with him on some of what he was ranting about here, I've got some issues with it as well.
Here's some of Raw Story's coverage of Matthews' appearance: Chris Matthews hits ‘pusillanimous’ Obama for ‘thinking small’:
MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Monday accused President Barack Obama of being too timid in his rhetoric and political agenda.
“I don’t understand why he thinks small,” Matthews, who is generally supportive of the President, said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“Why doesn’t he say, ‘Look, we brought back the auto industry. Why don’t we bring back the highways?… Why is everything falling apart? Why don’t we invest in our public sector while interest rates are practically zero, and all of these unemployed people out there, this is a good time to do stuff.’” [...]
“You have an auto industry,” he continued. “Where are you going to run the car? I mean, he has to be big and noisy and loud like me, I guess, instead of this pusillanimous talking about Bain. That’s below him. Talking about Massachusetts? Who cares about Massachusetts 20 years ago? He’s got to focus on the future.”
Matthews was doing what we've seen so many in the media do when it comes to the Obama campaign going after Romney's time at Bain Capital, which is to be dismissive of whether those sort of ads might work and carp about the campaign being too negative.
What the Raw Story article did not include is one of Matthews' suggestions for Obama to campaign, which is embracing the now defunct Simpson-Bowles plan put out by their co-chairs after the committee could not come to an agreement, because we all know raising the retirement age, means testing and cutting Social Security benefits will be so popular with the public.
Matthews even acknowledged that what he was pushing for the President to run on would not be popular but thinks he should have done it anyway:
MATTHEWS: You know, you go back over the steps. Why didn't he back the Simpson-Bowles and say look, I hate it. I hate it. It does stuff I don't like, but we've got to start somewhere. I got eleven votes. I wish I had fourteen, but dammit I don't care about what votes I got. You've got my vote. He could have done that.
Better yet he could have not put together that commission at all and said let's fix the shortfall in Social Security by raising the income cap and problem solved. The Villagers in the media are still desperate for some "grand bargain" as Matthews was pushing for here and are apparently enamored with President Obama looking like the "adult in the room" giving the rest of us some bitter medicine whether we want to take it or not.
Somehow those demands for "being bold" never seem to include doing something about the horrible income disparity we've got right now, the unfairness in our tax code when it comes to work compared to investment income, our trade imbalances, or the race to the bottom on wages.
I could go on about what else is wrong with this segment, but I'll just finish by saying I don't think President Obama would benefit by taking either Chris Matthews' or Joe Scarborough's campaign advice here and if either of them are so sure what they were offering is good advice, let's see either of them run for office now instead of bloviating on a morning talk show about what they'd do differently.
If they both wanted to act like "journalists" and I use that term lightly, let's tell the public what the President has tried to get passed and start calling out the obstructionist Republicans who have put making sure he's not elected again over our economy improving and cooperating on anything if it means they make political gains.