President Obama was in my hometown of San Francisco Friday for a fundraising dinner and apparently was in a feisty mood. While teabaggers greeted him at the entrance of the hotel, Obama took the time to address his dinner crowd with some of the most partisan words I've ever heard from him:
But I know this is a Democratic event. And I want to talk to all of you just for a second. You know, there are going to be some fierce arguments over the next couple of weeks about health care. There should be. This is big. But understand that the bill you least like of the five bills that got passed would all provide billions of people who don’t have coverage, coverage. Would all prevent insurance companies from barring you from getting health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Would all set up an exchange so that small businesses could compete and get the same deal that big businesses do for their employees. Would all provide subsidies to people who don’t have health insurance and give them a measure of security. All of them.
So as we’re going at it -- and we’re going to be going at it –- I just want all of you to understand: We are going to get this done. We are going to get this done.
Now, to the non-Democrats who may be watching today -– I want everybody to know we believe in a strong and loyal opposition. I believe in a two-party system where ideas are tested and assumptions are challenged -- because that’s how we can move this country forward. But what I reject is when some folks decide to sit on the sidelines and root for failure on health care or on energy or on our economy. What I reject is when some folks say we should go back to the past policies when it was those very same policies that got us into this mess in the first place.
Another way of putting it is when, you know, I'm busy and Nancy busy with our mop cleaning up somebody else’s mess –- we don’t want somebody sitting back saying, you're not holding the mop the right way. Why don’t you grab a mop, why don’t you help clean up. You're not mopping fast enough. That's a socialist mop. Grab a mop –- let’s get to work.
I think all of us in Washington have a greater purpose. We have a higher calling. And let me tell you, as long as I have the privilege of holding this office, I will do my very best to live up to my responsibilities to our country, to our children, to the future that we hold in common
NicolasC at DailyKos says this is a phrase worth repeating to the whingeing Republicans:
Obama's come up with political gold to counter any attempt to pass a Republican mess off as his own, or criticize him for not cleaning it up fast enough. And we need to repeat it ad infinitum and scream it from rooftops. This needs to become the political catchphrase of the next year.[..]
Andrew Sullivan, over at the Daily Dish, knows gold when he sees it:
It's an inspired three-word challenge to the GOP. Devastating, actually - because it both reminds people of the damage the GOP did while not seeming to dwell on the past or to score partisan points (while actually doing both).
Now, understand here, I'm not trying to head off legitimate, substantive criticism of the president or his policies, be they from the left or the right. There's plenty of that and no three-word catch slogan could or should diminish those. But as a counter to the brain-dead, disingenuous, hypocritical, and often baseless criticism from the people whose messes he is cleaning, it doesn't get any better than this.
As one of Andrew Sullivan's readers put it:
If a Republican president had come up with this slogan, it would immediately have been put up as the main headline on Drudge (red font & siren optional), which inevitably leads to the main topic of conversation on conservative radio. Every damn Republican representative would be working every interview around those three words and the national narrative would be created ... unfortunately these are the Dems we're talking about, so the only people who will ever hear this are the ones politically interested enough to read blogs such as yours.
Sadly, (s)he's probably right. Unless we start hammering these words in now any time we see hypocritical and brain-dead talking points.
Republicans, you want to help this country? Then STFU and...GRAB A MOP!