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Will Obama “do the work” for gay Americans?

Last week, as even the folks on MSNBC found Obama’s speech on the economy fell flat, many on the right wondered at the effectiveness of Obama’s rhetoric.  As James Taranto put it Friday in Best of the Web:

What’s a bit astonishing is that Obama and his advisers still seem to believe that he has the capacity to work magic with a speech. . . . But has he ever actually done so?

He made a good first impression with his uplifting 2004 Democratic National Convention speech. Since then, what? His “race” speech drew extravagant praise at the time, and it succeeded in diverting attention from his association with his hate-mongering “spiritual mentor,” Jeremiah Wright. But no one remembers what he said in it. We liked his Tucson memorial speech last year, but apart from that the Obama presidency has been a long series of supposedly crucial speeches that amount to nothing.

Mr. Obama so trusts in the power of his own ratory that he seems to believe a speech will do the work of governing for him.  Well, he didn’t quite give a speech when he, as Tammy Bruce put it, became the first “gay for pay” president.  On that occasion, all he did was express his support of gay marriage.  His words, on that occasion, did indeed have a powerful effect, helping the Democrat rake in more cash from partisans eager to have a reason to love him.

Instead of hyperventilating when he says the thing they want him to say, shouldn’t they be asking that he do something?  This past week he made a speech on the economy.  Now, is he going to sit down with congressional leaders in order to hammer out a package that could pass muster with a divided Congress?

Similarly, what are his plans to push legislation recognizing same-sex relationships at the federal level?  And why aren’t those signing hosannas to him asking questions about those plans?

Or holding him to account for failing to act when his party enjoyed strong majorities in Congress?

FROM THE COMMENTS:  “Wouldn’t a better title to your blog,” asks davinci, “be ‘Will Obama Do the Work for All Americans?'”

George W on my mind

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:37 pm - June 17, 2012.
Filed under: American History,Great Americans,Great Men,Leadership

As I mentioned a few days ago, both Bruce and I have read and relished David McCullough’s history of the first year in the life of our republic, 1776.  As I listen to this book now, I occasionally feel ashamed of myself for ever having complained when things have not gone as well as I would have liked them to go.

How ever, I wonder, did George Washington hold up in the difficult Fall of 1776 when everything seemed to go wrong, when a general he trusted, Nathaniel Greene, made a bone-headed decision to defend an indefensible fort (Fort Washington lacked a fresh water supply) when another general Charles Lee sought to undercut him, when his army was dispirited, many troops deserting, the remainder forced to retreat across New Jersey with the enemy close on it heels.  His situation then was far worse than anything I have ever faced.

Yet, despite all that, as one of the great man’s future presidential successors, James Monroe, observed when joining up with the ragtag army in retreat:

I saw him . . . at the head of a small band, or rather in its rear, for he was always near the enemy, and his countenance and manner made an impression on me which I can never efface. . . . [The great man’s expression, McCullough writes, “gave no sign of worry.”]  A deportment so firm, so dignified, but yet so modest and composed, I have never seen in an other person.

So was Washington in retreat during the Revolution’s darkest hour.  Such is the mark of a leader, composed in a crisis, not whining about his sorry situation or blaming others, not even, in this man’s case, blaming the generals who had offered advice which made a bad situation worse. (more…)