Politics & Prejudices
Try a line in the sand
Obama should plead with the people for a new WPA
Published: July 27, 2011
There are, as she notes, 15 million long-term unemployed in America, plus millions of other underemployed. Propose a massive program to put them to work. Forget obsessively worrying about the deficit. Better yet, ask those who can afford to pay more taxes (including this columnist, by the way) to do their fair share.
Make a massive proposal to that effect, this year. The Tea Party lunatics who control the House will scream bloody murder, or worse yet, socialism, and kill it. Obama can then take his case to the people in next year's presidential campaign.
That's what underdog Harry Truman did, running against a "do-nothing" GOP Congress in 1948. You can look up what happened.
Even if President Obama were to fail, well — he will have stood for an idea greater than himself. Stood for the people.
Wouldn't it be amazing if he were to give that a try?
Speaking of leadership: David Carr, The New York Times' must-read media columnist, said of Rupert Murdoch that he "apologized for everything and took responsibility for nothing," in the phone hacking scandal that rocked the tycoon's media empire.
That's pretty much word-for-word what a host of presidents, from the crooked Richard Nixon (Watergate) to the half-senile Ronald Reagan (Iran-Contra) did when caught red-handed.
Regardless of whether the Australian-born Murdoch knew what was going on with his newspapers (and few really believe he didn't), he is responsible for much that is bad in today's media.
Fox, for one thing. Still, the ability to be contrite and avoid responsibility with a straight face could easily earn one a Republican presidential nomination nowadays. True, Rupert is up there in years (80), but that's only seven years older than Bob Dole was when he was pushed onto the podium in 1996. Rupert doesn't have any war wounds, and his wife, the prankster-punching Wendi Deng, increasingly the real power behind the throne, is half his age.
There is, however, one thing to be grateful for. Even though Murdoch is officially a U.S. citizen, he really was born in another country, and hence is ineligible, which is too bad.
Naturally, a President Murdoch might sell off the country, or annex it to his empire. But his wife's real name is, in Chinese, "Cultural Revolution Deng." Just imagine a first lady named that.
> Email Jack Lessenberry