I’m sure one or two of you are looking at the title of this post with a wry, worrisome smile perched between your chin and your nose. I am not kidding – I miss RWR. Not because I like his policies or because I have gone completely mad, but because Reagan knew how to ACT like a President. Bush 1 was such a wimpy follow on. Clinton cared too much. Bush 2 was vacant and scary. Obama? Well Obama is just MIA.
The key to acting is connecting with the audience. An actor has to be believable in the role. Ronnie was a good actor playing to a fairly stupid populace. He only had to be one level above the daytime soap to rule the airwaves. He aimed for mediocre and he hit the mark every time. And we ate it up! When RWR needed to be the great leader, he put on his great leader face and delivered the speech we wanted to hear. When we needed sympathy and a tear, RWR was ready to go. He was best in a crisis. Think about it. He gets 200+ troops killed in Beirut and we are ready to go to war with Granada. He runs a secret war and funds right wing death squads and we’re ready to pay more because all Catholics in Central America are communist sympathizers. He is still loved by his conservative following even though his administration set up Saddam and Bin Laden in order to fight our enemies in the Middle East. Now that’s some serious acting!
Fast forward and look at the Obama Administration. Where is the great speech? Where is the compassion? Where is the President, standing toward the sea, shouting at the oil to cease and desist? Where is the NASA “our finest hour” crew? One of the events that got Obama elected was hurricane Katrina and the Republican non-response. Here we sit with a man-made, SciFi channel 2 hour special effects event and the best our leader can do is show up every now and then. A British company is killing a way of life and the President is doing nothing. I feel certain something is going on, but it doesn’t FEEL like it.
We need theater, we need bravado. We need our man to rage against the machine and stand before the world and shout “we shall overcome”. We need our man to exact our pound of flesh from the companies that failed us and claim that “never again will greedy corporations destroy our precious seas.” Alas, Obama is no Reagan. He’s not a Bush or a Clinton. He’s less that we’ve had in a almost 200 years of Presidents.
What a shame. What a waste. When a progressive tree-hugger begins to miss the great Republican Satan, we’ve gone about as low as we can go. There is a silver lining, however. Every 4 years Americans elect a President. If we can get Congress organized and simply make Obama irrelevant, maybe we can salvage the 2010 t0 2012. It’s time for the Democrats to cut their losses and start looking for Obama’s replacement.