From the President on the Protests…
October 8, 2011 2 Comments
This from the President of the United States:
The protesters in New York City, now spreading to other cities, challenge what they see as injustice and unfairness and the condescension of the wealthy and connected. The protesters whom we have called the Tea Party challenge what they see as injustice and unfairness and the condescension of the Washington elite.
Our people cry out for justice, Americans right and left demand fairness in good faith, though they have different routes to that justice and to that fairness. The rallies in New York City, like the Tea Party rallies in Washington DC and elsewhere, were mostly white people, and in both cases they protested certain of my policies.
Let me be as plain as possible: in neither case is this racism, or else I would never have been elected to stand at this podium. This is American dialogue. This is how we come to understand what really matters to Americans. This is how we gain a sense of what the people approve and condemn, and how much it matters.
Not all movements move electorates, but all movements teach us something about ourselves.
Yes, let there be a little more modesty on Wall Street. Your glibness about making money doesn’t set so well with many Americans after the federal government saved you from bankruptcy. You may have been too big to fail, but you aren’t too big to be transparent and accountable, and you aren’t too big to think about giving something back to America after your welfare money.
And yes, let there be a little more modesty on the streets of Wall Street. Figure out your anger. It’s not against “business,” because all of you are here and communicating with each other thanks to business and its innovations. We cannot revile business in this nation and hope to get out of this recession. Find the unfairness, find the injustice, and decry it, but find a way to make American business your partners so that Americans get back to work.
Well, no, he didn’t say that. I just wish he had. In fact, he was predictably supportive of the current protesters, after being condescendingly dismissive of the Tea Party. I just wish profoundly he had said something like the above, as befits his aborted promise to be America’s first post-racial and post-partisan president.
President Obama has squandered this and so many other opportunities to lead. I’m not yet tremendously excited about Republican alternatives to President Obama, but I’m convinced, as I said in 2007, that Mr. Obama wasn’t ready to be president, and still doesn’t step up to a fraction of his promise.