Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rachel Maddow Advises Mr. Obama: Stand Up for What's Right, Because You Know It's Right

Rachel Maddow gives President Obama some hard-hitting advice about how to win the respect of his base: 

I talked at the top of the show tonight with Gail Collins about how one way to motivate your natural base for an election is fear—to make your base afraid of what the other side has to offer.  And that is true.  That works.  That works on both sides.  It works for conservatives about liberals and it works for liberals about conservatives.

But one other way, one frankly less soul-sucking way, to motivate your base and to win an election and to keep winning elections and to frankly have history look kindly upon you is to get your base to cheer for you.  Not just to cheer against someone else.  To see you standing up not just to bad guys with worse ideas than you.

But to see you standing up for what’s right.  Because you know it’s right.  Because we know you know it’s right.  Even though you also know that standing up for it is hard.  That’s how you regain the enthusiasm of your base.  That is how you win the respect of your base.  That’s how you win the respect of your country and admit it: that is how you win your own self-respect, too.
Standing up for what’s right.  Because you know it’s right.  As Rachel wisely observes, the course of this presidency would have been far different, up to now, if that had been its governing principle from the outset.  There would be no need to scrounge around for bears to bait in macho shows designed to attract center-right independents now, had that been the guiding principle of the Obama presidency.

And there’d be no need to try to regain the respect of millions of voters who have given up hope with each pragmatist sell-out and each new jab at the base the president energized during the campaign.