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Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is to say “Congratulations!” People talk admiringly about the speed of the legendary “New York Minute.” That over-praised New York Minute feels like an eight-hour Indonesian opera compared to the length of time the losing coach spends congratulating the winning coach in midfield after the football game.
Don Boys, Ph.D. is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives, a columnist and author of over a dozen books including his latest, “The God Haters.” His latest column popped up in my email bearing the heading, “Obama Could Win in 2012 With This Speech.” My anticipatory chops were not licked in vain. It’s a hilarious screed advising Obama to haul off and become the total opposite of Obama. The “speech” has the president declaring we’ll quit begging the Islamic world to love us, let them prove they’re not terrorists, have no more American diplomats smiling like idiots while posing for pictures with Muslim leaders, start profiling young Middle-Eastern-looking males, send American troops to the Mexican border and deport entering illegals, send second offenders to work in chain gangs, slash foreign aid, drill until American oil flows, cease oil purchases from supporters of terrorism and eliminate all unnecessary executive departments; “America First” in general, and much more, including energy independence even if an occasional bear “singes its rear end on our pipeline.”
President Obama would go into cardiac infarction if he even touched the paper Don Boys’ speech was written on!
I have some equally unlikely-to-be-accepted advice for Republicans at the moment. The latest unemployment data released last Friday bring the figure from 9.1 down to 8.6. And Republicans lost no time pointing the bony finger of indignation and pinpointing all the jokers, fraud and spin that gave the president his early Christmas present of an unemployment number that begins with “8” rather than “9.”
This is going to be tough for Republicans; not just to do but even to read! I say to the GOP, take out an ad in a newspaper. Don’t make me waste time perfecting the wording on a mission this impossible, but the drift of the thing should go like this:
“(Big headline) CONGRATULATIONS, MR. PRESIDENT!
“We are your patriotic loyal opposition.
“Under your leadership, America’s unemployment figure has begun to move downward. We rejoice together.
“Do not, Mr. President, be dismayed by the occasional voices you hear seeking to diminish this achievement by complaining that the new figure is the illegitimate child of manipulations; too many of those new jobs will vanish after Christmas; the victory is a mirage made up of people who’ve run out of unemployment compensation and quit looking for work; unemployment claims are up; Wall Street yawned and remained unmoved; there’s actually a net loss of jobs –- you’ve heard it, you’re still hearing it and we’ll all keep hearing it.
“You’ll be the first to admit, Mr. President, that we have a long way to go. But at day’s end, the new unemployment figure begins with the more hopeful ‘8’ and not the dreaded ‘9.’
“Borrow the spirit of Winston Churchill, Mr. President. Call the British (Please, not the English!) Embassy and maybe they’ll return the Churchill bust you sent back to them when you moved in and reorganized the shelves in the Oval Office! When Britain was still a long way from victory in World War II they astoundingly broke Nazi Gen. Rommel’s lines at El Alamein in Egypt and sent the Germans into the fastest, farthest retreat in history. Churchill admonished his people by saying, ‘This is not the end. This is not the beginning of the end. But this is, possibly, the end of the beginning.’
“All we Republicans seek, Mr. President, is the opportunity, through next year’s election, to show you and the American people how much better we can do, and without giving anyone any chance to diminish our achievement by challenging our statistics.”
OK. Dream’s over. On your feet, everybody! The audience I’m trying to reach was already throwing furniture four paragraphs ago. I’m not asking you to show the character it takes to congratulate a bitter foe on this flaccid, illusory substitute for progress. I’m preaching a tactic, not character. Do you remember how bitter we felt when it became unmistakably clear the Democrats and the left were hugely inwardly and far-too-obviously outwardly rooting for American defeat in Iraq? The independents will again decide the elections of 2012. Which Republicans do you want them to see: those shouting negativity, no matter how statistically justified? Or those who want American success more than Obama’s failure?
I can hear you shouting, “What? Are you going to let them get away with this fraud?”
Answer: Absolutely, rather than appear to be cheering for America’s economic disaster!
Don’t you, please, insult me by suggesting I think this loftiness has any chance. I can imagine suggesting an approach like this at some kind of Republican meeting.
And the motion would be thrown out.
Followed by Barry Farber.