The New Obama Shows Muscle
Leonard Pitts Jr
What do you do after hope and change have failed?
This was the question
Granted, this is not how
So from the beginning, the
Thursday's speech, then, was the coming-out party for the Obama 2.0 that has emerged over the last year, the one who no longer begs the
Obama needled the opposition at every turn and drew repeated lines in the sand: "I refuse to...." "I will not...." Obama even implicitly rebuked the patron saint of Republicanism,
Replied the 44th president to the 40th: "We don't think the government can solve all of our problems, but we don't think the government is the source of all of our problems any more than our welfare recipients or corporations or unions or immigrants or gays or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles."
Still, Obama 2.0 was not completely dissimilar from the earlier version whose eloquent calls to higher, common ground once braced a division-weary electorate. He reframed
"We also believe," he said, "in something called citizenship, a word at the very heart of our founding, a word at the very essence of our democracy, the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations."
Once upon a time, we might not have needed the reminder. That was before the
Weeks away from a particularly consequential election, one can't help wishing Obama 1.0 had been vindicated, had been able to return us to the days when Republicans and Democrats still understood that there is a time to trade your party hat for your statesman hat.
But we must deal with the world as it is. And in that world, Obama seems to have found the only answer he could. What do you do after hope and change?
Stand and fight.
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