It took 54 agonizing minutes, the only silver lining of which is that the RNC will have plenty of material for the inevitable “you’ve heard this all before” ad tomorrow.
Yes, there have been fierce arguments throughout our history between both parties about the exact size and role of government, some honest disagreements. But in the decades after World War II there was a general consensus that the market couldn’t solve all of our problems on its own; that we needed certain investments to give hard-working Americans skills they needed to get a good job and entrepreneurs the platforms they needed to create good jobs; and we needed consumer protections that made American products safe and American markets sound.
OBAMA: In the last century, this consensus, this shared vision led to the strongest economic growth and the largest middle class that the world has ever known. It led to a shared prosperity.
It is this vision that has guided all my economic policies during my first term as president, whether in the design of a health care law that relies on private insurance or an approach to Wall Street reform that encourages financial innovation, but guards against reckless risk-taking.
It’s this vision that Democrats and Republicans used to share, that Mr. Romney and the current Republican Congress have rejected in favor of a no-holds-barred government-is-the-enemy market-is-everything approach.
Follow the last link for more on how Republicans have chosen to abandon our American family by embracing a draconian small-government ethos that led them to nominate, uh, George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. If you watched his dreary budget speech in April or any of his thousand speeches on the Buffett Rule that’s predictably gone nowhere legislatively (and wasn’t designed to do otherwise), then your bases are mostly covered. This is worth flagging, though:
Now, these challenges are not new. We’ve been wrestling with these issues for a long time. The problems we’re facing right now have been more than a decade in the making.
And what is holding us back is not a lack of big ideas. It isn’t a matter of finding the right technical solution. Both parties have laid out their policies on the table for all to see.
What’s holding us back is a stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally different views of which direction America should take. And this election is your chance to break that stalemate.
As BuzzFeed reminds us, the only way the stalemate’s going to be broken is if Democrats take back the House, and pretty much no one thinks Democrats are going to take back the House. So this is his new pitch, per the “clash of competing visions” theme: It’s not enough to re-elect The One, we need to give him a mandate — and a blue Congress, presumably — on top of it. Interesting idea. If only he’d had a landslide win and a Democratic Congress before, imagine all the wonderful things he could have done for America.
Via Greg Hengler, it’s mandate time.
Update: Via Mediaite, I don’t get it. What’s wrong with a dull, repetitive 54-minute speech delivered by a guy whose numbers seem to dip every time he’s on TV for too long?