Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Case for Obama’s Second term: President Clinton’s Speech before the 2012 Democratic Party Convention?

Keywords or Terms: President Clinton; Elizabeth Warren; President Obama, Professor Douglas J Amy; Speeches; Fact Checks and truth-meter; Republican Party Nightmare

Where would you like me to begin? Is it from Elizabeth Warren's classic comment that nearly brought the house down at the Democratic convention: “Mitt Romney’s the guy who said corporations are people?  No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people.  People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance.  They live, they love, and they die.” Or, the quintessential Clinton ripping into Republican’s mantra of I’ve taken mine, you are all on your own?  In one of the polemic speeches made at an American convention, President Clinton’s speech redefined what it means to live in a democracy and backed the Republicans and their extremist groups to the wall regarding their castigation of President Barack Obama on his handling of the American Economy.

There are two deductive sentences from President Clinton’s speech which essentially represents what the Obama’s campaign team would want the American voters to take note of:  1) From a policy perspective, we have had the greatest stewardship of the office of the Presidency than any of the last two Republican Administrations; 2) America is better-off with a President who would rather grow the economy from the middle out and from the ground to the top than Mitt Romney, whose only goal is to give tax cut to the rich and opulent. These deductions came out of numerous assertions in Clinton’s speech and the truthfulness of close to 98% of the content of the speech regarding the democrats and President Obama’s stewardship of the White House.

Clinton’s 5,898 word speech, where he mentioned President Obama 33 times and the economy, summed up the best and most articulate argument for a second term for the current President. Not only was the speech policy-driven in rebuttal to Republican’s tear- it-down- and- give- back- the- mantle- to –us-paradigm, it once again showed how a great speaker can hold down the attention of a crowd for close to fifty-minutes and make the crowd still want more!

From the fact checkers, sixteen solid arguments from Bill Clinton are absolutely true: 1) As the Senate Republican leader said, in a remarkable moment of candor, two full years before the election, their number-one priority was not to put America back to work. It was to put the president out of work; 2) Just in the last couple of elections, Republicans defeated two distinguished Republican senators because they dared to cooperate with Democrats on issues important to the future of the country, even national security; 3) Republicans beat a congressman with almost 100 percent voting record on every conservative score because he said he realized he did not have to hate the president to disagree with him; 4) When President Barack Obama took office, the economy was in free-fall. It had just shrunk 9 full percent of GDP. We were losing 750,000 jobs a month; 5) In 2010, as [President Obama’s] recovery program kicked in, the job losses stopped, and things began to turn around. The Recovery Act saved or created millions of jobs; 6) [Republicans] want to cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people; 7) More than 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created under President Obama. That’s the first time manufacturing jobs have increased since the 1990s; 8) And in the last 29 months, our economy has produced about 4.5 million private-sector jobs; 9) Obama’s tenure has more than a million jobs not just at GM, Chrysler, and their dealerships, but in auto parts manufacturing all over the country;  the Center for Automotive Research estimates the auto bailout saved 1.5 million jobs; 10) There are now 250,000 more people working in the auto industry than on the day the companies were restructured; 11) When some Republican governors asked if they could have waivers to try new ways to put people on welfare back to work, the Obama administration listened;  and the administration agreed to give waivers to those governors and others only if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20 percent, and they could keep the waivers only if they did increase employment; 12) [Republicans] want to cut taxes for high-income Americans even more than President Bush did; 14) When Clinton was a governor, he worked with President Reagan in the White House on the first round of welfare reform and with President George H.W. Bush on national education goals; 15) I’m actually very grateful to — if you saw from the film what I do today, I have to be grateful — and you should be, too — that President George W. Bush supported PEPFAR. It saved the lives of millions of people in poor countries; and, 16) [Republicans] want to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit federal bailouts.

Four of Clinton’s arguments, are considered true, with one or two exceptions. The four argument points are: 1) Well, since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private- sector jobs. So what’s the job score? Republicans: twenty-four million. Democrats: forty-two; 2) We know that investments in education and infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase growth. They increase good jobs, and they create new wealth for all the rest of us; 3) Chicago is getting an infrastructure bank because Republicans and Democrats are working together to get it; and, 4) The boom in oil and gas production, combined with greater energy efficiency, has driven oil imports to a near 20-year low and natural gas production to an all-time high. And renewable energy production has doubled. The exceptions in the four argument points can be summarized in two sentences: 1) President Clinton was rather magnanimous in recognizing Republicans party support for progressive initiative in Chicago, as Republicans in that state condemned the infrastructure bank initiative; 2) measuring effect of individual-level policies on education is a little bit tricky and may lay grounds for impingement of argument for small-class sizes. All in all, President Clinton’s speech is not only truthful in content according to fact checkers; it places President Obama’s Administration in the fore-front of progress and hope. Hope and Moving forward has been the mantra of President Obama’s successive campaigns for the White House oval office!

To paraphrase the unapologetic defense of the American institution by Douglas J. Amy, Professor of Politics at Mount Holyoke College, to reduce the power of special interest groups in our democracy and make our government more representative, we must create economic equality among our citizens, adopt wholesale public financing of our elections and adopt a more representative voting system. What we now have is archaic, subject to manipulation and wholesomely, unrepresentative of the plurality of the population.  Unless we do this, except we commit to this, it will be close to impossible to assert that the democracy of toady in America is of the people, by the people and for the people. Just reminisce about Clinton’s speech overnight, and you’ll probably come to the same conclusion that I did: We have let the self-interest groups derail the purpose and essence of our democracy. If the objective of the democratic system is to serve the people, then, the instrument of political selection/elections must be as transparent as a window glass. Yes, we need progressive taxation, full employment, living wage policies, earned income tax credit, low cost higher education, reasonable corporate salaries, employee ownership plans, kid’s savings plan and bolstering labor union power, not because these are socialistic ideas as Republicans conceive, but because they are essential for a more equitable and just democracy; and probably the real existence of the Republic. As espouse in Elizabeth Warren speech or essay, if we don’t refine the place of corporations in our politics and life, we are likely going to stumble, just the way some political leaders in the eighteen century North Dakota, America, determined that Corporations are not people!

For those apprehensive voters who have not made up their minds, President Clinton and Elizabeth Warren Speeches’ yesterday night and the summation of Professor Douglas J Amy of Mount Holyoke College, greatly enhance their chance to default on a more credible candidate for the oval office: Retain President Barack Obama! Not only does his administration deliver on most of his promises, he has the better foundation for a more equitable and just society, not to talk about his foreign policy credentials: Osama-bin-Laden is dead and General Motors is Alive! Obama has not argued that every American should make same amount of money, neither does he denounce those who have made a lot of progress in their personal and financial lives; rather, what he advocates is a more humane and just society, where everyone feels he or she belongs; and, is welcomed at the table of Grace. Obama is not attempting to eradicate inequality of society, but give opportunity to all Americans so they may have a piece of the political power or pie to position themselves to do better in a competitive world; thus giving every man and women in America, opportunities to thrive and do better than their forefathers.
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