Friday, September 2, 2011

They're just not that into you, Mr. President.

As the White House dithers around Mr. Obama’s jobs speech next Thursday (after a ridiculous back-and-forth with John Boehner about the scheduling), I find myself wondering why the administration is acting like a loser who keeps dating jerks.

So I turned to the bestselling book He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, and found dead-on descriptions of what the President has experienced with the Republicans in Congress, along with some very good advice:

It’s quite clear that the Republicans are just not that into you, Mr. Obama. If they were, they’d be trying harder:

"A man who wants to make a relationship work will move mountains to keep the woman he loves."

And yet you keep trying.

"We're taught that in life, we should try to look on the bright side. Not in this case. In this case, assume rejection first. Assume you're the rule, not the exception. It's liberating.”

You act as if the Republicans are as good as their word, and you don’t call them on it publicly when they don’t follow through on their promises of true bipartisanship.

"We have become a sloppy bunch of people. We say things we don't mean. We make promises we don't keep. "I'll call you." "Let's get together." We know we won't. On the Human Interaction Stock Exchange, our words have lost almost all their value. And the spiral continues, as we now don't even expect people to keep their word; in fact we might even be embarrassed to point out to the dirty liar that they never did what they said they'd do. So if a guy you're dating doesn't call when he says he's going to, why should that be such a big deal? Because you should be dating a man who's at least as good as his word."

Remember when you were meeting with John Boehner about the big budget initiative—until Mr. Boehner walked out and refused to take your phone calls?

"There's nothing worse, in dating terms, nothing worse, than that sick feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when it looks like the guy you were seeing or getting to know has decided to bail on you instead of talking to you about it. Nothing worse."
"Don't ask yourself what you did wrong or how you could have done it differently. Don't waste your valuable heart and mind trying to figure out why he did what he did. Or thinking back on all the things he said, and wondering what was the truth and what was the lie.”

In the end, maybe this is where you will find yourself:

“Every movie we see, Every story we're told implores us to wait for it, the third act twist, the unexpected declaration of love, the exception to the rule. But sometimes we're so focused on finding our happy ending we don't learn how to read the signs. How to tell from the ones who want us and the ones who don't, the ones who will stay and the ones who will leave. And maybe a happy ending doesn't include a guy, maybe... it's you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. Maybe the happy ending is... just... moving on. Or maybe the happy ending is this, knowing after all the unreturned phone calls, broken-hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment you never gave up hope."

Not good enough, sir. The country needs far more than that. I am hoping that you come out swinging, with a hugely audacious plan you believe in and evangelize everywhere, every day. A plan to put tens of thousands of people back to work, rebuilding our infrastructure and renovating school buildings, making them safer, more energy-efficient, and better places for our kids to learn. And that, rather than cutting spending for programs that truly do make a difference, you go after more revenue from those who have exploited the system for their own profit.

"It's very tempting when you really want to be with someone to settle for much, much less — even a vague pathetic facsimile of less — than you would have ever imagined. Remember always what you set out to get and please don't settle for less.”

Let the Republicans hoist themselves on their own petard, as they rally around the billionaires and the bankers—the supposed job-creators who, in spite of tax cuts and loopholes, have yet to create the jobs Americans so badly want and need.

It’s past time to keep playing their game, Mr. President, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The bottom line is this: they’re just not that into you. Kick ‘em to the curb and reach for your ideals. Stand up for yourself. Stand up for us.


AaronE said...

Finally! Edie Freedman explains the mystery of Barack Obama's presidency in a way that makes sense of the frustrating commitment to act weak in the face of intransigence. This blog post deserves to go viral!

lucyfree said...

I second AaronE's comment. Should go viral and maybe reach the ears of the pres.