The president said he made a mistake in assuming that if he focused on policy decisions, the American people would understand the reasoning behind them.
"That I do think is a mistake of mine," Obama said. "I think the assumption was if I just focus on policy, if I just focus on this provision or that law or if we're making a good rational decision here, then people will get it."
Instead, the president said the American people ended up with a "feeling of remoteness and detachment" from the policymakers in Washington who are making big decisions. [...]
No kidding. So, get busy and start paying attention to the people.
And, how about grabbing your own dang mop while you're at it?
The Massachusetts Lesson: Go Populist Now
The Obama White House needs to show, quickly and forcefully, with concrete, bold and visible action, that it stands with the working people of America. Here's a symbolic but smart start: jettison those on the White House economic team whose slow, timid response to the crisis of unemployment and to Wall Street's obscene excesses helped create the conditions for the Tea Party's inchoate right-wing populism.
Leadership on pro-democracy reforms are also desperately needed to end the corruption of our politics and to stanch the corporate money flooding and deforming of our democracy. Connect the dots for people: explain how needed reforms are gutted when both parties succumb to the pervasive corruption of our money politics. If the GOP's obstructionism has a silver lining, it is in exposing how an anti-democratic, super-majority filibuster has essentially made our system dysfunctional. There is fertile ground on which to rally people in a transpartisan political reform movement.
Massachusetts offers another lesson: Obama's decision to demobilize his base in 2009 in favor of an insider approach to governing was a big mistake. I'm not a political strategist, but I don't know how you win elections by failing to rouse people who've worked hardest at the grassroots to get you elected? It is time to re-mobilize the base.
And here's a no-brainer: Isn't it time to give up on that faith in genteel post-partisanship when the GOP knifes you at every turn? Nice isn't going create more jobs or get health care reform. [...]
Get tough, get bold, kiss "post-partisanship" goodbye and fight hard for jobs and a just economy of shared prosperity. And put yourself squarely back on the side of working people.