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ROLAND S. MARTIN: Ignore Boehner. Take it to the streets, Mr. President!

08/31/2011 5:45 pm 7 comments

When President Barack Obama was a community organizer in Chicago and the powers that be were ignoring the voice of the people, he and others would lead the regular folks to the streets to show their dissatisfaction with the status quo.

Now that House Speaker John Boehner has tried to trump the president in his request to speak before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, citing “security” concerns, Obama should ignore them and make his major jobs bill announcement before real Americans who, unlike Congress, don’t have regular jobs, don’t earn a taxpayer-funded six-figure check, didn’t take a five-week vacation, don’t have the best health care taxpayers can buy and can’t count on a wonderful taxpayer-provided pension.

Dispute erupts over timing of Obama address to Congress

If Obama is about showing a renewed toughness with Congress, this is where it starts. It’s time for him to use the power of the presidency and assert himself. Forget “No Drama Obama.” Chuck out the window the cool, cautious demeanor his staff loves to trumpet. Maybe going a little rogue will help revitalize his presidency, in which he’s increasingly seen as leading from behind.

The president’s staff members should pick a location in Washington, Maryland or Virginia, invite the public, set aside a space for members of Congress who choose to attend — and ignore Boehner. Obama should make a strong appeal for his plan and tell the American people to get behind it and make it clear that it is what he thinks is best for the country.

For months, we have heard Republicans and Democrats insist that there is no more important issue in this country. But Congress sure didn’t mind taking off five weeks as a sign that it cares about jobs. So who cares if there is a GOP presidential debate on Wednesday? On Thursday, the date Boehner has offered as an alternative, the NFL season starts. Every day of the week, we can come up with a conflict with some event that is significant to someone.

Boehner, there is no perfect day for such a speech. With unemployment hovering above 9% and homes continuing to be foreclosed on, you need to stop with the games. It’s time that a comprehensive jobs plan is put on the table, and it’s time for Congress to act.

And no, whining about regulations to protect the fat cats on Wall Street who screwed the nation with their fancy financial schemes doesn’t cut it, Boehner.

Mr. President, its time you show who is boss. If Boehner wants to reject the date you have presented, fine. But if this president is tired of being disrespected and forced to do things on the terms of his critics, he should take this speech to the streets.

Mr. President, don’t just quote the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Be willing to lead the people in mass resistance against do-nothing congressmen and -women more focused on keeping their own jobs than the condition of the poor, disenfranchised and destitute.

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  • Anonymous

    I’m so sick of Boehner!! He always looks like his main goal is to just embarrass Mr. President instead of helping him! I hate to say this but I hope Mr. President is not re-elected! Let the REPUBLICANS HAVE IT! As we say “LET GO AND LET GOD! It’s not Mr. Presidents battle either! As a race of people (African American) it’s not our battle either! LET GO AND LET GOD! We should let them have the country that they stole! I’m sorry if offended anyone but I’m just sick of hearing about the turmoil that is going on in this country! What happen to us giving it to the LORD!

  • Obama goes back to Kenya

    Obama is not Martin Luther –No resemblance whatsoever! Obama is just a weak whanabe who acts like the pig in Animal Farm by George Orwell. Martin Luther had class and thought in terms of whats in a man –Obama is all about color and he is yellow with cowardliness. He is not a leader he is just a lowly street hustler who they called a community organizer – A thug

  • Pinkezgirl

    Wishing, wishing, wishing….hoping, hoping, hoping that one day in the immediate future this man has the “AHA” experience and MAN-the F*CK UP…he has all that he needs right now behind him–the majority of the american people (those who want jobs, clean air, safe water, social security, medicare and medicaid, a way to educate their children and keep or buy a home)…if he is trying to protect, provide and serve our better interest WE will not let him fail and will fight and remove ANYONE who attempts to do so…yet, he continues to placate and acquiesce to those who would rather take us ALL to destruction in their efforts to destroy him…his message from this point on should be “Either you are for america and the american people as I am (and act accordingly), or you are AGAINST america and the american people (and let the prove that their not)…the time for games and a**kissing should be long over…

  • Pinkezgirl

    Wishing, wishing, wishing….hoping, hoping, hoping that one day in the immediate future this man has the “AHA” experience and MAN-the F*CK UP…he has all that he needs right now behind him–the majority of the american people (those who want jobs, clean air, safe water, social security, medicare and medicaid, a way to educate their children and keep or buy a home)…if he is trying to protect, provide and serve our better interest WE will not let him fail and will fight and remove ANYONE who attempts to do so…yet, he continues to placate and acquiesce to those who would rather take us ALL to destruction in their efforts to destroy him…his message from this point on should be “Either you are for america and the american people as I am (and act accordingly), or you are AGAINST america and the american people (and let the prove that their not)…the time for games and a**kissing should be long over…

  • Joseph A McNeill

    Mr. Roland’s views do not reflect centuries of comity between the House Speaker and the President. when it comes to Presidents addressing a Joint Session of Congress. Few doubt that the original date selected by Mr. Obama’s staff was selected with campaign priorities in mind. In any event, the date of a President’s Address to a Joint Session of Congress is usually mutually agreed to, personally, by the Speaker and the President. Despite the Press Secretary’s murmerings, this was not done in the instant case, before the Presidential flacks announced the date. Whatever personal feelings Mr. Rowland has about the Speaker notwithstanding, the position of Speaker is a principal Office in our representative democracy, and Rowland should respect that fact.

  • Joseph A McNeill

    Mr. Roland’s views do not reflect centuries of comity between the House Speaker and the President. when it comes to Presidents addressing a Joint Session of Congress. Few doubt that the original date selected by Mr. Obama’s staff was selected with campaign priorities in mind. In any event, the date of a President’s Address to a Joint Session of Congress is usually mutually agreed to, personally, by the Speaker and the President. Despite the Press Secretary’s murmerings, this was not done in the instant case, before the Presidential flacks announced the date. Whatever personal feelings Mr. Rowland has about the Speaker notwithstanding, the position of Speaker is a principal Office in our representative democracy, and Rowland should respect that fact.

  • Anonymous

    Put the pom poms down, Roland. It funny how you put congress on blast for taking a 5 week vacation and not addressing the unemployment. But you intentionally left out the part about Obama announcing his plan to address the same issue AFTER his vacay in Martha’s Vineyard. POLITICIANS DON’T CARE!!
    When you have to constantly beg Obama in your commentaries to “get tough”, you do more harm than good on the image you are trying to project on him. 

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