obama goes bulworth … if only …

a great piece by ezra klein today …


Ezra Klein: If Obama went Bulworth, here’s what he’d say
The New York Times reported Thursday that President Obama frequently fantasizes to close aides about “going Bulworth,” a reference to the 1998 movie in which Sen. Jay Bulworth, played by Warren Beatty, drops all pretence and begins saying exactly what he thinks. So I asked a number of ex-Obama aides and political consultants what the president would say if he went Bulworth. This post is based on what the people who have heard Obama vent about Washington believe he’d like to say in public, but can’t. That said, this is the Internet so, er, let me be clear: This is a work of fiction. Informed fiction, but fiction nevertheless.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good afternoon. As you know, on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Lew asked for and received the resignation of acting IRS director Stephen Miller. I want to reemphasize that my administration will not tolerate this kind of behavior at the I.R.S. or any other agency. But I don’t want to see this whole town get distracted from the other pressing work we have to do, either. The American people deserve a government they can trust. But they also deserve one that makes progress on problems like unemployment and immigration and sequestration. In fact…I mean, I should be clear. {Heavy sigh.} Actually, why don’t I just take some of your questions.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. At this point, though, can the American people actually trust their government? There’s a sense that these issues might just be the tip of the iceberg.
OBAMA: {Long pause.} Are you kidding me?
No, the American people can’t trust their government. They can’t trust their media either, I might add. But that’s not because of a couple of I.R.S. agents out in Cincinnati. We can fix the Cincinnati office. Let me be clear: We’re already fixing the Cincinnati office. This problem was solved a year ago. The guy who solved it just got fired anyway because you all wanted to see some blood on the walls and I’m just political enough to give it to you.
Look, the reason the American people can’t trust their government is here in Washington. Right now sequestration is cutting unemployment checks by 10 or 11 percent. Do you hear anyone talking about that? Or doing anything about it? No. You hear Republicans aides telling Politico, anonymously, that the speaker is quote “obsessed” with Benghazi. You know, I don’t think most of the Republicans screaming about Benghazi could find Libya on a map. I don’t think 10 of them knew our ambassador’s name. And, let me be clear, Speaker Boehner certainly wasn’t obsessed with giving us the money we asked for to keep the embassy’s safe.
But now he’s obsessed with Benghazi. And not even Benghazi. The Benghazi talking points. Are you kidding me? He’s not obsessed with global warming or unemployment or rebuilding our infrastructure. And now that there’s conflict, all of you are obsessed with Benghazi talking points too, and meanwhile, we’re cutting the National Institutes of Health and we’re cutting too deep into the military and we’re making life harder for the unemployed and we’re doing nothing to keep this planet in good shape for our kids.
Look, this is why the American people can’t trust their government. Because this town is obsessed with conflict and political advantage and not with real problems. We worry about the wrong things so much that we don’t even have time to talk to the American people or each other about the right things. And that’s not the I.R.S.’s fault.
read the rest here …
washingtonpost.com

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