The Obama Message Shift

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Gone is the warm and fuzzy talk about how everything is on track and Washington can get along at bipartisan White House cocktail parties. In is the tough talk about how members of Congress–particularly Republicans–have to stop bickering and threatening delay, and get something done. While President Obama continues to be deeply involved in the efforts to bring Republicans on board, with several individual meetings yesterday in the Oval Office with senators like Susan Collins, R-Maine, there is a notable change his tone that has taken place since Tuesday. This is from Obama’s address today at the Department of Energy:

In the last few days, we’ve seen proposals arise from some in Congress that you may not have read, but you’d be very familiar with, because you’ve been hearing them for the last 10 years, maybe longer. They’re rooted in the idea that tax cuts alone can solve all our problems, that government doesn’t have a role to play, that half- measures and tinkering are somehow enough, that we can afford to ignore our most fundamental economic challenges: the crushing cost of health care, the inadequate state of so many of our schools, our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

So let me be clear: Those ideas have been tested, and they have failed. They’ve taken us from surpluses to an annual deficit of over $1 trillion. And they’ve brought our economy to a halt. And that’s precisely what the election we just had was all about. The American people have rendered their judgment, and now’s the time to move forward, not back. Now’s the time for action.