Hail the Daring New Populist Prez

At long last, a reason to fight, says Dana Milbank
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 20, 2011 4:02 AM CDT
President Barack Obama gestures while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House yesterday.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – President Obama's debt-reduction tax-the-rich plan may be unrealistic and "highly partisan," but it's thrilling, declares Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. At last, "the president hasn’t conceded the race before the starter’s gun, hasn’t begun a game of strip poker in his boxer shorts," he notes. For once it was "refreshing to see the president delivering a speech that appealed to the heart rather than the cerebrum." The "class warrior" presented a choice: "Either ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share in taxes," or turn to the less fortunate to pick up a bigger burden.

"Whether his plan to tax the wealthy ever could—or should—become law is not really the point," writes Milbank. "Obama finally gave his side something to stand for after too much uncertainty." He tried to mobilize his troops, saying the fight is "not about numbers on a ledger," but rather about "fairness." This "late-term rally may be too late to save Obama, but it’s a welcome change," Milbank concludes. Demonstrators outside on Pennsylvania Avenue "don’t yet have the energy of the tea party," says Milbank, "but, at long last, Obama has given his side a reason to fight."

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