The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #133617 Message #3033711
Posted By: Don Firth
16-Nov-10 - 02:09 PM
Thread Name: BS: Remember President Truman
Subject: RE: BS: Remember President Truman
In 1948, there was a major advance in civil rights with the desegregation of the military.
The story goes that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were gathered in the Oval Office waiting for the President to enter. They knew what the meeting was about, and they stood around with their heels dug in, their jaws set, and their eyes steely and cold. No way were they going to allow this to happen.
President Harry Truman walked into the office, issued Executive Order 9981, turned on his heel and walked out again. In less than a minute, the steely eyes went wide and dazed and the firm jaws were hanging slack. No discussion.
Truman knew his powers. He was—according to the United States Constitution—the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The Joint Chiefs of Staff had their orders!
Contrast that with the similar meeting in the Oval Office when, once again, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were gathered with their heels dug in, their jaws set, and their eyes steely and cold. The meeting was about gays and lesbians in the military.
President William Clinton walked into the office, saw the looks on everyone's face, and said, "How hard are you guys going to fight me on this?"
Very hard, it turned out. After hours of discussion, argument, shouting, and desk-pounding, the best Clinton was able to get was "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
And as I see it, President Barack Obama is doing the same sort of thing with Congress in trying to put across his policies. Great intentions, but—trying to build consensus and playing "Mr. Nice Guy" just isn't going to work when so many members of Congress are primarily concerned with seeing to it that Obama fails. Not just that his policies fail, but that he fails.
Harry—where are you when we need you!??
P. S. Please, Mr. President—read about how FDR dealt with the Depression (despite the raging and screaming of the Right), and borrow a leaf or two from Harry Truman's book. Two very effective Presidents!