On Friday, President Obama will meet with Congressional Democrats at their yearly retreat. What should the president say to his Party? Here's what I think he should say and also what I think he will say.
“We should take one step backwards and two step forwards. Our goal as a Party is to hold our gains but retrench a bit.” “Look” the president might say,” We have made gains on health care and the Republicans can’t take that back even though they are trying. We repealed 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.' The FCC did what it needed to on net neutrality. Have perspective, we made a lot of gains.”
The president needs to tell the elected Democrats how they are going to hold on to their gains. He will say to the assembled elected about how they going to defend the gains, and how the Republicans have no place to go since they are marooned in the Senate. He needs to tell them that he is not a fool on a dream.
Then President Obama needs to say that he is not going to make the members of his Party walk the plank for him. He has lost as many Democrats as he can and he is surely more aware of the issues that could sink lawmakes in 2012. -- Of course, those issues include gun control, immigration and Gitmo. He will say that he is not going to make the survivors make any additional sacrifices.
Then the president will promise to make noises to keep the Democratic Party's base happy. He will discuss how he will use rhetoric with buzzwords on such important issues as cap-and-trade, Gitmo and Afghanistan.
Lastly, he will tell the members of Congress not to worry. He may look like he is turning into a Republican but he will make the noises he needs to make and assure his fellow Democrats that he will do what he has to do to get re-elected in 2012. He will tell them to ignore anything he says about missile defense and any other GOP priorities. His final message will be:
“You know me, and I am the Democrat you helped elect in 2008. I have not changed, but the political realities have.”
Ellen Ratner is Washington bureau chief for Talk Radio News Service and a Fox News contributor.