Page 2 of 2   <      

Obama needs to flex his political muscle

House Minority Leader John Boehner got the cool treatment, too, when he made his canned speech about how Obama wants a government takeover of health care.

Again, Obama reminded his tormenter that "the standard talking points" don't "drive us to an agreement on issues."

Contrast that with some of Prime Minister Brown's behaviors, as described by Rawnsley.

When one adviser arranged a lunch for Brown with European diplomats, Brown allegedly shoved the aide and said: "I don't want to meet these [expletive] people." Informed by another aide about a mishap at the British customs service, Brown was said to have "leapt across the room" and grabbed the aide by the collar. And when it was learned that he had given a speech that echoed lines of American politicians, Brown allegedly screamed, "How could you [expletive] do this to me?" at his speechwriter and shouted at aides: "Just get out of the [expletive] room!"

Other journalists recounted allegations of Brown striking aides with BlackBerrys, kicking over a table and, on one factory tour, throwing a tangerine into a laminating machine.

Now, let's see how those behaviors could have been applied to Republicans at last week's health summit.

Kyl: "Does Washington know best about the coverage people should have?"

Obama: (kicks over table.) "Just get out of the [expletive] room!"

McCain: "My constituents and Americans . . . say go back to the beginning."

Obama: (leaps up and grabs McCain by the collar.) "How could you [expletive] do this to me!"

Boehner: "This 2,700-page bill will bankrupt our country."

Obama: "I don't want to meet with these [expletive] people!" (Throws his BlackBerry at Boehner's head. Pushes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell out of his chair. Strikes Sen. Lamar Alexander with fruit.)

Okay, so maybe doing the full Gordon Brown isn't such a good idea. But forcing his agenda through Congress with less brain and more brawn would be just bully.

The writer will be online to chat with readers at 1 p.m. on Monday. Submit your questions and comments before or during the discussion.


<       2

© 2010 The Washington Post Company