I want to see President Obama jet high into the political skies with his afterburner on full blast. Then, he needs to dive bomb the warring factions in Congress with every weapon at his disposal.
Like I said before, Obama has got to become more extreme, crazier, committed, dangerous.
If he crashes and burns, fine. I'll strongly support him up to and through his 2012 electoral destruction -- so long as he starts to fight hard for what most of the American people want: balance, moderation, centrism.
Polls show that a majority of the public favors raising taxes on the wealthiest people and corporations to help reduce the deficit. They also don't want domestic programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Secuirty slashed to the bone, preferring cuts in unnecessary military spending.
Our country needs Obama to stand up and start acting like a president.
He has to start leading rather than following Congress' footsteps. He has to lay out a vision for America that will make citizens stand up and cheer rather than thinking "just more empty words." He has to plant himself firmly on the political mid-field stripe rather than edging toward the right whenever Republicans push him in that direction.
In short, Obama should become wildly moderate, the craziest sane guy in Washington, an extreme warrior for the political middle.
Today the Republican party is controlled by its most rabid conservatives. But the same isn't true of the Democratic party. Fervent progressives aren't given as loud a voice from the left as the Tea Party gets from the right.
So up to now, Obama has negotiated with Republican leaders from a shaky position in the political middle.
Then when they drag him toward the right, he goes along. Understandably this irritates the Democratic base, which wonders why compromise always ends up with a rightward tilt instead of splitting the difference between the extreme left and extreme right -- which leads to genuine middle ground.
Unless Obama is willing to stake his presidency on defending the political center, his first term will feel frustratingly flat to once-enthusiastic supporters like me. Obama's re-election chances also will be lessened considerably if he continues to show so little backbone.
Voters don't want a weenie as their president. Firm principled stands are admired, especially when the country's leader straddles the middle ground and fends off attacks from the far left and right.
As Barry Goldwater didn't say, "Extremism in the defense of moderation is no vice." Obama can start by declaring (and meaning it, this time) that tax increases on wealthy individuals and corporations have to be an integral part of any further deficit reduction plans.
That's balanced, moderate, centrist, a position favored by a clear majority of the American people. Obama has to say that he will veto any legislation passed by Congress that doesn't find common ground between the extremes of left ("no entitlement cuts!") and right ("no new taxes!").
I'd rather see him be a one-term president who crashed and burned, than someone who never got his Centrist Jet very far off the ground.