Advice For Obama: the Present Progressive Tense

Washington Monthly editor-in-chief Paul Glastris was on NPR’s Talk of the Nation show yesterday, as part of a panel discussing what President Obama needs to say tonight.

Here’s an excerpt from Paul’s comments:

[Remember that] part of what he needs to do in the next four years is defend and expand upon what he’s already done. So we have the largest domestic policy change in decades with the Affordable Care Act. There are things in that act that need to be husbanded and grown to help control health care costs. I hope that he’s able to both talk about that achievement and say, all right. We’ve done this. I need to be reelected in part to defend it, because if I’m not, Mitt Romney will – has vowed to uproot it and throw it away. But we need to move beyond that….

We’re making sacrifices for future prosperity. I think there’s going to be a recognition that a turnaround is not right around the corner, but the ground is being laid for that, and good things are happening.

To put it another way: Obama needs to master the use of the present progressive tense: we are in the process of turning the economy and the country around, and interrupting that to go back to the policies that created the mess would be true folly.

Full audio and transcript are here.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.