A Speech for Our Hard Times

President Obama was giving a speech the other day. I heard something like the following:

Let me warn you and let me warn the Nation against the smooth evasion which says, “Of course we believe all these things; we believe in Social Security; we believe in work for the unemployed; we believe in saving homes. Cross our hearts and hope to die, we believe in all these things; but we do not like the way the present Administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them- we will do more of them we will do them better; and, most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything.

But, my friends, these evaders are banking too heavily on the shortness of our memories. No one will forget that they had their golden opportunity…

Remember, too, that the first essential of doing a job well is to want to see the job done. Make no mistake about this: the Republican leadership today is not against the way we have done the job. The Republican leadership is against the job’s being done.

Oops I’m sorry. President Obama gave a nice speech, but the above words were actually spoken by someone else. I came across them on Hardball last night, which included a great interview with Rick Perlstein on Hardball. Watch the entire interview. But watch this great clip between 1:30 and 2:30 to find out who said the above words, and how.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.