The great Mohammad Ali introduced boxing fans to his controversial rope a dope strategy against the heavily favored George Foreman during their 1974 championship fight The Rumble in the Jungle - in Kinshasa, Zaire. Ali leaned back against the ring ropes and let George Forman hit him repeatedly for six long rounds and then as Forman tired in the heat and humidity of that African morning, Ali took charge in the eighth round and nailed the desperately swinging, exhausted Forman with four punishing blows that sent Forman to the canvass for a 10 count. Ali showed the world that he could handle the strongest fighters by taking their best shots, tiring the opponent and then landing the winning blows.
Why do I mention Ali's "rope a dope" in an article titled "Hope a dope"? For the past few months I have seen similarities between Ali's rope a dope boxing strategy and what I call Obama's hope a dope plan. President Obama, once the agent of hope and change, seems to be taking shots from his once fervent supporters over issues such as healthcare reform, the banking and auto bailout, the stimulus binge, a comprehensive jobs bill, his war strategy, and deficit spending to name but a few. Is he taking those punches from his supporters to tire them and remove their fight?
And the latest hope a dope is the proposed February 2010 jobs bill that started out at $100 billion and was reduced by $85 billion in the senate to a paltry $15 billion. This shows a president who is losing control of the argument because he has neglected to live up to his campaign's mantra of hope and change.
Although only 37 percent rate the President's efforts to reduce the budget deficit as excellent or good, 71 percent saying reducing unemployment is more important. And voters favor 72 - 22 percent Obama's $100 billion dollar package of tax cuts for small business and government spending to increase employment.
via - National (US) Poll * February 11, 2010 * U.S. Voters Split On Obama, Do - Quinnipiac University Hamden, Connecticut.
The latest poll from the New York Times/CBS News shows that hope a dope may be losing its effectiveness as Obama's approval ratings have fallen from 68% in April 2009 to 46% in February 2010.
I was hoping - there's that word again - that Obama was an honest broker who wanted to change the normal routine of giving the connected more power at the expense of the average voter, but I knew that it was a long shot at best. I didn't vote for Obama, or McCain for that matter, since I've been hope a doped so often that I can no longer support major party candidates for president.
It's a sad state of affairs when the people are continually smacked around by hope a dope; but where else do they have to turn? Until we all realize that the current two-party system favors the lobbyists, the connected and the special interests, hope a dope will be all we deserve.
I don't know about you, but I'm tired of hearing: Winner by a knockout, hope a dope...........