Self-made billionaire Leon Cooperman wrote Big Guy a letter the other day asking “Is all this class warfare really necessary?”
In case you missed Mr. Cooperman’s letter:
Dear Mr. President,
It is with a great sense of disappointment that I write this. Like many others, I hoped that your election would bring a salutary change of direction to the country, despite what more than a few feared was an overly aggressive social agenda. And I cannot credibly blame you for the economic mess that you inherited, even if the policy response on your watch has been profligate and largely ineffectual. (You did not, after all, invent TARP.) I understand that when surrounded by cries of “the end of the world as we know it is nigh”, even the strongest of minds may have a tendency to shoot first and aim later in a well-intended effort to stave off the predicted apocalypse.
But what I can justifiably hold you accountable for is you and your minions’ role in setting the tenor of the rancorous debate now roiling us that smacks of what so many have characterized as “class warfare”. Whether this reflects your principled belief that the eternal divide between the haves and have-nots is at the root of all the evils that afflict our society or just a cynical, populist appeal to his base by a president struggling in the polls is of little importance. What does matter is that the divisive, polarizing tone of your rhetoric is cleaving a widening gulf, at this point as much visceral as philosophical, between the downtrodden and those best positioned to help them. It is a gulf that is at once counterproductive and freighted with dangerous historical precedents. And it is an approach to governing that owes more to desperate demagoguery than your Administration should feel comfortable with. …
But what I do find objectionable is the highly politicized idiom in which this debate is being conducted. Now, I am not naive. I understand that in today’s America, this is how the business of governing typically gets done – a situation that, given the gravity of our problems, is as deplorable as it is seemingly ineluctable. But as President first and foremost and leader of your party second, you should endeavor to rise above the partisan fray and raise the level of discourse to one that is both more civil and more conciliatory, that seeks collaboration over confrontation. That is what “leading by example” means to most people.
Capitalism is not the source of our problems, as an economy or as a society, and capitalists are not the scourge that they are too often made out to be. As a group, we employ many millions of taxpaying people, pay their salaries, provide them with healthcare coverage, start new companies, found new industries, create new products, fill store shelves at Christmas, and keep the wheels of commerce and progress (and indeed of government, by generating the income whose taxation funds it) moving. To frame the debate as one of rich-and-entitled versus poor-and-dispossessed is to both miss the point and further inflame an already incendiary environment. It is also a naked, political pander to some of the basest human emotions – a strategy, as history teaches, that never ends well for anyone but totalitarians and anarchists.
With due respect, Mr. President, it’s time for you to throttle-down the partisan rhetoric and appeal to people’s better instincts, not their worst. …
Leon G. Cooperman
Boy, way to harsh Big Guy’s mellow.
Butt apparently the answer to Mr. Coopperman’s specific question is yes, class warfare is necessary. Big Guy will be delivering the long version of his response in a speech today in Osawatomie,Kansas.
He’ll be channeling Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 “New Nationalism” speech. Teddy was president and still planning to run again when he told the country:
"The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity, which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows. That is what you fought for in the Civil War, and that is what we strive for now."
I see how that works for Big Guy’s message to the OWIES, and I guess he still figures he should pick up at least a few working class white votes, butt I’m not sure the major league donors are going to do handstands and deep pocket bends over it – other than George Soros. When you’re already richer than God, all you want to do is run the world.
BTW: I know both Big Guy and his minions in the MSM have compared BO to nearly every great President from Lincoln to Reagan, butt here’s a little insider secret: Teddy is his real role model – he successfully adopted one of his masterful techniques of manipulation:
Roosevelt made the White House the center of news every day, providing interviews and photo opportunities. After noticing the White House reporters huddled outside in the rain one day, he gave them their own room inside, effectively inventing the presidential press briefing. The grateful press, with unprecedented access to the White House, rewarded Roosevelt with ample coverage.
Did I mention that Teddy decided not to run for the presidency again in 1912? Just another historical footnote. I hope I’m not boring you.
Anyway, Lady M didn’t appreciate the tone of Mr. Cooperman’s letter very much either. Now that she’s finally proud of her country, she doesn’t want to be lectured to by some old white capitalist.
So here’s some advice for the Coop-man: if you happen to look out your front window some day and see this…
don’t answer the door. Oh, and might want to Occupy a Tax Lawyer. You know, to make sure all the “I”s are dotted and “T”s crossed on, lets say, your last 30 years of tax filings.
So if you’ll forgive me, I’ve got to run now. Lady M and I have a date to do a little cyber-shopping this morning.
You know – to spread the wealth around.