The President insists that all White House staffers stay on message on the issues of ending the wars, economic justice, health care reform, Bush Administration accountability, and downsizing of the military. During the campaign, progressives were given the impression that the President would act on these issues, but more important now is "compassionate bipartisanship": getting Republican and Blue Dog cooperation, following through on the bailout, and ensuring campaign funding for the midterm and 2012 elections. Accordingly, the following is a list of talking points to be used when responding to queries about the core issues.
Go easy on senior Bush administration politicians and lawyers who authorized and justified harsh interrogation techniques and who actively misled the nation about the grounds for invading Iraq; we must protect them from prosecution and investigations, lest they and their allies suffer embarrassment, lest we appear vengeful, lest they oppose our legislative agenda, and lest our overseas enemies get wind of the enormity of their crimes.
Ditto on the CIA agents, miltary officers, and contractors who participated in harsh interrogation. Also, we must retain support of the military and inteliigence agencies.
Have pity on the capitalists who are suffering reduced income from the subprime crash; we must redress their terrible loss by bailouts for AIG, Wall Street, and bankers, both domestic and foreign, lest they stop investing in America and hiring workers.
Have pity on the Republicans who suffered electoral setbacks; we must protect them from embarrassing revelations about deregulation, corruption, climate change, election fraud, no-bid contracts, criminal negligence about reacting to warning about the 9/11 attacks, criminal incompetence about the response to Hurricane Katrina, and other Bush era crimes and mismanagement for which they bare some responsibility.
Have compassion for the insurance companies, drug companies, hospital corporations, and medical specialists who are being blamed for the health care crisis; we must shun single-payer healthcare, though it is cheaper and more effective than the current market-based system, since America must build on what already exists and can't abandon so many companies and employees.
Show mercy for the poor arms dealers, who face reduction in military spending; we must continue to spend as much on defense as the rest of the world combined, and we must expand the number of overseas bases beyond the current count of 1000 (see Too Many Overseas Bases). Reason to use: protect America from terrorism. (Also: death threats, but don't tell people that one!)
Have pity on the rich folk who face calls for a return to high taxation; we must overlook the $14 trillion deficit and the increasing concentration of wealth, lest they move all their money to Swiss Banks.