Yeah, I was pretty pissed at the President yesterday, too. I mean, COME ON!! Really??!! ANOTHER thing your detractors can say you “caved” on?
And then two things (a news article and a clever comment) changed my perspective:
1. Yesterday, Obama effectively put Congress on notice that if Republicans are going to block job-creating progress, the White House is going to go over their heads and create those jobs anyway. The Atlantic reports:
Under Wednesday’s (Aug. 31) order, the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and Transportation will each select up to three high-priority infrastructure projects that can be completed within the control and jurisdiction of the federal government. The effort is labeled as a “common-sense approach” to spurring job growth “in the near term.” In practical terms, that means speeding up the permitting and waiver processes for green-building or highway projects to get the government out of the way.
Okay, so there’s the spine. He’s ready to summarily dismiss the otherwise expected assistance of Congress in creating jobs, knowing full well that Republicans have no desire to help Obama get re-elected by helping to create jobs and turn the economy around. They’d much rather just keep piling on tax breaks for the rich and talking about how bad the economy is under Obama for everyone else.
2. And then a fairly clever associate of mine shed some light on the mystery of the Joint Session of Congress scheduling debacle. She suggested that Obama must have expected that Boehner (who has walked away from the negotiating table, held the debt ceiling hostage, and refused previous invitations) might refuse the Joint Session appointment. Moreover, Obama’s seemingly stupid move yesterday might yield two advantages:
- First, the back-and-forth has created a stir of controversy over Obama’s big jobs speech – so it’s airing is likely to draw more interest than if the speech had been quietly penciled in by the typically recalcitrant John Boehner.
- Secondly, now that Obama is effectively the pre-game show for the NFL season opener, it’s likely that he’ll draw more middle America viewers than if he had aired during the Republican debate the previous night.
Keep in mind, folks, that the House of Representatives returns from recess on Sept. 7, the day originally requested by the WH. So Obama was not out of line to initially request that his speech coincide with one of the frequent GOP debates.
Don’t you think actually trying to grow the economy and create jobs is more important than listening to a bunch of disproven GOP nonsense about giving tax breaks to the wealthy in order to spur trickle-down job growth?
So, again, the President tried to put jobs first on the agenda and, again, the Republicans refused. Seems to be a recurring pattern.