The Popular Press is swooning over what they consider to be the new-found potency in President Barack Obama's demands that the Congress pass his Jobs Bill.
President Obama spoke to a packed Joint Session of Congress tonight, offering many of the same ideas he’s offered in the past, slamming corporations, the rich, taxing oil companies, implying republicans don’t care about safety or poor people, that we need more education “investment,” but don’t worry, he didn’t leave without throwing in a few lines of direct pandering to big labor. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was a guest of honor after all.
Another hurricane is brewing in the Atlantic and fires rage in Oklahoma and Texas. Meanwhile, all across the country, Americans are working to rebuild after spring floods, summer tornados and Hurricane Irene. Enter the federal government.
Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR, Inc., delivered my favorite quote on the subject to the New York Times: “If you’re in the middle of recession, you just wander around blowing up buildings, and that would be your path to prosperity. And clearly that’s not the case. It’s not the case with a natural disaster either.”
Given these dramatic disparities between worldviews, it's hard to imagine how a divided government is going to achieve the budget cuts promised in the debt-ceiling compromise or rewrite tax laws that nearly everyone agrees need to be reformed.
Ronald Reagan was a remarkable negotiator, both incredibly patient and principled. Negotiating was one of his greatest but most unappreciated attributes, to the point where I've many times considered doing a book strictly on Reagan as a negotiator.
Weekends mean the phones on the Hill don't get answered. Twitter rolls on, however, and whether or not Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy check their feeds, their staffs do.
Obama and his friends have seriously miscalculated the public’s desire to have federal government intrude into their life. And the GOP will miscalculate if they think that the type of deal they cut in the spring to raise the debt limit will satisfy the base this time around.
If Obama wants some insight as to why the Republicans don't seem willing to just accept his ideas, he needs to look no further than his own record. As the two charts demonstrate, the policies implemented by the Democrats on his watch the last couple of years are an abysmal failure, having come up far short of even his own promises.
President Obama unleashed his inner Alinskyite on Wednesday, storming out of a meeting with Congressional leaders and White House staff after threatening the GOP House Leader Eric Cantor with a parting "Eric, don't call my bluff."
As the political tug-of-war wears on in Washington over a deal on reducing the deficit as part of a compromise to raise the debt limit, some conservatives are beginning to fret about the possibility of the GOP "caving" (there's a plethora of definitions of what "caving" would be). And, today the media's attention is focused on differences – perceived or genuine – within the GOP Leadership.
Thank you, Eric Cantor. Thank you for walking out on useless talks, presided over by Vice President Biden, addressing raising the limit on our nation’s debt.
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