President Obama fired several shots across the Good Ship GOP's bow during his petulant (and "two-pinocchios" dishonest) press conference yesterday. As we discussed earlier, he all but accused Congress of politically-driven laziness, and challenged both parties -- although his pointed remarks seemed clearly directed at Republicans -- to "do their jobs." We've already pointed out that Republicans actually have done their job by producing and passing a debt-reducing budget, whereas Democrats have failed to even introduce any budget for 792 days and counting, but we mustn't permit facts to get in the way of the president's finger-wagging point. His message was clear: A crisis is upon us, so we don't have time to play games. Get to work.
Republicans responded by successfully lobbying the majority to kill next week's scheduled recess in order to allow the upper chamber to, ahem, do its job. Mitch McConnell then invited the president to come to Capitol Hill and meet with Republicans behind closed doors to discuss the urgent issue. The White House unceremoniously declined, snippily declaring that such a conversation wouldn't be "worth having." Instead, Obama is attending to more pressing business: Political fundraising. By maladroitly exposing his own fundamental unseriousness, the president opened himself up to political attack -- and darned if Senate Republicans didn't oblige him. Without further ado, please enjoy a full half-hour of withering criticism, via an all-star lineup of GOP freshmen -- with a few veterans thrown in for good measure:
Significant plaudits are due to Sen. Ron Johnson, who expertly quarterbacked this colloquy, with an honorable mention going to Jeff Sessions, who's used his perch as the budget committee's ranking Republican to great effect. If you're pressed for time, just watch Rand Paul and Marco Rubio's back-to-back rhetorical flaying of our tough-talkin', missing-in-action president (roughly 3:30-8:30). Said Rubio of Obama's recent comments: "It's class warfare, and it's the kind of language you would expect from a leader of a third world country, not the President of the United States." That's going to leave a mark.