Can’t lay claim to a comprehensive understanding of why politicians do what they do. In fact I’m nearly always wrong in terms of what I think they should do versus what they actually do. Perhaps that’s a good thing, a signal that clarity of thought has not yet abandoned me.
Nevertheless, it’s hard to understand why the President would be so aggressively flogging a bill that is chock full of stuff he already knows will be rejected? The latest of many hints was rejection during the latest dust up over the debt ceiling.
The Pundit class opines; “It’s so he can pin the tail on Republicans.” That can’t be; the President is clearly out there for God and Country, no partisanship for as far as the eye can see from the Oval Office. We know it’s true, he told us so. It’s not about him, it’s not about winning or losing; it’s about YOU! But, but, but; does the President’s credibility fall further when his allies in the Democratic Senate are in no big hurry to “pass the bill”, putting bike paths ahead of his jobs bill? Liberal lions, Senators Reid and Kerry signal that the bill is DOA in its present form? How do you pin the tail on the Republicans when your points of support seems to be, at best, disinterested and at worse ready to crawl under the “oh no, not again” rock?
When the predictable rejection arrives is it a win or a loss for the President? Pundits will likely say both; lost the bill and won the war against Republican policy. Really? Going over Congress’s head can work for a President with favorable approval ratings; that is not the case. The numbers say the people the President’s going to appeal to are in no mood for more of the same, which is what we’ve got from the President’s latest ‘plan’. It is entirely possible if not probable that folks have stopped listening.
The GOP is no better. They should have had their own jobs bill ready to go on the day after the Presidents Bread and Circuses performance at the joint session of Congress. Create a line of demarcation for the argument, offer a concrete choice, and demonstrate you’re serious! The President’s ‘plan’ was no secret, leaked progressively in the days before the speech. If I’m the Speaker of The House, I’m ready to go on day one, not a week later. The Speaker seems to have followed the President’s lead with a plan no more focused on specifics than the President’s speech was. But, that’s just me, once again, making the mistake of applying a degree of logic to a political process. Will I never learn?
The GOP makes noises about ‘cooperating with some of the President’s ideas”; really? Have you seen a lot of that coming your way, or has everything looked like a steel cage death match? Or to be consistent to Speaker Boehner’s representation a steel cage Jello pit.
Okay, I get it, you don’t want to be trapped, you don’t want to be labeled with the ‘NO’ tag; again, really? If your child is about to do something dangerous, do you not step up and say NO! When 80% of the people think we’re on the wrong track and only 38% support the President’s economic performance what in hell’s bells are you afraid of? Might it occur to GOP leadership that this is NOT the year for politics as usual? Might it occur that their own low approval ratings actually mean something that should be taken to heart and that the same old, same old on their part could be a serious problem. Like, oh, I don’t know; a third party resulting in a near guarantee that President Obama is re-elected.
36 Senators are saying to the President, the Speaker, party leadership and the ‘super committee’; “we will lead the way”. “Let’s exceed expectations for once in our lives.” What the 36 are saying is that there is aa leadership and a policy void and someone needs to move in before both parties decide that the circular firing squad should be a communal, bipartisan exercise.
Two special election losses, generally agreed to be referendums on the President. The evidence is how close the President’s approval ratings reflect the voting patterns in those districts; very close! Democrats are beginning to position themselves to be not too closely associated with the President. If the Dems are starting to protect themselves, what does that tell the GOP? Jewish voters are, finally, having second thoughts; approval ratings from independents, women and Hispanics are all on a downward trend.
If you boys and girls at the GOP can’t offer us a comprehensive, competitive jobs plan would you, at least, let us know what exactly you’re afraid of and why you’re jumping at shadows?