Flak over the jobs speech

Apparently, President Obama is a little pissed right now.  After all, his partisanship was trumped by Speaker of the House John Boehner’s partisanship.  For those who missed it, President Obama wanted to speak to a joint session of Congress.  Per usual, the President asked the Speaker of the House if that was all cool.  Boehner said no.  That’s the Reader’s Digest version anyways.

Obama’s timing of his speech coincided with a debate between GOP candidates, a move many considered to have been strategic in nature rather than coincidence.  I’m inclined to agree.  Boehner, a Republican after all, said, “Nah.  How about the next day?”  The White House agreed.

However, all doesn’t seem to be puppies and daisies in the nation’s capital.  Politico has learned from a White House source that apparently the President and his staff are more than a little upset.

“It is a big deal that the House said ‘no’ to the president from our end,” a White House source with intimate knowledge of what took place between the House and the president told me Thursday. “This confirms what we all know: They will do anything in the House to muck us up.”

Indeed.  After all, a 24 hour delay will kill the whole deal, right?  I mean, everything in his proposals was calculated to the exact position of the moon and the stars in relation to Jupiter or something, right?  The source went on to comment about the debate conflict.

Yet the White House did not see this as an obstacle. “With all due respect, the POLITICO-MSNBC debate was one that was going on a cable station,” the White House source said. “It was not sacrosanct. We knew they would push it back and then there would be a GOP debate totally trashing the president. So it wasn’t all an upside for us.”

Of course, the fact that they were trying to “muck” up the debate that the GOP had long been planning on wasn’t partisan in the least, now was it?  Sure, MSNBC could move back the debate…and the White House can move their planned speech back a day.  Honestly, what’s the difference?

The source didn’t see an upside for the White House, but I can clearly see on.  The jobs proposal would be presented before the debate, but there wouldn’t exactly be sufficient time for the candidates to study it before hand.  This would lead to either them having to ignore it during the debate, which seems unlikely, or they would mischaracterize parts of it.  Then the White House would jump all over it and then be able to frame the GOP candidates as not having grasp of the issues.

Boehner, as Speaker of the House, said no.  Honestly, I wish more speakers would say no.  The idea that it’s so unusual bothers me a great deal.  Congress isn’t beholden to the President.  They’re equal to the President, at least as far as governing the nation is concerned.  The President can ask, but there’s no reason on Earth they have to say yes.  That’s really neither here nor there though.

Obama hopes to unveil what he calls a “bipartisan” plan to create jobs.  Unfortunately, I don’t believe any politician when he says he has a “bipartisan” plan.  Bipartisanship in Washington means “shut up and do it my way.”  It means that when Republicans have the ball, and when Democrats have the ball.  Will this plan receive bipartisan support?  I won’t know until the President unveils it.  I’m looking forward to it and sincerely hope it has all the right things.

I’m not holding my breath though.


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