By Steve Klinger
It all boils down to a simple question: Why can’t Obama and the Democrats take the gloves off and expose the Republicans for the sociopathic subversives they really are?
Yes, Dr. Kidglove, as blogger Tom Wark likes to call him, gave a forceful speech and presented a jobs program larger than many expected. But as Robert Reich quickly calculated (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/american-jobs-act-obama-_b_955250.html) it would not make a big difference in reducing unemployment or otherwise stimulating the economy or avoiding a likely double-dip recession. At $200-300 billion of new spending it’s just not big enough, and many of the tax cuts are extensions of what’s already in place.
I said “would” because it will not become law. The Republicans will block it, using Mitch McConnell’s cynical talking point, no doubt coined long before Obama opened his mouth:
“This isn’t a job plan. It’s a reelection plan.”
Except the shoe is really on the other foot. To the Republicans, everything is about the election and nothing is about human suffering and national priorities. Obama has hesitated, procrastinated, accommodated and capitulated for the better part of three years, naively hoping for bipartisanship. His self-deluded attempts at leadership have repeatedly met with solid and unrelenting GOP resistance – no, flat-out obstructionism. Unlike some leftists who believe he is bought and paid for, I think he has simply shown himself to be overmatched and incapable of necessary confrontation. So once again, abandoning principle for the sake of perceived expediency, he has presented a program he thinks/hopes/prays will get enough Republican support to be enacted as a half-measure.
But it won’t be good enough to matter if it does, and anyway, it will not, precisely because Obama again underestimates the cold-blooded ruthlessness of his opponents, who do not put country ahead of politics, and certainly not ordinary working people (or those who wish they were working people). This is what he and every Democrat and every sentient media commentator should be saying, over and over, until voters get the message: How can you trust the Republicans to help ordinary folks when they are constantly demonstrating they’re willing to ruin the country for the sake of reclaiming power?
As many have pointed out, the Republicans would say day was night if they thought it would give them an electoral victory in 2012. And they would, and do, watch millions suffer while pretending to act in their interest. Using their own past proposals to get their support did not work with health care or the debt ceiling, and it will not work with jobs. Maybe someone on Obama’s re-election team is planning to exploit GOP opposition to this plan once the campaign season starts in earnest. But in that case, as Reich asks, why not push the program that’s really needed so you can make a persuasive argument about how the right is selling the country down the river?
Take the gloves off and swing back. What is it about ‘No’ that you don’t understand?