Obama throws some red meat to Hill Democrats

Look in the mirror. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Did you know that you are the sole cause of the economic crisis we're in because the man you probably voted for - George Bush - put the economy where it is today with no help from anyone else?

Our "post partisan" president decided that approach wasn't working too well and has returned to the tried and true Democratic tactic of abjuring any responsibility for our present situation while blaming his predecessor for his failure to have the competence to get his own party - sitting in overwhelming majorities in Congress - to pass his porky stimulus bill.

Hey Barack, you won, remember?

"We're not going to get relief by turning back to the very same policies that, for the last eight years, doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin," he said. "We can't embrace the losing formula that says only tax cuts will work for every problem we face, that ignores critical challenges like our addiction to foreign oil, or the soaring cost of health care, or failing schools and crumbling bridges and roads and levees.

"I don't care whether you're driving a hybrid or an SUV -- if you're headed for a cliff, you've got to change direction."

The Democrats welcomed the president with frequent interruptions for applause as he took on criticisms of the bill.

[snip]

 

They did not send us here to get bogged down with the same old delay, the same old distractions, the same talking points, the same cable chatter," he said. "They did not vote for the false theories of the past, and they didn't vote for phony arguments and petty politics, and they did not vote for the status quo."

Obama told his fellow Democrats that they have "the capacity to do great things" on behalf of the American people, "but we are going to have to do it by not thinking about ourselves."

"It starts with this economic recovery plan," he said. "And soon, we will take on big issues like addressing the foreclosure problem, passing a budget, tackling our fiscal problems, fixing our financial regulation and securing our country."

But, he stressed, the battle over the stimulus bill is not "an abstract debate."

"If we do not move swiftly to sign [the act] into law, an economy that is already in crisis will be faced with catastrophe," he said. "This is not my assessment. This is not Nancy Pelosi's assessment. This is the assessment of the best economists in the country. This is the assessment of some of the former advisers of some of the same folks who are making these criticisms right now."

Practically speaking, what is he saying?

He's saying he's not open to compromise and that we should spend the entire $900 billion. He all but says if we spend a dollar less, we will (here's that word again) have a "catastrophe" on our hands.

Will it be a catastrophe if we don't spend $150 million on the Smithsonian?

Will it be a catastrophe if we don't spend $75 million for "smoking cessation" activities?

Will it be a catastrophe if we don't spend $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas?

Will it be a catastrophe if we don't spend $88 million for renovating the Public Health Building?

Will it be a catastrophe if we don't spend $160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service?

Will it be a catastrophe if we don't spend $850 million for Amtrak?

Will it be a catastrophe if we don't spend $75 million to construct a "security training" facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.

And on and on and on.

We could ask that question at least 647 times - which was the page length of the original bill but now has grown considerably. 

Using fear mongering and exaggerated rhetoric, the President of the United States is trying to pass a bill that could easily be broken into at least 4 and probably more pieces of legislation. The reason he is not doing so is because there's a very good chance that members of his own party would reject many of these spending requests.

Hence, by ratcheting up the rhetoric and taking off his non-partisan gloves, Obama is desperately seeking to convince wavering party members that he needs this bill more than the economy needs it. If it fails to pass the senate pretty much as is, it will be seen as a failure, the scope of which would approach Bill Clinton's monumental bust of a health care proposal. And Clinton doesn't have close to the majorities of Democrats that Obama has on the Hill.

When you try and whip your own party into line, that can only mean one thing; you are having trouble holding them. Given the massive Democratic majorities in both houses of congress, what does that say about Obama's leadership skills and competence?

The Democrats will no doubt pull his chestnuts out the fire. They cannot afford for Obama to fail so early in his presidency. But it is instructive to note that the American people have already rendered a verdict on this monstrosity and more than half of them are saying "No."

Look in the mirror. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Did you know that you are the sole cause of the economic crisis we're in because the man you probably voted for - George Bush - put the economy where it is today with no help from anyone else?

Our "post partisan" president decided that approach wasn't working too well and has returned to the tried and true Democratic tactic of abjuring any responsibility for our present situation while blaming his predecessor for his failure to have the competence to get his own party - sitting in overwhelming majorities in Congress - to pass his porky stimulus bill.

Hey Barack, you won, remember?

"We're not going to get relief by turning back to the very same policies that, for the last eight years, doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin," he said. "We can't embrace the losing formula that says only tax cuts will work for every problem we face, that ignores critical challenges like our addiction to foreign oil, or the soaring cost of health care, or failing schools and crumbling bridges and roads and levees.

"I don't care whether you're driving a hybrid or an SUV -- if you're headed for a cliff, you've got to change direction."

The Democrats welcomed the president with frequent interruptions for applause as he took on criticisms of the bill.

[snip]

 

They did not send us here to get bogged down with the same old delay, the same old distractions, the same talking points, the same cable chatter," he said. "They did not vote for the false theories of the past, and they didn't vote for phony arguments and petty politics, and they did not vote for the status quo."

Obama told his fellow Democrats that they have "the capacity to do great things" on behalf of the American people, "but we are going to have to do it by not thinking about ourselves."

"It starts with this economic recovery plan," he said. "And soon, we will take on big issues like addressing the foreclosure problem, passing a budget, tackling our fiscal problems, fixing our financial regulation and securing our country."

But, he stressed, the battle over the stimulus bill is not "an abstract debate."

"If we do not move swiftly to sign [the act] into law, an economy that is already in crisis will be faced with catastrophe," he said. "This is not my assessment. This is not Nancy Pelosi's assessment. This is the assessment of the best economists in the country. This is the assessment of some of the former advisers of some of the same folks who are making these criticisms right now."

Practically speaking, what is he saying?

He's saying he's not open to compromise and that we should spend the entire $900 billion. He all but says if we spend a dollar less, we will (here's that word again) have a "catastrophe" on our hands.

Will it be a catastrophe if we don't spend $150 million on the Smithsonian?

Will it be a catastrophe if we don't spend $75 million for "smoking cessation" activities?

Will it be a catastrophe if we don't spend $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas?

Will it be a catastrophe if we don't spend $88 million for renovating the Public Health Building?

Will it be a catastrophe if we don't spend $160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service?

Will it be a catastrophe if we don't spend $850 million for Amtrak?

Will it be a catastrophe if we don't spend $75 million to construct a "security training" facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.

And on and on and on.

We could ask that question at least 647 times - which was the page length of the original bill but now has grown considerably. 

Using fear mongering and exaggerated rhetoric, the President of the United States is trying to pass a bill that could easily be broken into at least 4 and probably more pieces of legislation. The reason he is not doing so is because there's a very good chance that members of his own party would reject many of these spending requests.

Hence, by ratcheting up the rhetoric and taking off his non-partisan gloves, Obama is desperately seeking to convince wavering party members that he needs this bill more than the economy needs it. If it fails to pass the senate pretty much as is, it will be seen as a failure, the scope of which would approach Bill Clinton's monumental bust of a health care proposal. And Clinton doesn't have close to the majorities of Democrats that Obama has on the Hill.

When you try and whip your own party into line, that can only mean one thing; you are having trouble holding them. Given the massive Democratic majorities in both houses of congress, what does that say about Obama's leadership skills and competence?

The Democrats will no doubt pull his chestnuts out the fire. They cannot afford for Obama to fail so early in his presidency. But it is instructive to note that the American people have already rendered a verdict on this monstrosity and more than half of them are saying "No."