Ugly Politics This Way Comes
There’s some mighty ugly politics going on inside the beltway (isn’t there always?), and the party in power has just caught itself in its own trap.
President Barack Obama took to the airwaves for the umpteenth time and delivered what most considered a mediocre campaign stump speech two weeks ago. He called it an important address to the nation regarding that famous three-letter word coined by Vice President Joe Biden – J-O-B-S. The president recycled the “yes we can” slogan and came up with the catchy “pass this bill now” cry from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 17 times he repeated that phrase, or words very closely to that affect.
Now – over two weeks later – his own party leadership has realized the proposed legislation is absolutely dead on arrival in the House of Representatives and stands very little chance of passage in the Democrat controlled Senate. The proposal is actually so bad that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has put the president’s bill on the docket, but hasn’t even set a date for debate to begin, say nothing of a possible cloture vote in the upper chamber. There’s something about raising taxes by 1.5 Trillion dollars that doesn’t set well with many Democrats up for re-election next November.
Obviously, Reid wasn’t consulted by the White House when this latest tax and spend measure was being drafted. Had he been, the president would know that he could count on a maximum of 47 Democrats to support the bill and perhaps as few as 40, depending on how a half-dozen or so wishy-washy Democrats came down on the question. Those up for re-election next year are now caught in the very trap the president set to catch Republicans. Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin – second in command to Reid in the Senate – has said he doesn’t expect the president’s proposal will make it to the floor of the Senate until some time in October, if then. Without a chance for at least a 50-50 vote in the Senate (which would allow the Vice President to vote to break the tie), Reid will almost certainly use every gimmick in the book to delay any vote. Losing 60-40 in the Senate would be just about as embarrassing as it gets.
Democrats across the board are speaking openly about “concerns” they have for what appears to be Stimulus IX, or whatever number of times the Democrats have attempted, via Obama, to pour trillions of dollars into programs that have already failed several times. When back pocket supporters like economist Paul Krugman of the New York Times turn thumbs-down on your agenda, you’re in very serious political trouble. And that’s exactly where Obama finds himself today.
Obama figured his proposal to raise taxes to create jobs (where have we heard that before?) would force Republicans to vote against the idea and then he could turn to the public in his re-election campaign mode and declare “See! The Republicans are against jobs”. It’s not working out that way, is it Mr. President?
There’s already serious talk about breaking the bill down into its component parts and acting separately on the points that are generally agreed to, but Obama has stated a no compromise position on his take-it-or-leave-it legislation. He even threatened a veto if any major amendments were to make their way into his latest brainchild. Not a wise political move for a president lacking support from his own party.
“Pass this bill now”? I don’t think so.
A major Obama “Fail” to add to a growing list of agenda failures. As quickly as the rock star rose to fame, he’s now descending – as most rock stars do. It just may be time to drag out the Styrofoam pillars again or pay Peggy Joseph’s mortgage.