Obama Takes on Martyr Mantle; Jerry Brown Signs California “Dreamin'” Act

Posted on July 26, 2011


Our silver-tongued President took to the air waves last night to remind us that he alone knows the truly responsible fiscal way and that he has given all he can reasonably give under the circumstances.  Shot through with Republican arrows a la St. Sebastian, the President threw himself on the mercyof the court of public opinion with such slick phrases as:

“The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government,” Obama said. “So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know.” [full speech is here]

Is this the same man who took over health care reform from a Democratic congress that could not get its act together?

The dysfunctional government assessment from Obama is the phrasing of someone  who is making an appeal – a reasonable appeal – to his  people.  He knows his people.  They don’t want a dysfunctional government.  And he knows the government is now dysfunctional.  The Republicans have brought this on.  Alas and alack.

For the last decade, we have spent more money than we take in.  In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus.  But instead of using it to pay off our debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, while two wars and an expensive prescription drug program were simply added to our nation’s credit card.

Somewhere in all of that was 911 – an event that considerably changed America.  Talk about glossing over.  He then asked American to contact their representatives.  Websites crashed in the process.  But realize this:  it does not mean that all of  America was responding.  It means a greater number than usual were checking in.

Boehner was his equal in oratorical cleverness:

“Unfortunately, the president would not take yes for an answer,” Boehner said. “Even when we thought we might be close on an agreement, the president’s demands changed.” [see full text of speech here]

Not only did his demands change, his entire agenda is moving toward the center as he prepares for 2012.  He has been campaigning since the end of the last election season. He has to do well in these negotiations.  He has to prove to the electorate he can lead – that he can successfully preside over a divided political entity, Congress.

Boehner then went on to outline substantial action that has and will occur in Congress devoid of  the input from unelected White House flunkies in the myriad of meetings that have taken place to date:

Because there is no stalemate in Congress. The House has passed a bill to raise the debt limit with bipartisan support. And this week, while the Senate is struggling to pass a bill filled with phony accounting and Washington gimmicks, we will pass another bill – one that was developed with the support of the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Senate.

I expect that bill can and will pass the Senate, and be sent to the President for his signature. If the President signs it, the ‘crisis’ atmosphere he has created will simply disappear. The debt limit will be raised. Spending will be cut by more than one trillion dollars, and a serious, bipartisan committee of the Congress will begin the hard but necessary work of dealing with the tough challenges our nation faces.

The individuals doing this work will not be outsiders, but elected representatives of the people, doing the job they were elected to do as outlined in the Constitution. Those decisions should be made based on how they will affect people who are struggling to get a job, not how they affect some politician’s chances of getting reelected.

Meanwhile Jerry Brown in California is living the Democratic vida loca signing away common sense and lots of dollars to chase votes out there.  He has signed that state’s version of the Dream Act that will give aid to undocumented college students [see article here].  The beat goes on with or without Obama.

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