It was a political game for the president to wait for the Washington politicians to return from vacation to present his economic stimulus plan while millions of Americans are looking for immediate signs of hope. Evidently, Obama, after getting shellacked by the Tea Party on the debt ceiling issue, gave Republican members time to determine if their constituents favored compromise for the good of the country or endorsed stubborn, self-serving, hardball politics for the good of the party.
On the surface it appears Republican constituents are leaning toward compromise. After Obama’s speech, Speaker of the House John Boehner, along with other Republican House members, sent a letter of cooperation to the president announcing their desire to work with him on his proposals. I wonder what the Tea Party thinks about that! Breaking ranks with party strategy and demonstrating political good judgment towards compromise, Boehner wrote, “We believe your ideas merit consideration by Congress and believe the American people expect them to be given such consideration.”
Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor also hinted he would support compromise, saying a tax cut is something he supported in the past, indicating he will compromise with Obama in the future. Spokesman Brad Dayspring said Cantor “has long believed that there are better ways to grow the economy and create jobs than temporary tax relief” and the issue will be included in future discussions.
Another Republican senator, Scott Brown from Massachusetts, now occupying the seat that Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy held for years, was optimistic and endorsed Obama’s plan for a permanent tax cut. Brown was elected as a moderate and could be the voice of reason behind the scenes of bipartisan negotiations. Republican presidential candidate Jon M. Huntsman Jr., former governor of Utah, also jumped on the bandwagon for compromise saying he thought the tax cut was a good idea. We’ll hear what the other Republican presidential candidates say about Obama’s plan during the infighting in future political debates.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, responsible for bringing the bill to a vote, asked “reasonable Republicans to resist those who oppose the legislation and root for our economy to fail” to pass Obama’s proposed legislation. Referring to the basic objective of the Tea Party, Reid said some members of Congress and the Senate can’t “continue to bow to the Tea Party Republicans who are willing to do anything to ruin our economy to hurt the president.”
But are the Democrats and Obama also ruining our economy by playing the same political blame game as the Republicans? Although President Obama was decisive when he made the decision to invade Pakistan territory to assassinate Osama bin Laden, he wasn’t very aggressive sparring with Congress to raise the debt ceiling. Why?
Obama baited the Tea Party members into hanging themselves by creating the image of a dysfunctional government causing our credit rating to drop a notch when he should have been presidential and whipped Congress into shape and done what is right for our country.
The American jobs Act should have been presented to the American people a year ago. Where was Obama then? With 14 months to go until the presidential election, Obama waited until now to present his plan and platform for re-election. Instead of initiating his plan at the beginning of his first term he is using it as a conduit for his second term and we have all paid the price. Not to worry, though. Obama’s got the tour bus loaded up for his political campaigning across the country to tout his plan for rescuing us from the Republicans. Looks like he timed it just right.
Obama’s actions remind me of the legend claiming Rome burned while Nero played the fiddle. While Obama fiddled around playing politics with Republicans our economy went up in flames thanks to his lack of leadership. Only time will tell if Obama’s gamble paid off and where his name will appear in a trivia game.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.