President Petty’s Speech Follies

Why did Barack Obama schedule his speech the same night as the GOP debate and then throw salt in the wound by breaking precedent and demanding that Republicans in the House, without their approval, blow off the debate to show up for his speech?

It was a highly cynical, hyper-partisan move designed to get the GOP to deny his speech date, so he could claim THEY are the ones being partisan.

Obama’s jobs speech? He keeps saying it’s going to be a “bipartisan” proposal. Yet, he hasn’t consulted with the GOP to come up with it. He hasn’t even called Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham, and Olympia Snowe to the White House for a meeting so he could PRETEND he’s consulted the GOP. He’s not even going through the motions…and let’s be honest: He has no intention of really trying to get anything passed. In fact, the whole point of doing a “jobs bill” is to put a bill out there that WON’T PASS so Obama can claim Republicans won’t work with him.

Is this political hardball? Oh, absolutely. Obama’s using hyper-partisan, scorched earth tactics. Of course, as Finley Peter Dunne famously said, “Politics ain’t beanbag.” That’s the thing. The really aggravating part about this isn’t that Obama’s doing it. Politics is a knife-fight in a phone booth. You shouldn’t expect the other side to make nice.

The aggravating thing is that Obama is INCESSANTLY talking about bipartisanship, “putting country before party,” and “putting aside politics” while his entire presidency has devolved into a series of petty lowblows and sneers at people who disagree with him. Even for Obama, it’s particularly grating.

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