Well, we had a bit of silly political posturing on the part of John Boehner last week. President Obama requested a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, September 7 to lay out his jobs bill. For the first time in history, this request was rejected by the House citing logistical considerations having to do with the amount of time it takes for a security sweep after the last scheduled vote of the day. Of course, this was all nonsense designed to protect the attention that will be focused on a GOP Presidential Primary debate that would have been overshadowed by, you know, the President of the United States doing his job.
Now, Obama’s stated reason for choosing September 7 was not to upstage the Republicans, although to do so would have been a perfectly legitimate use of the bully pulpit that is the Presidency. Rather, it was the first day Congress was back from their August recess. Naturally, Obama consented to Boehner’s request that he move his speech to September 8.
I don’t believe he should have. If for no other reason than to defend the Presidency from the disrespect, from the contempt that Congress has displayed, he should have made a fight out of it.
Of course, Obama is trying to be the adult in the room and focus the nation’s attention on getting the economy back on track rather than another silly political kerfuffle. He’s also trying to let Americans know that they still have a working, if divided government.
The problem is, I don’t think that’s true. I think the House GOP is so controlled by the ignorant extremists of the Tea Party Caucus, led by Poster Child for Idiocy, Michelle Bachmann, that they are willing to extort the nation to get their way. We saw it with the budget. We saw it with the debt ceiling. I don’t care how persuasive Obama is. I don’t care how good his jobs plan is, or how riddled it is with concessions designed to win Republican votes at the expense of effectiveness for that matter. The idea that the House is going to pass a major piece of legislation originating from the Obama White House is laughable.
So, in a way, promoting the façade of a working government in the face of GOP intransigence is something of an optimistic lie. I think, at some point, We the People need to be confronted with the dysfunctionality of our government and presented with an option for fixing it at the ballot box. We need to have it told to us in plain English by the person who has been trying to make it work. If we get that message from someone in charge who is willing to admit the problem, there’s a better chance of correcting it than if We the People collectively reached that conclusion on our own.