by Nick Stone of Drawnlines Politics:
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) was at his best this week: on attack, on point, on his game.
The Minority Leader noted pointedly from the Senate floor “what is happening in Washington this week, and what isn’t.” Criticizing President Obama’s so-called jobs bill, McConnell claimed that Democrats crafted a plan to make Republicans look bad by taking the least popular parts of Obama’s plan, coupling them with tax hikes, and forcing Republicans to vote “No”.
President Obama originally accused Republicans of pulling a political stunt on the jobs bill, urging them to vote on his plan in full. Referring to his proposal as a mix of bipartisan proposals, Obama argues that Republicans only want to block the bill because he is the one who proposed it. But the truth doesn’t support Obama’s claims of Republican obstructionism. According to the Business Insider, “Senate Minority Leader [McConnell] called Democrats’ bluff on President Barack Obama’s jobs bill, introducing the bill in full on the Senate floor only for it to be blocked by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.”
This is the political sideshow McConnell rightly described:
“Here’s how it works. The President proposes a stimulus bill which he calls a jobs bill. “Congress rejects it in a bipartisan way for very sensible and straightforward reasons. “The President then goes on a bus tour to criticize Republicans for voting against this so-called jobs bill.
“Democrat leaders consult with the White House on breaking the same bill into smaller pieces. And how do they break it up? By identifying parts they know Republicans will oppose and adding on a tax hike just to make sure. Then, another bus tour or a press conference with the President complaining about Republicans again. Repeat for 13 months, in the hopes that Americans will forget that they’re all now living under the economic policies that were enacted during the first two years of the Obama administration. And hope for success. In other words, they’re actually designing legislation to fail over on the other side, so they’ll have someone else to blame for the economy 13 months from now. That’s what’s going on in the Senate this week.
“And what’s not going on? What’s not going on is the kind of bipartisan cooperation that Americans really want. The Majority Leader is out there telling people that Republicans are rooting for the economy to fail. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Look: if Republicans wanted the economy to fail, we’d all line right up behind the President’s economic policies, rather than opposing them. Because they haven’t solved this jobs crisis.”
But the sneaky partisan plan by Obama and Democrats may backfire. It turns out that a bipartisan chorus has rallied together around the so-called jobs plan alright – a bipartisan chorus of opposition. Two weeks ago, Senator Reid used the nuclear option to prohibit the bill from coming up for a vote because it would force wavering Dems like McCaskill (D-Mo), Manchin (D-Wv), Ben Nelson (D-Ne) and Bill Nelson (D-Fl) to look bad heading into their re-election next year. The cloture vote failed 50-49. In the House, a strong bipartisan coalition is sure to come out against the bill, which could make Obama look even worse. As Democrats in swing and red districts rush to put distance between their own records and President Obama, it is becoming harder for the President to make the case of the big, bad GOP blocking his bill.
McConnell had another great exchange with a reporter, where he was asked about the economy and the President’s bus tour:
“You know, the — the President I think has become convinced that the economy is not likely to be much better a year from now. So he has started the campaign 13 months early and he’s trying to convince the American people that it’s anybody else’s fault but his that we’re where we are.It must be the fault of those Republicans in Congress. It must be the fault of those rich people. It must be the fault of those people on Wall Street. I don’t think the American people are going to fall for it. He’s been President now for three years — for three years. We’ve run the debt up, the national debt up 35 percent as he’s tried to prime the pump and borrow and spend our way into prosperity.
“I think complaints about Congress fall on deaf ears. He owned the Congress for the first two years. They did everything he wanted — everything. The only thing they forgot to do, I don’t why they overlooked this, they forgot to raise taxes. But they did everything else. They borrowed. They spent. They overregulated. And all of those policies are in place, and you can see how much it’s done for the economy: 1.5 million jobs lost since the first stimulus. Now, he’s coming back and asking us to do it again. You all have heard this before ’cause it’s one of my favorite sayings. At home we say there’s no education the second kick of a mule. We’ve already done this. We’ve tried it. It failed.”
Bravo Senator McConnell! Well said, indeed.