That was my count from his Rose Garden speech, one of those all-too-ordinary affairs now in which the Massive Public Support for a piece of legislation is demonstrated by a casting-couch assemblage of ordinary people. Rhetorically, it's perfect. What does the average lunkhead now know about the scene in Congress? The president has A Bill, and he wants Congress to Pass It. What's in the bill? Around $447 billion in spending and tax cuts. Is it paid for? He says it is, but look -- the point is that he wants Congress to Pass The Bill.
In a piece that the president actually cited, Marin Cogan and Jake Sherman get at the problem.
“Obama is on the ropes; why do we appear ready to hand him a win?” said one senior House Republican aide who requested anonymity to discuss the matter freely. “I just don’t want to co-own the economy by having to tout that we passed a jobs bill that won’t work or at least won’t do enough.”
Yep. This directly contradicts the Republican message, which Speaker Boehner repeated in his statement on the bill: "We will continue to call on our colleagues in the Democratic-led Senate to take action on the numerous job creation bills passed by the House that await consideration in their chamber." House Republicans have passed a series of regulation-rollback and energy exploration bills. The economy would be responding to them, they say -- ah, but that Democratic Senate won't move the bills! Because stories about bills dying in the Senate are boring, no one pays attention to this. Even so, it's a better position for the opposition to be in than the one Obama is threatening -- co-ownership of a "Jobs Act" that will probably not drastically reduce unemployment before November 2012.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Irritating Confidante
John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.
My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?
Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.