Barack Obama, yesterday, speaking to residents at a "town hall" in Decorah, Iowa:
"The problem we have is not with our country. The problem is that our politics is broken..."
"There are a whole host of ideas that we could be implementing right now that traditionally have had bipartisan support. The only thing that is preventing us from passing them is that there are some folks in Congress who think that doing something in cooperation with me, or this White House, that that somehow is bad politics."
Sound familiar? It should, as Obama used almost exactly the same line in his post-downgrade speech last Monday:
In fact, if Congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut and the unemployment insurance benefits that I’ve called for, it could mean 1 million fewer jobs and half a percent less growth. This is something we can do immediately, something we can do as soon as Congress gets back.
We should also help companies that want to repair our roads and bridges and airports, so that thousands of construction workers who’ve been without a job for the last few years can get a paycheck again. That will also help to spur economic growth.
These aren’t Democratic proposals. These aren’t big government proposals. These are all ideas that traditionally Republicans have agreed to, have agreed to countless times in the past. There’s no reason we shouldn’t act on them now. None.
Note how Obama, without mentioning the Tea Party, is attempting to isolate them from what "traditional" Republicans would have supported him on in the past, thus buttressing his claim that lack of support for additional spending is a partisan attack by a radical subgroup of conservatives.
And ironically, Obama might be right. Were this a different year, or an earlier time, Republicans would have certainly reached bipartisan agreement with Democrats on additional spending on infrastructure, welfare extensions disguised as tax cuts, etc.
But we've already spent ourselves to the brink of bankruptcy on the very same failed "ideas", and Tea Party Republicans were elected specifically to stop coming to the types of "agreements" with Democrats that wind up being paid for out of the middle class's pockets. So despite Obama's claim, there is very good reason not to act on them again, no matter how many times we have in the past.....
Nice try though, Barack. Would be nice for someone on the Republican side to point out the hostile partisan rhetoric Obama is engaging in, while campaigning for re-election on the taxpayer's dime...