Monday, October 3, 2011

Obama's Jobs Bill: Finis?

Joseph Curl--in the Washington Times--has noted the reality we all saw coming: Obama's Jobs Bill is DOA. After calling a special joint session to announce the plan and extorting Congress over and over again to "Pass this bill now," Obama toured the country to garner public support for the bill. All for naught.
On Monday, senators passed a bill to keep the government open into the next fiscal year and then headed out on vacation for the rest of the week. Majority Leader Harry Reid said when they return they’ll get back to work — not on the jobs bill, but on a measure to punish China over its currency valuation. Mr. Reid said that bill is a bigger priority right now.
According to Curl, Harry Reid has pretty much had it with the President and his agenda, due to Obama's failure to support a compromise initially reached behind closed doors over the recent debt ceiling crisis. Reid supposedly said--about Obama--that:
“I’m not going to do anything for that [expletive] again.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the President, is it?

But then, the Jobs Bill really was a non-starter from the get-go. And there's no way Obama could not have realized this was the case. With the nation's economy still floundering and with the memories of the 2010 election still fresh in their minds, the Democrats in the Senate were never going to fall in their swords and pass a massive tax increase--not-so-cleverly disguised as a Jobs Bill this close to an election. Especially given that the bill had no chance of passing the House in such a form. The House would have stripped all of the tax increases--along with other elements--and sent it back, leaving the Dems in the Senate holding the bag going into 2012. Political suicide.

So what was the admin's reasoning behind such a move? Curl says it was simple: to have someone to blame--Congress--for the economy, going into the 2012 elections. Obama is "throwing his former Senate colleagues under the bus as he scrambles to win another term."

I think that's about right. Congressional approval numbers remain abysmal, even in comparison to the President's sinking numbers. Obama is counting on an easy scapegoating of Congress. And he's probably right, to an extent. Because in the Senate, it will be the Dems that get the worst of it.

Perhaps Obama thinks he can achieve a Clintonian kind of Presidency, wherein he can preside over a fully Republican-controlled Congress and claim to be leading the return to fiscal sensibility.

But that's kind of a pipe dream. He's gone way too populist in his rhetoric. If such a scenario arises, it will be far more contentious than the time under Clinton (as hard as it may be for some to believe). And I give the President enough credit to realize this.

So, what's the point? A second term, nothing more and at all costs. How noble.

Cheers, all.

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