During his speech today, President Obama ripped Republicans, “With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball.”
Over the last six months, this gridlock has gotten worse. A growing number of Republican Senators are trying to get things done, like an immigration bill that economists say will boost our economy by more than a trillion dollars. But a faction of Republicans in the House won’t even give that bill a vote, and gutted a farm bill that America’s farmers and most vulnerable children depend on.
If you ask some of these Republicans about their economic agenda, or how they’d strengthen the middle class, they’ll shift the topic to “out-of-control” government spending – despite the fact that we have cut the deficit by nearly half as a share of the economy since I took office. Or they’ll talk about government assistance for the poor, despite the fact that they’ve already cut early education for vulnerable kids and insurance for people who’ve lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Or they’ll bring up Obamacare, despite the fact that our businesses have created nearly twice as many jobs in this recovery as they had at the same point in the last recovery, when there was no Obamacare.
With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball. And I am here to say this needs to stop. Short-term thinking and stale debates are not what this moment requires. Our focus must be on the basic economic issues that the matter most to you – the people we represent. And as Washington prepares to enter another budget debate, the stakes for our middle class could not be higher. The countries that are passive in the face of a global economy will lose the competition for good jobs and high living standards. That’s why America has to make the investments necessary to promote long-term growth and shared prosperity. Rebuilding our manufacturing base. Educating our workforce. Upgrading our transportation and information networks. That’s what we need to be talking about. That’s what Washington needs to be focused on.
During this speech President Obama praised some Senate Republicans for working with Democrats to get big things done, so it is very clear who he was talking about when he referenced distractions, political posturing and phony scandals. The president was referring to John Boehner and the House. The same John Boehner who said this past Sunday that it was his job to repeal laws. It was also obvious that he was calling out the Republican tea party obstructionists like Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz in the Senate.
It was interesting to hear the president call these scandals phony distractions, because that is exactly what they are. The “scandals” are a Republican diversionary tactic designed to keep the GOP base fired up, while they direct attention away from the fact that they haven’t passed any meaningful legislation.
President Obama did something very interesting in this speech. He laid out the Democrats’ economic argument for 2014. Since Obama will never be up for election again, he is going to campaign hard for Democrats in 2014. House Republicans are already freaking out about the prospect of having Obama campaign against them in 2014. It looks like the president is coming for them, and he is ready to call bulls**t on all of their bogus scandals.