Oopsie, looks like Republicans pushed President Barack Obama too far. You’d think they would learn…
In this week’s address, President Obama called 2014 a year of action, and then boldly called out those who are unwilling to help the American people by saying, “I’ll keep doing everything I can to create new jobs and new opportunities for American families – with Congress, on my own, and with everyone willing to play their part.”
Speaker Boehner, that was for you and your House of Do-Nothings.
The President said that this year of action should start with Congress quickly passing emergency unemployment insurance for the 1.3 million Americans who lost it. And then he announced that he’s taking his case right to the people, in his State of the Union address.
The President put Republicans on notice that he will not allow them to fritter away his agenda, “This will be a year of action. I’ll keep doing everything I can to create new jobs and new opportunities for American families – with Congress, on my own, and with everyone willing to play their part. And that action should begin by extending unemployment insurance for Americans who were laid off in the recession through no fault of their own.”
Note that the President is not blaming people who were laid off in the middle of one of our worst recessions for being in this position. This is part of his defense against the Republican talking point that the unemployed are lazy, which is just another excuse to coldly ignore the starving.
“This vital economic lifeline helps people support their families while they look for a new job. And it demands responsibility in return by requiring that they prove they’re actively looking for work. But Republicans in Congress just let that lifeline expire for 1.3 million Americans.”
It’s sort of an emergency, Obama explained, because 14 million will be impacted if Republicans keep up their assault on reality. “And if this doesn’t get fixed, it will actually hurt about 14 million Americans over the course of this year.” The Bush recession is hardly the fault of the workers, after all, and yet Republicans have yet to make any noise about taking away the welfare they generously hand out to corporations.
“Earlier this week, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate took the first steps toward making this right. But Congress needs to finish the job right away.”
The President laid out plans for putting these folks back to work, but he’s not going to wait for Republicans to do the right thing.
The President has learned from his first term.
Obama knows that he needs to take his case to the people directly, because the Republicans will do nothing without public pressure. So, he shot an arrow into their obstructionist hearts, “And at the end of the month, in my State of the Union Address, I will mobilize the country around the national mission of making sure our economy offers everyone who works hard a fair shot at opportunity and success.”
Oh dear. If there is one thing Obama is really, really good at, it’s mobilizing the country around issues of economic justice. See the 2012 campaign. Republicans have stirred the governing President into campaign mode, handing him the issue he most cares about on a silver platter during an off election year, and that is not good for Republicans.
The Democrats couldn’t have written a better set up for 2014 if they’d tried. It’s almost as if a trap had been set for Republicans, knowing that they would be unwilling to take positive action for the economy and the people.
The President finished by explaining that positive action needs to be taken, “As Americans, that’s what we should expect. And after everything you’ve done to recover and rebuild from crisis these past five years – after all your hard work and sacrifice – that’s what you deserve.”
In other words, you deserve a Congress that will actually do things for you like pass a jobs bill and stop punishing the unemployed for the actions of irresponsible bankers and a failed Republican ideology that allowed unregulated institutions to overextend. Since House Republicans have proven that they won’t do their jobs without being prodded, Obama is going to use the bully pulpit to galvanize the people into action.
Republicans can continue obstructing jobs, but it’s an election year and Obama’s going to make a stink about it. See, he doesn’t have to run for office again, but they do.
Something got under Barack Obama’s skin, and it was probably the utter gall of Republicans refusing to renew UI benefits just because he is President — operating a bit like Chris Christie’s office, hurting the people in order to service their petty agenda.
I suspect the Republicans are going to regret pushing Obama into campaign mode in an election year. He’s poised for a fight, and this fight is the one he’s always wanted to have. It’s also a fight the people, even in Boehner’s district, just so happen to agree with Democrats on. Republicans can play their obstruction games, but they will pay for it.