President Obama has always excelled at the high-minded zinger when at long last he is fed up with something.
While speaking at the National Governors Association Dinner, President Obama joked that he was going to give “an indisputably qualified set of remarks,” and “I trust that you’ll give them a fair hearing.” The audience appreciated the totally not veiled message with laughter and applause.
Watch the video here (start at 33 minutes):
The President followed this clear dig at Senate Republicans — who are thus far refusing to do their jobs — by reminding everyone of LBJ’s quote, “A government by checks and balances will work only when people are willing to cooperate and work together for the common good.”
The President spoke of lofty ideals in politics and how it’s not naïve to believe that politics can be a noble endeavor when it better reflects our people:
So while people sometimes may wonder why I have been spending some time talking about a better politics, it’s not because I’m naïve. It’s because, in fact, I’m giving voice to the experiences that all of us have, what makes public service so worthwhile even with all the tough stuff and scrutiny that goes with it. It’s what we’ve seen in coffee shops and high school gyms, and town hall meetings and backyard picnics. I think you, like I, believe that politics can be a noble endeavor, and that a politics that better reflects our people is not only possible, but it couldn’t be more important.
A government that respects checks and balances can only work when people are WILLING TO COOPERATE FOR THE COMMON GOOD, the President reminded everyone, in what could also be a flashing neon light to Senate Republicans that they are not only destroying our checks and balances with their refusal to confirm or even hold a hearing on an Obama SCOTUS nominee, but they are not working for the common good when they put party politics ahead of doing their jobs:
LBJ told a group of governors who’d gathered just three days after we lost President Kennedy, “A government by checks and balances will work only when people are willing to cooperate and work together for the common good.” I believe that. And I know that so many of you believe that as well.
Then this President, whose calm demeanor and even temperament have made the Obama Anger Translator a running joke, toasted to those who are willing to cooperate and work together for the common good.
“So tonight, I’d like to propose a toast to our nation’s governors, to their loved ones that put up with them — (laughter) — and to all those willing to cooperate and work together for the common good.”
Touché, Mr. President.
I don’t think we need the Obama Anger Translator for this one. Nothing irritates the President more than when Republican obstruction of him ends up harming the American people. President Obama is not impressed with Senate Republicans who can’t even put on a pretend show of cooperation for the greater good.