There is an old adage that there are two sides to a story, and it is understood that, usually, there is some truth to both of them. Where our 114th Congress is concerned, the truth is all on one side.
Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi tweeted about John Boehner’s goals for the day:
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) February 3, 2015
Of course, this isn’t what Speaker of the House John Boehner was pushing publicly. He is still pretending he is all about creating jobs for the middle class! And combating the president’s “overreach on immigration.” Overreach. As in issuing a perfect legal executive order. In other words, doing his job.
You know, because Congress – particularly the House – can’t or won’t do theirs.
Boehner’s weekly press conference told the lie:
Boehner said, “This week, the House will take up three more jobs bills to help our economy. At the same time, the president provided the American people a good laugh yesterday – he sent up his budget. More taxes, more spending, bigger government here in Washington – the same old policies that have failed for the last six years. It’s not what the American people want.”
How about that vote to repeal Obamacare? You mean you are not going to tell the American people that you are on futile attempt?
And what, precisely, are those “same old (failed) policies”? The economy has recovered, the deficit has been cut by two-thirds, and unemployment is dropping. Obama’s popularity is surging. Where are the failures of which Boehner speaks?
The Republicans did manage to pass a bill (H.R. 596) that would take healthcare away from 19 million Americans when they voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act 239-186. It is hard to see that as an accomplishment, however, unless you are a fascist.
The GOP did not create any jobs yesterday. Nary a one. Nor did they accomplish any other positive action that would benefit either the middle class specifically or America in general. Their action and inaction is instead a relentless march backward to some actual failed policies, those of Obama’s predecessor in the White House, the guy who tanked the economy in 2008. A Republican.
What would put Americans back to work – infrastructure funding for example – is, to Boehner, something to laugh at. He’d prefer the 35 jobs created by the Keystone XL pipeline because that sort of legislation puts money in his pocket to pay for his fancy retirement home in Florida. Maybe he plans a big dyke around it to keep out the rising sea levels.
Though no longer viewable online, these were Boehner’s February 2 remarks on Obama’s budget:
Today President Obama laid out a plan for more taxes, more spending, and more of the Washington gridlock that has failed middle-class families. It may be Groundhog Day, but the American people can’t afford a repeat of the same old top-down policies of the past.
Like the president’s previous budgets, this plan never balances – ever. It contains no solutions to address the drivers of our debt, and no plan to fix our entire tax code to help foster growth and create jobs. Worse yet, President Obama would impose new taxes and more spending without a responsible plan to honestly address the big challenges facing our country.
While the president budget’s is about the past, our budget will be about the future. We will address our government’s spending problem and protect our national security. Our budget will balance, and it will help promote job creation and higher wages, not more government bureaucracy.
A lot of hot air here, but little of substance. It is amusing that Obama’s bottom-up strategy for economic recovery is called “top-down” when the GOP’s “trickle down” policies somehow are not. We can laugh about that while we are scrounging in garbage cans for food.
Boehner concluded yesterday before going into battle:
“Tonight, the Senate’s going to vote on our plan to fund the Department of Homeland Security and block the president’s unilateral actions on immigration. There’s a whole host of Democrats who issued press releases criticizing the president’s executive overreach – McCaskill, Donnelly, others. Was it all talk?
Of course, Boehner failed to undo Obama’s alleged overreach, with the Democrats blocking the measure on a 51-48 vote. Yet another in a long line of failures for Boehner. Immigrants are people too, and thanks to the Democrats, they will remain people.
“We won this fight in the House, now the fight must be won in the United States Senate. It’s time for Senator Cruz, Senator Sessions, Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats to stand with the American people and to block the president’s actions.”
Say what? It’s not clear what, precisely, Boehner thinks he has won in the House, because nothing jumps to mind. The story, rather, is one of unremitting failure thanks to Tea Party extremism. Don’t judge the health of Tea Party ideology by Sarah Palin’s popularity, folks.
And don’t you love it when a guy who can’t control his own caucus tells his Senate colleagues to do their jobs? Of course, Bernie Sanders has already destroyed the Republican job creator myth, and Republican governors are busily waging war on the middle class by robbing pensions and slashing wages.
Speaking of jobs…where are those jobs Boehner is always promising to create? I mean, besides the 35 jobs the Keystone XL pipeline would give us?
The GOP, led by John Boehner, is attempting to fool the American people into thinking they care. But they don’t. Talking about creating jobs does not create jobs. And Americans are tired of empty words from our Congress.
The fact that Obama’s approval rating is at a 20-month high ought to tell Republicans that maybe, just maybe, Obama is leading America in the direction it wants to go. It ought to be be a warning to Boehner and his fellow House Republicans that not only are they butting their heads against a wall, but they’re probably fooling far fewer people than they think.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.