WOW, what a relief.Oh my gosh... Maureen Dowd thinks the politicians may be faking it.
The president was strong and House Republicans were conciliatory.
There was only one teensy-weensy problem: The president is weak and House Republicans are obstructionist.
Congressional Republicans, heeding polls indicating that their all-out assault on President Obama was risky, finally tempered their public comments after the jobs speech on Thursday and stopped acting like big jerks.
Obama, heeding plummeting polls and beseeching voices from his despairing base, finally deigned to get tough.
In the capital of political tactics, it was just another fine day of faking it.
I feel Obama really does have fire in his belly. He really feels the need to get jobs for the unemployed. Why else would have have waited for over two years to finally get up and give "the big speech"? Why would he have waited for the summer recess before getting around to giving his impassioned cry? Why would he have decided that he could cool his heels for 24 hours while Republican presidential candidates had a love fest in California? He knows this is an urgent issue with 25 million unemployed and underemployed waiting for action. So he's planned his moment.
Oh... and he's decided to respond with big numbers and big action. There's a $10 trillion hole. So Obama has given it his all and decided to call on Congress to belly up with $450 billion. Yep... that's 4.5% of the missing spending in the economy. That should fill that hole nicely. Oh... and rather than just go out and hire people. Obama has decided those darn Republicans did such a bang-up good job of managing the economy over the last 30 years and left the bottom 90% with so much loose cash and happy times, that he has decided to continue with the "most of this stimulus will be tax reductions for business" because we all know that "trickle down" economics is really, really effective.
Since Obama has now officially "caught fire" in a jobs, jobs, jobs push. He has decided he can best show off his leadership style with his renowned "lead from behind" so he put this challenge to the populace:
A re-energized Obama urged students at the University of Richmond to lobby lawmakers: “I want you to call, I want you to e-mail, I want you to tweet, I want you to fax, I want you to visit, I want you to Facebook, send a carrier pigeon.”Right. Why send a man to do a man's job when you can send some fresh-faced youth out to fight your fight? That's shows the leadership savvy of Obama. He knows that a general always leads from behind.
Yep... this is the bold brassy Obama, the promised one:
As always, the same questions persist in our long, fruitless effort to pierce the Obama opacity. How long can the president sustain the sizzle before the fizzle? Does he get it together when the country’s in trouble or when he’s in trouble?Yeah... there's nothing quite as inspiring as a "leader" who only shows up with his fight face on when his job is at stake. It shows his deep "commitment" to the American people.
Certainly, Obama cares that Americans are in pain. Yet he has been unable to move away from his academic disdain for hardball and his alpha addiction to buzzer-beating wins.
So while the country has grown ever more scared, miserable, broke and broken, the president has too often been absent, quiet, ambivalent, impenetrable and inscrutable.
The master of his own narrative in print let the Republicans define the narrative in politics. And Obama likes to come in late, after the other players have staked out positions. It’s a strangely risk-averse tact, given the fact that he took two of the boldest risks in history — jumping into the presidential race in the first place and giving the kill order on Bin Laden on sketchy intelligence.
But when his polls plummeted, the Sleeping Beauty President roused himself to transform back into a semblance of the 2008 electrifying phenomenon.
He always must be chided and cajoled before he gets re-engaged.
Each time Obama goes through a period of lying doggo, his opponents — from Hillary in the primaries to the Tea Party in the summer of 2009 to the House Republicans during the debt-ceiling debacle — get an infusion of oxygen.
The reawakened Republicans are no longer the loyal opposition. They’re revolutionary Bolsheviks who want to eat Obama alive.
When the president stays insulated with his little circle that doesn’t know how to push his messages, and he lets the nihilist Republicans go unchallenged in their crazy claims to be saving the country they’re hurting, he sets the stage for Rick Perry.
It’s still impossible to sum up what Obama’s presidency is about right now, except saving his own job.