Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Political sweeps week starting early

According to several news media outlets, President Obama has requested a joint session of Congress to be called on September 7 for the purpose of announcing a new jobs plan.

We have mixed reactions to this news.

As to the fact that the President is purporting to do something about the fact that there are about 14 million Americans out of work: good.

As to the fact that the plan will undoubtedly do little to address the real problems underlying unemployment, while possibly adding to the national debt: bad, but in fairness we'll keep an open mind until we hear the speech.

As to the fact that it will have taken him about 960 days into his presidency to take action on the most pressing domestic issue: pathetic.

As to the fact that the President is looking to make the announcement on the same day as a planned nationally-televised debate between candidates for the Republican nomination to replace him: curious. Objectively, we admit it would be difficult for the President to schedule anything these days without claim that there is at least a tinge of politics to what he's doing. On the other hand, are we seriously supposed to believe this was the only time in four years that the President was available to announce a jobs plan?

As to the opportunity facing Republican candidates in the face of this news: enormous. Basically, President Obama is giving them fodder to use against him in the debate. He's teeing it up perfectly. The candidate best able to make the case against the President and his plan will replace him in January, 2013.

We can't imagine that this news is sitting very well with the people over at NBC (the network hosting the GOP debate) or with Speaker Boehner. Here's hoping that NBC proceeds with the debate as planned, and that Speaker Boehner says a majority of the House is planning to be busy that night listening to other people who may actually have credible ideas to grow jobs (but that the President is, of course, welcome to use the room).

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