Let’s think back a bit. What bills were passed “right away”? That would be the stimulus, which was negotiated behind closed doors with no Republican input. That didn’t exactly work out well. The Obamacare bill was a cram down. That is the largest drag on hiring ever created.
Isn’t it amazing that when the Democrats had all of the power, the White House and huge majorities in Congress, they crammed down these bills, passed them “right away”, even before people had read them (hell, we still don’t know what’s in Obamacare or Dodd Frank because they both contain blanks to be filled in by unelected bureaucrats) and the President and his progressive supporters haven’t figured out that the people didn’t really care for that? We didn’t even like it before we realized how bad the legislation was, and we were downright angry after finding out how bad and expensive–how downright destructive–the legislation actually was.
And there was no “bipartisanship” in the “negotiations”. There was “I won.” Literally. Republicans were told to shut up. Democrats and Obama could do whatever they wanted because they’d been victorious and they didn’t want or need input from the losing side. They were busy passing legislation right away… Cramming their policies down the public’s throat.
Then, stunning the President, and really upsetting Nancy Pelosi, a funny thing happened in 2010. They suffered resounding defeat by a population that was not happy about massive legislation passed right away, before it could be read and vetted. One chamber of Congress belonged to the Republicans. Suddenly we heard a different tune than “we won” and it sounded like “bipartisanship and negotiation.” These are code words to Democrats, meaning: “You Republicans can say whatever you want, but at the end of the day we need our government expanding legislation passed somehow. We’ll give you a token to satisfy your base, but you must violate your principles. Principles are silly anyway. Things always work out because we have good intentions.”
Now we have been treated to the spectacle of a failing President standing up in a joint session of Congress presenting a plan containing nothing but things that have already failed at least once historically, and most of which have failed at least once during his own term, and he’s back to telling Congress that it must pass the legislation “right away.” We’re in crisis, you see. No time for negotiation on this one. In fact, he’s made clear that it’s all or nothing. Pass it all, right away, or suffer Obama demagoguery from now until the election.
Obama is depending on the stupidity of the American people. He wants us to somehow believe that doing more of what didn’t work before will somehow work, and that if Republicans stop the attempt, it’s their fault that the economy isn’t recovering. If they only passed the bill right away, unemployment would be down and the recovery would be happening at a faster pace. He loves negotiation… except not now. This has to happen right away.
So here’s the plan: Obama knows that his plan won’t work. (Alternatively, he’s so economically illiterate and has surrounded himself with people so far removed from the real world of economics, that he thinks it will work despite all evidence to the contrary. That’s an even sadder scenario. I’d rather believe he’s clever rather than stupid.) But, he can use resistance to it to energize his union base, because the only jobs in his jobs program are for union workers (private and public sector). He can also demagogue it during the campaign: “I gave the solution, but the Republicans resisted. If they hadn’t stopped the American Jobs Act, our economy would be great right now.” If they do manage to pass it and it doesn’t work, at least he’s given one final big payoff to his union buddies, who might be able to get him re-elected somehow.
This entire thing is a political ploy. The speech in the House Chamber was a campaign speech, pure and simple. It was even delivered like a campaign speech, with the repetition of “right away.” He’s using a proposal that will not work to create jobs and that will cost another half a trillion dollars as a set-up for his re-election bid. Gone is negotiation. Gone is bipartisanship. Still missing in action is the transparency that he promised so often and has not ever delivered (actually, he’s delivered the most opaque administration in living memory). But, back is the need to spend massive quantities of money on slim promises of “it’s paid for” and to do it “right away.”
The problem Obama has is, we’ve already suffered through enough Obama and Democrat cram downs to know that we can’t let them do it again. The “right away” mantra sounds more like “I’m gonna screw you again” to the ears of all Republicans and most Americans. Five days after the speech, despite Obama out speechifying again and repeating “right away” multiple times per speech, how seriously does it seem that serious people are taking his proposed legislation? Doesn’t it seem like a joke that landed flat?