Obama Attacks Republicans For Partisanship
Barack Obama has had quite enough of Republicans refusing to be bipartisan by giving him what he wants without a fuss.
A fired-up Barack Obama ditched his TelePrompter to rally House Democrats and rip Republican opponents of his recovery package Thursday night — at one point openly mocking the GOP for failing to follow through on promises of bipartisanship.
In what was the most pointedly partisan speech of his young presidency, Obama rejected Republican arguments that massive spending in the $819 billion stimulus bill that passed the House should be replaced by a new round of massive tax cuts.
“I welcome this debate, but we are not going to get relief by turning back to the same policies that for the last eight years doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin,” said President Obama — sounding more like Candidate Obama than at any time since he took the oath of office less than a month ago.
Obama, speaking to about 200 House Democrats at their annual retreat at the Kingsmill Resort and Spa, dismissed Republican attacks against the massive spending in the stimulus.
“What do you think a stimulus is?” Obama asked incredulously. “It’s spending — that’s the whole point! Seriously.”
Seriously, Obama’s better when he’s pretending to be non-partisan rather than spouting campaign trail nonsense.
He’s got the whip hand here. He’s popular. Democrats have solid majorities in the House and Senate. But let’s not pretend that anyone has a clue what spending $819 billion is going to do in terms of stimulus. And one either welcomes a debate or one doesn’t; rejecting the very premise of the other side’s claim outright without explanation ain’t a debate.
Beyond that, it’s frankly absurd to claim that the Bush policies “threw our economy into a tailspin.” The world economy is undergoing a massive shakeup. The United States is in better shape than just about any other major country. Bush wasn’t running Japan, for instance, which is in free fall. Or, for that matter, Germany or France, both run by leftist parties until recently.
And how does one decry doubling the national debt whilst simultaneously arguing for economic stimulus which, as I understand it, is spending. Indeed, that’s the whole point! Seriously.
John Cole, decidedly more sympathetic to the president’s aims here than me, offers some good advice:
It would be nice if the Democrats would sell this bill and explain why it is good, rather than Obama just coming out and warning about catastrophe every now and then. I dealt with eight years of fear-mongering about terrorism, I don’t need it regarding the economy. I recognize our economy is a disaster, and I will support the bill heartily if you give me a reason and make your case. They simply haven’t done that, and part of my ambivalence is I am tired of doing stupid things just to be “doing something.”
Explain why this is a good bill. I double dog dare you. And if you can’t or won’t, explain why I shouldn’t be siding with the GOP in opposition, despite how crazy they are.
Or, of course, he can continue down the current road, where public support for the stimulus is plummeting.