Diary

Is Obama's push to "pass this bill" pure political theater? Dems answer: "Yes!"

With profound thanks to my blogger-in-chief, B. Daniel Blatt at GayPatriot…

Was thinking in recent days about the president’s latest jobs bill and wondering if he really believes, given the current make-up of Congress, it is possible to “pass this bill.”

Seems he knows the Republican House will reject that big-spending bill, so he’s just promoting the legislation as means to demagogue this issue. In today’s CampaignSpot, Jim Geraghty provides some evidence to buttress this theory:

White House press secretary Jay Carney declared, “The president is campaigning for jobs.” But instead of heading to states where there are persuadable senators, he’s heading to 2012 swing states.

As NBC News correspondent Norah O’Donnell noticed, Obama somehow feels the need to hold events to promote this legislation — again, the legislation, not his reelection bid — only in states that are considered in play in the 2012 presidential election.

UPDATE (from Eric): According to Illinois Senator Dick (US troops are Pol Pot, and others) Durbin, the Democrats will get to this incredibly important, “Pass This Jobs Bill Now” bill sometime next month:

But Obama did want to show how really urgent he said the situation was, even though it had taken him 961 days as president to say them. And even though from Day #1 of the brief Obama Era polls had shown jobs and the economy were the No. 1 priority among voters but he pursued healthcare and financial reforms first. And even though unemployment had been at or above 9% for 26 of the last 28 months.

So, given the president’s professed urgency, the next day, Sept. 9, everyone asked where was his jobs legislation?

And, well, it seems the urgent jobs bill hadn’t actually been written yet but should be ready in a week or two. When the laughter died, the White House said on second thought the legislation would be ready for a photo op the next Monday.

Well, here we are on the next Monday after that next Monday and we’ve just learned from the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin, that actually it seems that body won’t really be seriously getting into the legislation for a while yet. The Senate has some other more important business to handle. And then there’s this month’s congressional vacation, which in Washington is called “a recess,” like elementary school.

Here’s the revealing exchange with a persistent host Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union:”

CROWLEY: When is the bill going to get on the floor?

DURBIN: The bill is on the calendar. Majority leader Reid moved it to the calendar. It is ready and poised. There are a couple other items we may get into this week not on the bill and some related issues that may create jobs. But we’re going to move forward on the president’s bill. There will be a healthy debate. I hope the Republicans will come to…

CROWLEY: After the recess, so next month? Or when will it actually begin to act on?

DURBIN: I think that’s more realistic it would be next month.

So, as of right now, “right now” uttered on Sept. 8 really means sometime at least one month later.

Good thing the president’s own Democratic party controls the Senate. Because, otherwise, there might be some kind of silly, unnecessary delays in deliberating Obama’s urgent jobs bill that he says will surely help the nation’s unemployed millions if only those Republicans don’t connive to slow things down.

As an Illinois constituent of Senator Durbin’s, I called his DC office and asked just when this “Pass This Jobs Bill Now” jobs bill would, indeed, be passed. A very nice young man named “Anthony” informed me that it would be passed just as soon as it was introduced. When asked when that might be, he confirmed the Senator’s estimation of, “sometime next month.”

This has gone beyond the realm of political theater, and has become “cirque du freak.”

h/t: [email protected]