President Obama has accepted House Speaker John Boehner’s offer to move the President’s address before a joint session of Congress to next Thursday, September 8. Obama had originally asked for September 7… at the exact same time the Republican presidential candidates will be holding a major debate at the Reagan Library.
While the Administration’s secondary arrogance dispenser, White House spokesman Jay Carney, initially declared “it would be fine with us” if the “network so chose and the candidates so chose” to reschedule their stupid little GOP debate, which has been planned for months, he was singing a slightly different tune last night. From a Fox News report:
“Today, the President asked to address the Congress about the need for urgent action on the economic situation facing the American people as soon as Congress returned from recess,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
“Both Houses will be back in session after their August recess on Wednesday, September 7th, so that was the date that was requested. We consulted with the Speaker about that date before the letter was released, but he determined Thursday would work better,” he said.
“The President is focused on the urgent need to create jobs and grow our economy, so he welcomes the opportunity to address a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 8th and challenge our nation’s leaders to start focusing 100% of their attention on doing whatever they can to help the American people,” he said.
That’s right, Congress! You guys need to knock off all those multi-million dollar vacations in Martha’s Vineyard and get your heads in the game!
Contrary to Carney’s statement, House Speaker John Boehner says he was not consulted about the date in advance:
Boehner’s spokesman added in a statement that the White House had also ignored protocol by not first requesting a date from the speaker’s office.
“It’s unfortunate the White House ignored decades — if not centuries — of the protocol of working out a mutually agreeable date and time before making any public announcement,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said.
Besides the long Obama track record of lies, there are logical reasons to believe Boehner is the one telling the truth in this case:
Since the House does not come into session until Sept. 7, with votes scheduled that evening, Boehner had expressed concern about the time it would take to conduct the security sweep in time for a presidential speech. He did not mention the debate in his reasoning.
Sources familiar with the conference call also said Boehner explained that a joint session is a difficult procedure to pull off in a short time.
Why was there ever a crisis here? Perhaps Obama thought it would be good theater to jump on Congress the first evening they came back into session… but he used to be a senator, right? He was legendary for his indifferent attendance, but he must have some memory of what the first day back in session after a recess is like. Also, it simply strains credulity that no one in the President’s gigantic staff knew about the Republican debate on September 7.
This is the same speech Obama’s people were downplaying not long ago. After originally declaring the President would give a major “jobs” speech after Labor Day, they began lowering expectations and saying he would merely float a few ideas for Congress to discuss. Now it’s back to being one of The Most Important Speeches Of All Time, delivered before an unusual joint session of Congress.
Of course, Obama has had plenty of time to deliver a big jobs speech brimming with ideas. It’s almost comically transparent that he would be desperately scrambling to make himself seem relevant, while pushing the “reset button” narrative that has run through most of his speeches over the past year. He always speaks as if he just arrived in Washington hours ago, and found a huge mess of mysterious origins, with George W. Bush’s muddy footprints all over the place. In a devastating coincidence, he tried to set up his latest attention grab and history eraser on the same day his showpiece “green jobs” company, Solyndra, went belly-up.
This incident is a political disaster for the President, because it strongly reinforces the voter opinions reflected in his plunging poll numbers: he’s incompetent, but incredibly arrogant. He’s weak, but ravenous for power. He talks about his “priorities” a lot, but he’s all about politics, especially his own re-election. There are many things he really could do right now for job growth: get moving on the trade deals he endlessly complains about, rein in out-of-control job slaughterhouses like the EPA, NLRB, Justice Department, and EEOC… and above all, begin repeal of the ObamaCare disaster by ordering his agencies to stop trying to implement it. The central funding mechanism of his job-smashing health-care scheme, the individual mandate, is dead, and everyone knows it. Forcing America to waste billions and bleed jobs until the Supreme Court can pound a stake through its heart is mindless commitment to a destructive ideology. But instead, we’re going to get another speech filled with Big Government spending, plus assurances it will all work so much better than the last trillion dollars Obama wasted.
Some believe Boehner should have accepted Obama’s initial request, and positioned the GOP presidential candidates to tear him to shreds after his speech. For example, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer said, “I think that the Boehner letter was probably ill-advised because if he had just accepted it, the president would just look small for stepping on the debate. Secondly, I think the Republicans could have easily just moved the debate to 9:00, and then had eight people on the stage to gang up on Obama, essentially the biggest response to a presidential speech ever done.”
That would be a better strategy if we had an impartial media, but of course we don’t. The narrative on Thursday morning would have been “vicious partisan Republicans gang up on well-meaning President only minutes after he offers thoughtful suggestions to improve economic recovery.”
Every quote from a GOP candidate critical of Obama would have been followed with, “… but earlier in the evening, the President had addressed this issue in a speech that [insert name of teabagging Republican extremist theocrat, or Jon Huntsman] clearly did not have time to watch before the GOP debate.” Republican candidates who strongly advocate smaller government would have been accused of trying to short-circuit Obama’s brilliant “stimulus” proposals without giving them a chance to succeed.
At best, the night of the Reagan Library debate would have become “the night both Obama and the Republican candidates offered a number of ideas to improve the economy.” That’s not what September 7 should be. September 8 will now, appropriately, be remembered as the night Obama gave a meaningless political speech while America watched the first game of the NFL season. Maybe someone in Congress can make a little news by asking Obama how we can recover the $535 million he forced American taxpayers to pour into the Solyndra rat hole, with the assistance of very well-connected “green” lobbyists.