Listen up Mr. President. I got some free advice for you. If you like having a Democratic majority in Washington and want to keep it, let me tell you something that is a simple truth: when Republicans aren’t being evil they’re just being mean. There’s two types of people in this country: those without a job and trying to find one and those with a job and trying to keep it. The former are desperate and the latter are nervous.
But you wouldn’t know that to hear the G.O.P. tell it. They look at their employment prospects and see only but blue skies ahead. Yours? Not so much.
Republicans don’t give a damn about people who work. It stands to reason they would give less than a damn about people who aren’t working. The more unemployment stays high and people stay scared, the better it is for them. With the Democrats in power it affords them the luxury to shrug and say, “Hey, don’t blame us. Blame those worthless, big-spending Democrats you don’t have a job.” And of course the Republicans aren’t remotely interested in doing a damn thing about it. Hell, if anything high unemployment numbers are a reason for them to celebrate. If the fact that they keep blocking an extension of unemployment benefits for the over 2 million Americans that are out of a job, their own words drive it home:
You can make more money on unemployment then you can going down and getting one of those jobs that is an honest job, but it doesn’t pay as much. And so that’s what’s happened to us is that we have put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have spoiled our citizenry and said “you don’t want the jobs that are available”
~ Sharon Angle, Nevada Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate
“This amendment is a way to help people get off drugs to become productive and healthy members of society, while ensuring that valuable taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted. Too many Americans are locked into a life of dangerous dependency not only on drugs, but the federal assistance that serves to enable their addiction.”
~ Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on an amendment he introduced that would require applicants for unemployment would have to be drug tested before receiving assistance.
Because they don’t care about you. It’s not that Democrats care more, it’s that Republicans don’t seem to care at all. They don’t care if you have no job. They don’t care if your lights are about to be shut off, you have no food for your kids, no gas in your car or that everyone can’t work at McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. People like you don’t matter to people like them. They don’t count. All they need to do is believe. Believe the Blacks took their jobs because they were affirmative action hires. Believe that the Mexicans are pouring across the border to take whatever jobs are left when they aren’t decapitating gringos. Believe that the faggots and dykes are trying to destroy traditional marriage and that the Jews are controlling everything we see on television, hear on the radio and read in the newspapers. Believe that the liberals hate freedom and wipe their asses with the flag. Believe that Obama wasn’t born here and is going to give the country away to the Muslims and San Francisco chardonnay slurping elites. Believe that Al Qaeda and Islamic extremists are coming to kill you as you sleep.
Believe in the Father Rupert Murdoch, the Son Glenn Beck and the Holy Ghost Rush Limbaugh. Believe only Fox News tells the truth and everyone else lies.
Job creating should be THE priority for President Obama and the Democrats. Not the war in Afghanistan. Not the oil spill in the Gulf. Not even the delicate state of the economy. This is the issue for the president. But while jobs are being created, people still need help. Unemployment benefits need to extended.
Obama may lose his majority in the House or the Senate. Possibly both. He will deserve to if he stands by being stoic and pensive and detached. I admire Obama’s cool, but he shouldn’t allow himself to seem cold.
Black unemployment is horrible. It is still hovering at nearly 16 percent, but that’s just the number for those still looking for work. The New York Times reports the nation’s private sector added only 83,000 jobs, but shed 125, 000 with the losses compounded by the Census Bureau shedding temporary workers (like my son).
As the November elections grow closer, the president is starting to beat the drum that the G.O.P. is an obstacle, not an asset to millions of out of work Americans.
“I just want everyone to remember — we’ve tried the other side’s theories,” he said at a town-hall-style meeting. “We know what their ideas are. We know where they led us. So now we’ve got a choice: We can return to what we know did not work, or we can build a stronger future. We can go backwards or we can go forward. And I don’t know about you, but I want to move forward in this country.”
A New York Times editorial sounded the alarm that the situation is dire and not getting appreciably better.
Federal unemployment benefits began to expire nearly a month ago. Since then, 1.2 million jobless workers have been cut off. The House passed a six-month extension as part of a broader spending bill in May, but the Senate, despite three attempts, has not been able to pass a similar bill. The majority leader, Harry Reid, said he was ready to give up after the third try last week when all of the Senate’s Republicans and a lone Democrat, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, blocked the bill.
Meanwhile, the states face a collective budget hole of some $112 billion, but neither the House nor the Senate has a plan to help. The House stripped a provision for $24 billion in state fiscal aid from its earlier spending bill. The Senate included state aid in its ill-fated bill to extend unemployment benefits; when that bill failed, the promise of aid vanished as well.
As a result, 30 states that had counted on the money to help balance their budgets will be forced to raise taxes even higher and to cut spending even deeper in the budget year that begins on July 1. That will only worsen unemployment, both among government workers and the states’ private contractors. Worsening unemployment means slower growth, or worse, renewed recession.
The situation cries out for policies to support economic growth — specifically jobless benefits and fiscal aid to states. But instead of delivering, Congressional Republicans and many Democrats have been asserting that the nation must act instead to cut the deficit. The debate has little to do with economic reality and everything to do with political posturing. A lot of lawmakers have concluded that the best way to keep their jobs is to pander to the nation’s new populist mood and play off the fears of the very Americans whose economic well-being Congress is threatening.
Obama is smart, doesn’t rattle and doesn’t panic. He knows the ways political winds blow and they can easily turn into a favorable win for his party and his presidency. But his lack of passion and the lack of excitement from his base of support are one and the same. President Bush was criticized for not asking Americans to sacrifice a thing while his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan raged on. Obama is making the same dreadful mistake in not delivering the hope and change he told Americans he would bring about.
Simply put, the president has not led. If he continues to be a passive observer of events, what hope people had that he could do great things for the country will further dissipate and so will his Congressional majorities. Getting anything positive accomplished with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner will be an impossibility.
Bipartisanship is a myth. A paycheck is reality. The Republicans aren’t going to lift a finger to help Obama and the Democrats and why should they? It’s all on you Mr. President. Get busy creating jobs or a lot of your fellow Democrats will lose theirs in 2010 and you might follow suit in 2012.