We’re finally starting to get some bullying from the bully pulpit about jobs. It’s the first Obama speech in a long time that had me hollering words of praise at the TV. By the time he said “pass this bill” for the tenth time in five minutes, I was hooked. In fact, I wondered, as the evening wore on, whether or not someone on his staff had read my piece from last month, the one titled President Obama Needs Chief Synonym Selector.
There were no big words last night during the president’s address to the nation about his jobs plan. No long run on sentences of the variety that make an English professor’s toes curl in literary delight, just the sound of ding ding ding as President Obama hit his rhetorical targets over and over again, the way I always knew he could, with simple, unambiguous language that allowed even a fifth grader to understand exactly what he wanted.
Mark Zandi for Moody’s Analytics, “An Analysis of the Obama Jobs Plan”: “President Obama’s jobs proposal would help stabilize confidence and keep the U.S. from sliding back into recession. The plan would add 2 percentage points to GDP growth next year, add 1.9 million jobs, and cut the unemployment rate by a percentage point. The plan would cost about $450 billion, about $250 billion in tax cuts and $200 billion in spending increases.
The president is trying to sell America on a plan his political party does not have the legislative muscle to pass in its entirety. At the same time, he is trying to round up a big enough posse in the House and the Senate to actually pass some version of the American Jobs Act. The question is, now that President Obama has shown the GOP that he is willing to go big with many of their own ideas, will the GOP man up or go home?
The president is very likely to lose the battle and yet win the war if he sticks to Norman Rockwell imagery, continues to frame every vote as an “either you’re with the people or against the people” choice, and Congressional Republicans continue opposing the interests of their own flesh and blood constituents in their efforts to thwart an Obama administration initiative. In a lot of ways, it’s the opposition our nation’s chief executive officer faces that shapes them into the kind of president they finally grow into while in the White House.