President Obama has been going around the country flogging his “American Jobs Act” with one single talking-point: “Pass this bill!” During the past week alone, in public speeches Obama has said "pass this bill" or some variant of it 90 times (see video).
Before cheering crowds—particularly selected on the basis of enthusiasm—the president stresses the rhetoric of repetition: "Pass this bill. If you want construction workers on the worksite, pass this bill. If you want teachers in the classroom, pass this bill. You want small business owners to hire new people, pass this bill. If you want veterans to get their fair share of opportunity that they helped create, pass this bill. If you want a tax break, pass this bill."
Obama: “Pass this bill!”
Many political observers have looked upon the 199-page American Jobs Act as something of an election campaign bluff. The president knows that the bill has absolutely no chance of passing the Republican-dominated House of Representatives, and support for the measure in the Democrat-controlled Senate is meager at best. Despite the bipartisan unpalatability of the AJA, Obama can use it as a campaign issue by blaming Republican intransigence for its failure.
Well, today on the floor of the United States Senate, Kentucky’s senior senator, Mitch McConnell, called Obama’s bluff. Lifting a copy of the AJA in his hand, the Republican Minority Leader offered to introduce the proposal and call for a vote:
Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid immediately blocked McConnell’s attempt to introduce President Obama’s jobs proposal. Reid said he would bring up the jobs bill later this month — promising a vote in October. "Right away is a relative term," he said.
It was President Abraham Lincoln (a Republican, if memory serves) who once suggested the difficulty involved with fooling all of the people all of the time. President Obama obviously believes that he can blame the failure of his flawed American Jobs Act on Republican refusal to allow a vote on the bill. Today, that plan became inoperative, thanks to Sen. McConnell.
Stay tuned for Obama’s next slight-of-hand…
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