Amidst the meta war going on here, I thought I'd add my two cents, for whatever they're worth. Today, President Obama went on the offensive, attacking Republicans for once again, obstructing a bill that would help ordinary Americans--small business owners in this instance--by increasing small loans.
That's what we want to see, Mr. President. Tell the American people what specific Republican tactics are ruining their lives.
More after the flip.
President Obama's press conference:
For those who don't get video:
President Obama went on the offensive Friday on the politically critical issue of job creation, promising to lay out a broad package of ideas next week and slamming Senate Republicans for blocking passage of his administration's small business aid legislation.
Obama renewed his call for the languishing bill in the wake of Friday's release of new unemployment figures. The jobless rate, according to the Labor Department, rose from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent in August.
The economy lost a total of 54,000 jobs last month. Most of the losses, however, came from the public sector as the government cut 114,000 temporary census workers. Private businesses added 67,000 jobs to their payrolls.
August was the eighth straight month that businesses added jobs, following nearly two straight years of job losses. So far this year businesses have added 763,000 workers to payrolls....
Senate Republicans, he said, were responsible for a "needless delay" in the passage of legislation designed to increase bank loans to small businesses. Specifically, the measure would set up a $30 billion lending fund to help community banks offer small businesses credit. It also would provide tax breaks to small businesses that invest in new equipment and hire unemployed workers.
The House of Representatives passed a similar bill in June. Republican opposition has focused, among other things, on the cost of the measure.
Republicans lashed back at the president, blaming him for what most observers still characterize as a weak recovery
Whether you belive President Obama has been doing an overall good job or not, I think most of us would agree that when it comes to Republican obstructionism, our President has not laid out clearly to the American public the degree to which partisan politiking has killed perhaps hundreds of thousands of jobs and now a bill to help exactly who Republicans say they support: small business owners. It's time for the President to up the ante, like he did today. Hold a press conference every time a bill like this is obstructed and point the finger squarely at the people responsible for killing it. Enlist the Democratic representative/Senatorial troops (Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, Keith Ellison, I'm talking to you) and get them on the teevee to inform the public of Republican partisanship--speak clearly about specific bills that were introduced and summarily killed.
Our populace has no idea the degree of partisanship that exists in D.C. right now. It's time they were told in plain language, with examples, on a regular basis. The reason the Republican machine is winning in the polls is because they are, simply put, lying. So, call them out on the lies. One by one. It's not enough to say, "Gosh, we're trying to be bipartisan, but Repubicans just won't budge." Call them out like today, on every single bill they obstruct that would help our economy or other important causes.
Now, some of you may reflexively say I'm "bashing" the President by saying he isn't fighting hard enough. During the campaign, the President repeatedly told us to keep him accountable; to hold his feet to the fire, andasked liberals to keep fighting for our ideals. Peter Dau said it beautifully, what I believe is our responsibility to vocally, loudly, and constantly tell the President what we expect him to do, since we elected him on a platform that he continuously repeated: no unnecessary wars, a strong middle class, the return to justice in our military court and legal system with regard to terrorism suspects, gay-lesbian rights, civil rights, health care, and so on.
On the day he took office, I switched from campaign cheering mode to fulfilling Obama's request that we "hold him accountable." I take those words and that duty seriously. It's my job as a citizen. Since 2008, I've used the written word to tug at the administration from the left.
I truly respect and admire Obama. I've worked in past campaigns with a number of his staffers. I know they are good and decent people trying to improve their country and working tirelessly under extreme stress. There's no denying that they've racked up an impressive list of accomplishments and they deserve credit for it. But that doesn't mean I should set aside the things I've fought for my entire adult life. It doesn't mean I should stay silent if I think the White House could do a better job promoting a progressive vision. And it doesn't mean I should stand aside if I think mistakes are being made. Sure, I'm just one individual with an opinion, but why the fierce urgency of defending Obama whenever I express it?
It's OUR JOB as citizens to vociferously demand what we elected our President to do. To sit back and just trust an elected official, any elected official, is not what a represntative democracy is designed to do. The President is propelled by Congress, which is propelled by us. If we are not aggressive in what we want and need from our elected officials we are pawns in our own lives, and in our futures.
So, I, as a Democrat and US citizen, ask--no, demand--that our Democratic elected officials get off their asses and start telling Americans what is really happening. And, I demand that the President live up to his promises. Because that's why worked countless hours to get them into office, and why I voted for them.