Speaker Boehner is disappointed in President Obama.
Interviewed by Major Garrett of National Journal on the second day of the Washington Ideas Forum, Boehner said he hoped someone would ask Obama at his news conference Thursday, "Mr. President, why have you given up on the country and decided to campaign full time?"
"Nothing has disappointed me more than what has happened in the last five weeks," Boehner returned to this point later in the interview. "To watch the president of the United States give up on governing, give up on leading and just spend time campaigning."
"We're legislating. He's campaigning. It's very disappointing," he said.
And while Boehner is surely speaking from his heart, Steve Benen seems totally lacking in compassion and instead suggests that Boehner might need to learn a thing or two about what the word "legislating" means.
But after watching congressional Republicans closely this year, several words come to mind — most aren’t appropriate for publication — and “legislating” certainly isn’t one of them...
Boehner’s tenure has been a nine-month-long fiasco. Thanks to his style of “legislating,” this Congress has passed no meaningful pieces of legislation, and won’t improve on this record before 2013. Public support for the institution has reached depths unseen since the dawn of modern polling.
If Boehner wants to explain his failures, fine. If he wants to apologize for them, great. But to blame the White House for trying to rally the public behind credible solutions, and pretend that he and his caucus are making a good-faith effort to govern, is insane.
Now, now Steve. That's a little harsh, don't you think? After all, the Republicans have just announced that they're going to do some legislatin' next week.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the House would consider H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act, on Thursday. The bill, offered by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) so that federal funds would be prohibited from being used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage for abortion services.
That's a significant change from current law, which prohibits federal funding for abortions but otherwise allows federal funds to cover costs of healthcare plans that are unrelated to abortions.
I'm sure they're really confident that, if asked, American voters would tell them that restricting women's access to health care is MUCH more important than an economy that is struggling and a few people out of work. And so they have priorities to maintain, dammit!
Meanwhile, John Dickerson over at Slate agrees. Its just too bad that President Obama looks to be waging an "ugly" campaign.
He still talks about a promising future, but he brings in the dark clouds for the more powerful appeal: America is under threat.
The most notable use of this idea was born in his critique of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget. He said it would lead to a “fundamentally different America.” Now the charge shows up more frequently. In the fights over his jobs package, he says the GOP threatens the "quintessentially American idea" that everyone should pay his fair share. When Republican candidates failed to condemn the booing of a gay soldier at a recent presidential debate, he used the occasion to remind Americans that “we don’t believe in a small America." Speaking to a joint session of Congress recently, he said the Republican vision is “not the story of America.”
Of course President Obama should be aware that ending Medicare as we know it and booing active duty soldiers is the very definition of patriotism. What is he thinking?
Just because Republicans have generally supported the idea that the President is a Kenyan socialist out to destroy the country is no reason to suggest that they "believe in a small America." After all, just the other day some of them were providing the helpful advice that those who are unemployed should re-think who is responsible for that. How kind of them to be so compassionate. Perhaps President Obama could learn a thing or two from that kind of empathy.
Finally, of course the media is on this story too. Ben Feller (AP) asked a really important question right off the bat in the President's news conference yesterday.
[O]n your jobs bill, the American people are sick of games — and you mentioned games in your comments. They want results. Wouldn’t it be more productive to work with Republicans on a plan that you know could pass Congress as opposed to going around the country talking about your bill and singling out — calling out Republicans by name?
I mean really...haven't the Republicans demonstrated over and over again that they're willing to work with the President on solving the major problems we're facing? What more do they have to do to make that clear? It's high time he reached out a hand and gave bipartisanship a try.
So Obama, lets get back to more of that "hope and change" stuff, OK? And quit being so mean to Republicans. We're just really sure that this time, they'll return the favor.