Obama gave a powerful speech Wednesday afternoon at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, in which he preached the moral obligation of our legislators to get something done for the people. He also properly pointed out that inequity is not just immoral, it’s also bad economics, “This growing inequality isn’t just morally wrong; it’s bad economics.”
The President laid it out:
When middle-class families have less to spend, businesses have fewer customers. When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy. When the rungs on the ladder of opportunity grow farther apart, it undermines the very essence of this country.
That’s why reversing these trends must be Washington’s highest priority. It’s certainly my highest priority. Unfortunately, over the past couple of years in particular, Washington hasn’t just ignored the problem; too often, it’s made things worse.
The President then called out Republicans for threatening the economy again, “We’ve seen a sizable group of Republican lawmakers suggest they wouldn’t vote to pay the very bills that Congress rang up – a fiasco that harmed a fragile recovery in 2011, and one we can’t afford to repeat.”
Obama went in deeper for the killshot, pointing out that Republicans insisted on the blind, drastic, thoughtless cuts of the sequester, which are harming our economy, “Then, rather than reduce our deficits with a scalpel – by cutting programs we don’t need, fixing ones we do, and making government more efficient – this same group has insisted on leaving in place a meat cleaver called the sequester that has cost jobs, harmed growth, hurt our military, and gutted investments in American education and scientific and medical research that we need to make this country a magnet for good jobs.”
Obama made a moral argument and an economic argument for better policies from lawmakers, and against the Republican threat to hold the economy hostage once again.
This time around, Republicans are demanding that ObamaCare be defunded or the economy gets it. Yes, they are that peevishly immature and selfish. They don’t want Americans to have access to affordable healthcare and they don’t want to stop insurance companies from dropping you when you get sick. They don’t want you to have these things because they were against them, and it would be a “win” for the Democrats if you got them and liked them.
So, even though it is the law of the land and was upheld by the Supreme Court, Republicans refuse to acknowledge it as the law. They’ve become lawless lawmakers– obstructing policy via extortion, sort of like the Mafia. The biggest gun wins, not the best idea.
Clearly Obama is the only adult in the room when he’s talking to House Republicans, who have become such an embarrassment that even Senator John McCain is distancing himself from the tea stench.
This speech shows why Obama is the President, while the feckless delinquents calling themselves House Republicans are just gerrymandered parasites. Obama is the leader of the entire country, and he puts his obligations to the people ahead of politics. Time and time again, he has tried to reason with the hostage taking Republican extremists in the House, only to have them vote no on their own ideas if Obama supported it.
Republicans don’t care about the people. They don’t feel any moral obligation to do the right thing by our economy, let alone the middle class. Republicans have become the immoral party of greed and selfishness, and their elected officials embody the lack of party values by placing their own elections ahead of policy and their actual jobs at all times. Republicans have become an embarrassment. They are way past policy disagreement and into post-policy nihilism based on glorified Randian, egomaniacal narcissism.
A thriving middle class is good for business and good for the economy, on top of being a morally desirable goal. Republicans like to dress up as the founders of this nation, while ignoring the very premise of opportunity upon which they founded it.
During his speech today, President Obama ripped Republicans, “With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball.”
Over the last six months, this gridlock has gotten worse. A growing number of Republican Senators are trying to get things done, like an immigration bill that economists say will boost our economy by more than a trillion dollars. But a faction of Republicans in the House won’t even give that bill a vote, and gutted a farm bill that America’s farmers and most vulnerable children depend on.
If you ask some of these Republicans about their economic agenda, or how they’d strengthen the middle class, they’ll shift the topic to “out-of-control” government spending – despite the fact that we have cut the deficit by nearly half as a share of the economy since I took office. Or they’ll talk about government assistance for the poor, despite the fact that they’ve already cut early education for vulnerable kids and insurance for people who’ve lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Or they’ll bring up Obamacare, despite the fact that our businesses have created nearly twice as many jobs in this recovery as they had at the same point in the last recovery, when there was no Obamacare.
With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball. And I am here to say this needs to stop. Short-term thinking and stale debates are not what this moment requires. Our focus must be on the basic economic issues that the matter most to you – the people we represent. And as Washington prepares to enter another budget debate, the stakes for our middle class could not be higher. The countries that are passive in the face of a global economy will lose the competition for good jobs and high living standards. That’s why America has to make the investments necessary to promote long-term growth and shared prosperity. Rebuilding our manufacturing base. Educating our workforce. Upgrading our transportation and information networks. That’s what we need to be talking about. That’s what Washington needs to be focused on.
During this speech President Obama praised some Senate Republicans for working with Democrats to get big things done, so it is very clear who he was talking about when he referenced distractions, political posturing and phony scandals. The president was referring to John Boehner and the House. The same John Boehner who said this past Sunday that it was his job to repeal laws. It was also obvious that he was calling out the Republican tea party obstructionists like Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz in the Senate.
It was interesting to hear the president call these scandals phony distractions, because that is exactly what they are. The “scandals” are a Republican diversionary tactic designed to keep the GOP base fired up, while they direct attention away from the fact that they haven’t passed any meaningful legislation.
President Obama did something very interesting in this speech. He laid out the Democrats’ economic argument for 2014. Since Obama will never be up for election again, he is going to campaign hard for Democrats in 2014. House Republicans are already freaking out about the prospect of having Obama campaign against them in 2014. It looks like the president is coming for them, and he is ready to call bulls**t on all of their bogus scandals.