Boehner, Obama, and the Bull-shi-tom-e-ter

On the Internet you see comments that the President is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers. The problem is that they are all playing around.

The President was “forced” to move probably the most important speech he will give in the next 3 months (read election cycle) because the GOP wanted their day cleared for their “Presidential” Debate.

Forget the fact that Wednesday September 7th is the first day back from the extended GOP vacation. It is the first day both houses of Congress will be in session. Even aside from the fact President Obama is THE PRESIDENT. It is proper and appropriate that the President be given THIS day to speak.

The formal – lawyerly – excuse given by Speaker Boehner as to why the President of the United States may not speak to a Joint Session of Congress was two-fold. First, they (whoever they are) needed to do a security sweep of the Capitol. Second, they had votes scheduled for 6:30 pm on Wednesday night.

Let’s hook this up to my Bull-shi-tom-e-ter (a small brown device with an analog needle that measures – well you can figure out what it measures).

So Speaker Boehner is saying that The Capitol is not a secure place for the President? How much money ARE we spending for security at that place? How dumb is it for Speaker Boehner to publicly announce to the world that the Capitol Building is ripe for an attack. Where is Homeland Security? Or better yet, where is a good psych analyst to diagnose these feelings of paranoia in the Speaker?

On the second point, what votes are so damn important that they take priority over having the President of the United States speak to the largest problem facing us right now? Here is the link to the House Schedule for September 7th. There is one hearing scheduled for 10 am in New York City. That is all the public business scheduled to be performed. Speaker Boehner is hiding behind a vote schedule that DOES NOT EXIST.

Speaker Boehner is a flat out liar – sorry.

Hey – will you look at that – the needle on the Bull-shi-tom-e-ter it pinned. It is about to break.

So the President caves on the date – he will speak on Thursday. Boehner gets to crow about how he yet again got to disrespect the President. It is too bad the media can’t give Speaker Boehner the Dixie Chicks Treatment. It’s also too bad that the people in his district tolerate this disrespectful behavior.

But, yeah, we’re getting used to it. On one level does it mean anything – probably not. But on a few other levels I think it does.

This seems to be the built-in feature of this Presidency; to keep getting slapped around metaphorically by the GOP. I am already signed-up to see this President get the bonus 4 years for his actual killing of bin Laden. That was the problem – to the excuse – for everything that happened over the last decade. He cleared it up. That alone makes him deserving of 4 more years.

But that doesn’t mean that he isn’t pinning the needle on the Bull-shi-tom-e-ter too.

When the guy who now plays God in the movies, Morgan Freeman, tells you to: ‘Get p_ss_d off, get fighting mad.’. That says something. (I am not saying that Freeman, an inspired actor, is God. I am just looking at it from the perspective that someone is trying to tell this President something.)

After this latest cave to the GOP I got an email from titled “Frustrated”. I was really mad after reading it, signing his enclosed petition, then getting dropped into the page begging for more money.

The needle on the meter is moving…

Before the President caved I attempted to submit a piece to Huffington Post asking him to stand his ground for this date.

While the President may be playing the game for 2012 and HIS re-election there are tons of people who are trying to step up and run for offices NOW as Democrats.

I am helping a guy in my town, KC Carolina ( KC got into the race on the night before primary the election. Why? Because the Democratic brand where I live is so dispirited that we had no one running. The GOP candidates running for 2 supervisor slots in our township were attempting to get on the Democratic ballot.

KC and another Democrat, Dick Sauls, at 10:30 the night before the election said enough of this and threw their hats in the ring. I got a call around 11:00pm and we did a robo-call the next morning to the Democrats we had phone numbers for. We asked for a write-in. KC won the nomination because he has run before and a known Democratic quantity. Dick, who never ran before, came within 8 votes of stopping the Republicans.

Now we have 3 Republicans and 1 Democrat running for the 2 Supervisor slots. And NO, the Republican on the Democratic ballot cannot be removed. He’s just playing games and messing with the Democratic Party.

What does this have to do with President Obama caving once again? Every time the political transmission in DC is put in a higher gear of reverse it makes it that much harder for guys like KC to get traction.

I can give President Obama high marks for doing what he can to govern. Politics is the only team game that means anything. (The NFL game he will be competing against for airtime on September 8th will be forgotten by October.) Theoretically, the speech he will give to Congress will have an echoing effect for decades, if he is serious about infrastructure. But that is dry, emotionless stuff.

When this conflict on the date became evident, The White House quickly “solved” this issue. There are a lot of Democratic races that could have used an emotional shot in the arm a President willing to keep standing up to the GOP would have provided. Sometimes issues need time to develop. On the national (and local) level there is a great deal of pent-up emotion that needs to be released. The rest of the country is not built for a no-drama psyche.

The President has the ability to rally the troops, not only for himself, but for every Democrat running.

His tactic of self-preservation is pinning needle on the Bull-shi-tom-e-ter. He may be able to win the White House in 2012, but he will be there alone. What kind of Congress will be there? He is doing the same thing now that he did in 2009. It worked out great in 2010. Are we going to get victories at the local level in 2011?

As the leader of the Democratic Party he has a responsibility to maximize the chances of every Democrat that puts their name on a petition to step up and run. These are people with REAL skin in the game. Eliminating the emotional component to politics is hanging these folks out to dry.

How could the President have turned this latest snub into an emotional advantage?

  1. I think he could have poked fun at the Speaker for these flimsy excuses. He can do a much better job with a stiletto wit than I can.
  2. The President needed to speak on the September 7th. If he arrives to the podium exactly who is going to stop him? Is there a sergeant-at-arms who will stand in the way of the President? It would have been fun to watch a Secret Service beat down.
  3. President Obama brings one supporting citizen from every single GOP district to have on-hand and in the hallway. Before the speech they call the roll. Any GOP Member who is absent from the President’s Speech is immediately replaced with that citizen on the floor of the House. If the GOP doesn’t want to sit in the seats, we can find others who want to see the President lay out the plan the GOP has been whining for months to see.

The beauty of this is – after the speech the President will have created a whole corps of people to be interviewed for the talking heads press back home. If these folks want to run for the seat – they are getting a leg up. Or if they are just regular supporters – it makes for a great story to tell the grandkids – and a nice jolt of emotional energy.

The President can underline even more boldly that the GOP values disrespect over getting problems solved.

The President has clearly made his case that he is a nice guy getting slammed. The question is how he gets people motivated with that message.

This fires up the local bases because it shows President Obama can start to take it to the GOP –

And stop pinning the needle on the Bull-shi-tom-e-ter.

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