Here’s how the Obama v Cantor battle began today. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va, has been bragging that he won’t even put the jobs bill up for a vote and yesterday, Cantor announced that he would definitely not bring the President’s Job Act to the House floor for a vote. Cantor has let the American Jobs Act sit moldering in a corner for three weeks, while meanwhile, Americans are out protesting for jobs, economic equality and fairness. So today, President Obama gave a speech in Mesquite, Texas during which he took aim at Eric Cantor for his failure to get behind the American Jobs Act.
Obama got fed up with Cantor’s obstruction and took his case to the people today at Eastfield College. They were fired up and ready to go as the President urged them to tell Congress to pass this bill since Eric Cantor won’t do his job.
Time gives us this excerpt released by the White House of the President’s prepared remarks:
Dallas, that starts now. That starts with your help. Yesterday, the Republican Majority Leader in Congress, Eric Cantor, said that right now, he won’t even let the jobs bill have a vote in the House of Representatives. He won’t even give it a vote.
Well I’d like Mr. Cantor to come down here to Dallas and explain what in this jobs bill he doesn’t believe in. Does he not believe in rebuilding America’s roads and bridges? Does he not believe in tax breaks for small businesses, or efforts to help veterans?
Mr. Cantor should come down to Dallas, look Kim Russell in the eye, and tell her why she doesn’t deserve to get a paycheck again. Come tell her students why they don’t deserve to have their teacher back.
Come tell Dallas construction workers why they should be sitting home instead of fixing our bridges and our schools.
Come tell the small business owners and workers in this community why you’d rather defend tax breaks for millionaires than tax cuts for the middle-class.
And if you won’t do that, at least put this jobs bill up for a vote so that the entire country knows exactly where every Member of Congress stands.
Having gotten wind of the President’s planned remarks in advance of the speech, Eric Cantor took to his blog to pre-emptively strike against the President’s attack on him. Only Eric doesn’t have the will of the people behind him or a real plan to help America. Eric also doesn’t belong to a party that cares one whit about jobs for the people, as his party is still clinging to the “job creators” meme that got us into this mess.
Eric couldn’t attack back based on facts or policy. So, Eric had to argue via fallacy by attacking the President’s presumed motives based on something the President hasn’t even done because Cantor is too chicken to show Obama the flimsy House proposal and it works better for Eric to wave it around at press conferences while doing nothing about real jobs.
Here we go:
“If House Republicans sent our plan for America’s job creators to the President, would he promise not to veto it in its entirety? Would he travel district to district and explain why he’d block such common sense ideas to create jobs? House Republicans have different ideas on how to grow the economy and create jobs, but that shouldn’t prevent us from trying to find areas of common ground with the President.
That is precisely why Majority Leader Cantor has given his word to the President that the House will pass portions of his jobs bill this month. President Obama needs to understand that his ‘my way or the highway’ approach simply isn’t going to work in the House or the Democratic Senate, especially in light of his abysmal record on jobs. Serious problems deserve serious leadership, and the American people have gone without it for far too long. Republicans are trying to work together despite our disagreements – why isn’t the President?”
Eric’s argument is that the President won’t play ball with the Republicans and so naturally they can’t pass his bill. Who is going to tell Cantor that the President already used their ideas in the Jobs Act?
One wonders exactly what Cantor’s aides do for those hefty salaries if they’re not even reading for him. Here’s a link to the bill in case Cantor hasn’t seen it yet. Which part of building roads, hiring teachers, getting veterans back to work is Eric against?
Surely Eric is familiar enough with his own ideas to see them contained therein. But this brings to mind Cantor’s other point. Cantor is not submitting the House bill to the President but yet he attacks the President for his assumption that the President will simply veto it. Why hasn’t Cantor sent his House bill to the President? Does he even have a real one, other than the glossy, made for TV supersized font presentation with no substance?
Yesterday after Cantor announced that he wouldn’t bring the jobs bill for a vote, he said that he might present the House’s ideas Monday afternoon, while announcing that he would agree to pass certain parts of Obama’s bill. Which parts? The Republican parts about regulations and job creators. Remind me again who in this scenario is unwilling to work with the other side?
Perhaps this is a good time to remind Eric that he is not the President and that there are three branches of government in the United States of America. The House is not supposed to rule the country by tyranny of the majority. The founders deliberately set the Senate up to be a check on the House. And then there’s the executive office….
Eric seems to be blaming the President for Eric’s own failure to come up with ideas that are not already in the American Jobs Act. However, it’s not the President’s fault that the House can’t come up with ideas that are different from their ideas that are already incorporated in the American Jobs Act. In other words, they want to vote “No” on everything the President suggests, even when the ideas are their own. Then they want to blame the President for their choice. The Republicans were once the party of personal responsibility, but those days are long gone.
We all recall the Republicans pretending that “ObamaCares” was a socialist death panel, when in fact it uses the notion of competition in order to keep prices in check. That is supposed to be a Republican idea.
To put Eric’s mind in perspective, we must remember that after almost three years of Republican leaders accusing the President of not having been born in the US, Eric also blamed the President for releasing his long-form birth certificate, claiming the President shouldn’t be wasting the nation’s time with such nonsense.
Let’s hope Eric has moved his intellectual curiosity to issues of substance to the American people, but I’ll note that it may be hard for Eric to paint this President as unwilling to work with him when he and his cohorts spent almost three years insinuating that the President is not a legal citizen of America, not a Christian, and may be a terrorist. Then, when Obama got Osama, Cantor gave Bush the credit. These are not the actions of a party that is trying to work with the President or the nation.
Also, I don’t recall name-calling being included in the manual to cooperation; however, I am not privy to the public relations playground where Eric spends his afternoons.
Does Cantor really believe that he can sell “Republicans are trying to work together” when Republicans can’t even work together within their own party right now due to the extremist faction of Tea Party freshmen occupying the House?
Let me refresh the Majority Leader’s memory about “working together”. This goes way, way back to two months ago when the Republicans destroyed our credit rating because they could not agree to agree to pay our debt. That was after Republicans took the unprecedented step of tying the debt ceiling to the national deficit, as if their spending problems under Bush could be willed away with pure poutrage. Their temper tantrum over the unaccounted for debt that they drove up resulted in their being willing to push the US to the brink of default on their own debt. These are not grown ups.
Cantor is campaigning already for 2012. The Republicans’ narrative for 2012 will be “If you give us a President we can work with, we’ll get America moving again!”
Of course, they don’t say in which direction they will get America moving and if history and policy are any judge it won’t be to benefit the middle class or the economy, but it is true that Republicans can’t work with Democrats and refuse to allow Democrats to govern even when Democrats are properly elected by the people as opposed to being appointed by the Supreme Court. After the Clinton witch hunts and then eight Bushian years of abject fiscal and foreign policy fails, not to mention breaking down the walls of protections between banks, investments and insurance companies that left America and the entire world reeling in economic collapse, Republicans want the country to trust them again because they can’t work with THIS guy.
Eric Cantor is cynically trying to paint the President as the bad guy for election purposes, even though he won’t even put the President’s bill up for a proposal. Cantor says the President won’t compromise, and yet Cantor won’t even entertain any ideas that aren’t what passes for hard right ideology (unfettered markets, higher tax rates for the people than for the rich, etc). Cantor’s choice doesn’t spell Country First.
The President hammered Cantor publicly this afternoon and Cantor’s weak response just doesn’t cut it. Cantor and the Republicans need to get on the jobs bus or get out. No one is buying their transparent and surreal attempts to paint this President as unwilling to work with them. President Obama has two and half years of well publicized compromise on the record. Cantor is only willing to pass the parts of the jobs act that he agrees with and he has the nerve to suggest the President is saying “My way or the highway”. Cantor’s way isn’t compromise; it’s tyranny. Again. The time for games is over. Republicans need to work with the President for the good of the nation.
Eric Cantor needs to do his job. But he won’t, so the President is asking Americans to send a message to Congress to pass this job bill by tweeting their representatives to let them know exactly where they stand. Apparently we need to force Republicans into doing the jobs we pay them so well to ignore.
Cantor needs to present the President’s jobs bill to the House since they obviously don’t have a real one of their own or the Republicans in the House need to get moving on a real jobs bill for the people; not more job creators tax cuts for the rich. Eric Cantor is making the same mistake Newt Gingrich did in the ’90’s. His zeal to destroy a Democratic president is blinding him to the priorities of the nation. This is unacceptable, especially when people are hurting as badly as they are right now. Eric Cantor is refusing to give the President a ‘win’ by passing his jobs bill, to which the President said, “Give me a ‘win’? Give me a break!”
Shame on Eric Cantor. The time for games is over. It’s up to the people now to tell Congress to pass this bill.