Thursday, September 01, 2011

GOP forces Obama to reschedule jobs speech

... or so screams the top headline at I'm pretty sure he could have gone ahead and given his big speech anyway, just might have to give up on the joint session (or should that read "scold session").
I don't get how the smartest man in the room can pick a process fight right here, right now, when everyone's coming back from vacation and heading back to work for the fall. It would seem like the "coincidental" selection of that particular date and time would be a petty slight by someone in the White House designed to cause a stir. Maybe this will carry through the weekend and keep people's attention off the release of the president's Mid-Session Budget Review; beyond that, the impact is now that his non-newsmaking speech will cause about 535 people to miss part of a football game.

But that's just my opinion. Others apparently believe this is a fundamental issue that represents a true test of Obama's leadership, and indeed threatens Western civilization itself! Jonathan Capehart, writing in the Washington Post:
In Obama, we have a president more grounded and comfortable in his own skin than many of the people he has to work with to govern this country. He’s bigger than most of us. So the petty slights that get a lot of us riled up probably don’t register to him. He’s a thinker and plotter with his eyes on the prize down the road, not the daily hysteria taking place on the road to get there.

Words fail me. Again.

When George W. Bush was president, harsh things were said all the time by congressional Democrats and their leaders. Some even crossed the line. Yet, while there was disdain for the man in the Oval Office, respect for the office itself was never in doubt. I seriously worry that it’s in doubt now among some Republicans. Each petty slight by Boehner is one more chip away at respect for the presidency.

I mean, really? This is going to somehow bring down the American system of government?
I don't see a lot of success in separating the office from the occupant. When I tried to discuss the dangers of ascribing success in office to the alleged superiority of the new occupant in 2008, I was assured that this time everything would work out. I'll continue to point out that the man is a politician, which (as far as I can tell) puts an upper bound on just how intelligent he can be. Our system survives the 'petty slights', failures, and outright incompetence of the adversaries, analysts, and occupants. I'm pretty sure it'll survive this, too.

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