Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 20, 2011

MAYBE THEY'LL GET TO JOBS EVENTUALLY.... John Boehner, back when he was the House Minority Leader, had a special fondness for asking, "Where are the jobs?" It was effective because it was easily the top issue on the minds of Americans.

Not surprisingly, job creation has been the dominant issue in recent years, and was largely responsible for Republican gains in the 2010 midterms. GOP leaders assured the country, vote for them, and they'll get to work on improving the economy.

What Republicans neglected to mention is that they have a few unrelated items they want to tackle first.

The initial priority for the new House GOP majority was, of course, gutting the health care system, despite the fact that their legislation has no chance at passing, and despite the fact that their proposal would hurt job creation. With that vote out of the way, Republicans are now moving on to their second major initiative.

House Republicans have introduced the first of, probably, many small pieces of legislation designed to pull apart the Affordable Care Act. This morning it was Rep. Chris Smith's (R-NJ) "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," HR3, a bill that pro-life Democrats have told me they can support.

"[The American people] spoke about this issue on America Speaking Out," said Speaker of the House John Boehner, explaining why the GOP was moving ahead on this part of the health care fight. "They spoke on this issue loudly and clearly."

This prompted the obvious questions: Wait, weren't you promising to focus on job creation?

Well, they were. Now that Boehner & Co. have some power, though, they prefer to focus on some of their other priorities, like abortion. What does abortion have to do with job creation? Nothing, but GOP priorities are apparently a little more fluid than they'd led voters to believe.

They're bound to start thinking about jobs eventually, right?

In March, Boehner asked, "When are we going to address the number one issue on the minds of our fellow citizens? When are we going to focus on the economy and getting people back to work?"

Funny, someone might want to ask Boehner the same thing.

Steve Benen 12:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (24)

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Because more babies means more unemployed! You know, with > 6.8 billion people on this planet, I might have thought that the "conservatives" might have encouraged some kind of birth control. Oh, that's right, we need unemployed white babies! I forgot.

Posted by: Trollop on January 20, 2011 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

The only question is how long it will take for Americans broadly to conclude, as we have, that the Republican House is a creep show, and how long it takes to return the Republicans to the ridicule and public contempt they deserve.

Posted by: bob h on January 20, 2011 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

"No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act."

Don't we already have that?

Just when you think they've reached the Everest of stupidity, you find out that that Everest was just a molehill...

Posted by: c u n d gulag on January 20, 2011 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

As a lawyer, one thing I have learned is that you will probably never, ever have a "Perry Mason moment" where the opposing witness gets on the stand and says "Yes! You are right! I did it! I did it!"

And yet, Steve Benen keeps suggesting that Republicans are, one day, going to jump up and admit that Democrats are right about how to solve our nation's problems: "Yes! Let's boost government spending! Let's pass another stimulus package"

This post only makes sense if you assume that the GOP can't be focused on job creation unless they are focused on creating jobs in a way that Democrats believe will work. But that is insane. Republicans and Democrats disagree on how to create jobs.

If the Republicans believe that extending the Bush tax cuts will create jobs and if they believe that repealing the "job-killing" ACA laws will create jobs -- two premises with which I thoroughly disagree -- then it is bizarre to accuse them of ignoring job creation.

The GOP's problem is that they don't know how to create jobs. Not that they aren't trying.

Posted by: square1 on January 20, 2011 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Or, in answer to Chris Smith's (R-NJ), how about this:
To Minimize Pregnancy and Abortion, That Rep Chris Smith Keep "Littly Smitty" Either Zipped, or Wrapped, If He Simply Must Pull It Out, Act!"

Posted by: c u n d gulag on January 20, 2011 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Jobs are for small people. Working for a living? Oh please. A JOB is something Daddy arranges for you with one of his Yale buddies.

Posted by: Eeyore on January 20, 2011 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

The Right To Life movement is a jobs creating movement!

Our real goal is not overturning Roe v Wade; it is overturning Griswold v Connecticut, which created a FICTIONAL 'right to privacy' to overturn Connecticut's law against the use of contraceptives. When Griswold is overturned, we can return to the good old days when police and their informants would peek into people's bedroom windows and get them arrested if they used contraceptives.

After Griswold is overturned, we will add jobs to police departments and put people to work spying into bedrooms. When those evil lawbreakers are tried and jailed, employment in the legal profession and prison industry will rise. A good first set of steps toward full employment.

Posted by: RightToLifeIsRightForUs on January 20, 2011 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

To be honest, Herr Boehner does not wish to discuss the unemployed---because America currently has several million unemployed citizens who could do Herr Boehner's job for a lot less than America is currently paying that shiftless, spineless, cockroachian excuse for a sentient being. Better still, maybe we could just outsource the entire GOP to an Indonesian telemarketing boiler-room....

Posted by: S. Waybright on January 20, 2011 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

The Everest of stupidity? They're at Lovecraft's "Mountains of Madness."

Posted by: Speed on January 20, 2011 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

I called Boehner's office and asked the question. First the young woman told me it was his "number one priority." Then when I asked, since it's not on today's agenda, when. She didn't know. So I asked how it could be his "number one priority." The young woman said she never said it was his number one priority.

Calling Boehner's office is like falling down a rabbit hole.

Posted by: karen marie on January 20, 2011 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

The jobs strategy will consist of endlessly repeating the message that the government is too big, taxes too high, business too heavily regulated. Oh, and that the President is out of tune with basic American values. Get ready to hear a lot of this.

Posted by: davidp on January 20, 2011 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Same Old, Same Old - Yet Many are Still Surprised

The American people have been on the GOP's "sucker list" for a long time now.

Posted by: zandru on January 20, 2011 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

What does abortion have to do with job creation?

Hey, baby food and diapers don't make themselves, you know?

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on January 20, 2011 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

While John Boehner was standing around with his thumb up his behind asking "Where are the jobs?" (asking "where are the jobs" when he and his party created the employment sinkhole in the first place) and also voting against every single piece of job-creation legislation - the Obama administration and the Democratic Party were about the job of steadily, consistently creating jobs.

Even today the headlines are reporting 37,000 less initial jobless claims, putting the jobless claims figure lower-than-expected at 404,000.

It's no surprise Boehner's House turns its attention towards the same old tired GOP b.s. - they literally have nothing else. Next up no doubt - some new version of the Terri Schiavo hullabaloo.

Posted by: June on January 20, 2011 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

What does abortion have to do with job creation?

Abortion doctor is a job.

Also, as I get older, I appreciate not having to compete in the workforce against younger, smarter, quicker fetuses.

Posted by: Grumpy on January 20, 2011 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

"Where are the jobs, John?" You and your cronies in the top 2% shipped them overseas.

Posted by: max on January 20, 2011 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Jobs are for small people. Working for a living? Oh please. A JOB is something Daddy arranges for you with one of his Yale buddies."

I hear you there. I've got a great resume too, awesome experience.

Posted by: Peter O. on January 20, 2011 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps Eli can propose a name for the Republican Health Substitute


Posted by: Eli Rabett on January 20, 2011 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

....they believe that repealing the "job-killing" ACA laws will create jobs......... The GOP's problem is that they don't know how to create jobs. Not that they aren't trying.-square1

I understand your larger point (Republicans think gutting regs and slashing taxes is the only thing to do), but have to disagree with you about the house GOP's seriousness here.

1. No way is a "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" about creating jobs even by Republican standards.

2. Even if diaper factories were the silver bullet out of recession, the bill is pointless since even Republicans know it has a snowballs chance in hell of becoming law. Why dick around with this petty symbolic shit when they could be working out a bipartisan bill passing tax breaks for small businesses?

3. What we'll likely get from Boehner over the next two years is ZERO bipartisan attempts to create jobs by Republican standards, principles, or beliefs. No, what we'll get instead, is a series of contrived culture war 'congressional action stories' to keep the rubes occupied and distracted from the GOP's massive lack of progress on and new found disinterest in, deficit reduction.

Posted by: Oh my on January 20, 2011 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Eli Rabett, @16:09.

I shall borrow/steal, your "BoehnerDon'tCare", if I may, please?

Posted by: exlibra on January 20, 2011 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Simple translation guide:

Every time a Republican says "jobs" what they mean is "tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy."

There is nothing more to it than that. When you ask "where is their jobs agenda?" they will deliver it, in the form of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. The fact that their tax cuts will do nothing to increase employment is irrelevant. They believe in that story, so that's their policy.

Posted by: Steve Simitzis on January 20, 2011 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

So what is the party of the people -- the Democratic Party -- my party -- doing about the unemployed?

Um, mostly trying to avoid the subject.

Has anyone heard President Obama even sasy "99er"?

Governmnet experts predict high unemployment for years, yet there's no plan or provision for adding to the 99 weeks unemployment benefits maximum or otherwise directly helping the long term unemployed.

Franklly Democratic silence bothers me much more than Republican delays.

Posted by: joblessinjersey on January 20, 2011 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Bottom line: The last thing the Republicans want to do is create jobs. No jobs = Bye,bye Obama.

Posted by: Pterosonus on January 20, 2011 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

@joblessinjersey at 1/20/11, 9:34 PM.

Let's bring it to the attention of President Obama and your Congresspeople, then. Because, remember the HARD time Obama had getting current unemployment benefits *funded* until the end of 2011, due to GOP hostage-taking for the rich? Getting anything on top of that is going to be next to impossible. :(

Posted by: knightphoenix2 on January 21, 2011 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK



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