Political Animal


October 06, 2011 4:10 PM Repeating the same mistake, expecting new results

By Steve Benen

The very first question in this morning’s White House press conference was pretty discouraging:

“[O]n your jobs bill, the American people are sick of games — and you mentioned games in your comments. They want results. Wouldn’t it be more productive to work with Republicans on a plan that you know could pass Congress as opposed to going around the country talking about your bill and singling out — calling out Republicans by name?”

Towards the end of the event, another reporter asked the nearly identical question:

“Anybody on Capitol Hill will say that there’s no chance that the American Jobs Act, in its current state, passes either House. And you’ve been out on the campaign trail banging away at them saying, pass this bill. And it begins, sir, to look like you’re campaigning, and like you’re following the Harry Truman model against the do-nothing Congress instead of negotiating. Are you negotiating? Will you?”

Look, I realize the media loves the idea of compromise. America needs an effective jobs bill, so under ideal circumstances, Democrats and Republicans would come together, make some concessions, and work out a deal. Such an approach was still possible in the not-so-distant past.

But these questions make it seem as if it’s incumbent upon President Obama to change strategies — stop taking a compelling message to the public, stop trying to create conditions that would pressure Congress to do the right thing, and start asking Republicans if they might please consider working with him on some half-measures that probably wouldn’t do much good, at their convenience, if they don’t mind.

Have we not already been through this?

The president has pleaded with congressional Republicans, more times than the White House would like to admit, to work with him on good faith — not just on economic issues, but on anything. It’s proven to be pointless. Indeed, it’s been worse than pointless — the failed outreach has occasionally made Obama look weak; it’s infuriated his base; and Republicans have, without fail, refused to meet him anywhere close to half-way. As the president said this morning, “I’m also dealing with a Republican Majority Leader who said that his number-one goal was to beat me — not put Americans back to work, not grow the economy, not help small businesses expand, but to defeat me. And he’s been saying that now for a couple of years.”

Hell, on more than a few occasions, Obama has endorsed GOP ideas, only to discover that they no longer support their own policies if the president agrees with them.

The fight for the American Jobs Act is the first time in a long while that the president has tried a more aggressive posture, not because he prefers confrontation, but because Republicans haven’t responded to countless appeals for constructive negotiation. With the GOP repeatedly slapping away his outstretched hand, Obama wasn’t left with much of a choice.

And some White House political reporters want to know why Obama isn’t trying to negotiate with those bent on destroying his presidency? Seriously?

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


  • DAY on October 06, 2011 4:17 PM:

    Last I heard, these so-called "reporters" work for corporations.
    And corporations have charters; charters that do not mention in any way working to better the American people.

  • nisl on October 06, 2011 4:21 PM:

    What you don't understand is that the football Lucy is holding REALLY needs to be kicked, and Lucy knows it! There is no way Lucy will pull it away at the last minute, what, you think she is some kind of psycho? How very cynical of you!

  • c u n d gulag on October 06, 2011 4:22 PM:

    For Repubicans, it's an updated version of the late, great, W.C. Fields great line - 'Never give a sucker an even break!"

    Just substitute the "N" word for 'sucker,' nx you gt the idea.

  • Alli on October 06, 2011 4:23 PM:

    They like compromise? no they like to be contrarians. During the tax deal compromise press conference SEVERAL of these people asked Obama if he had any lines in the sand or if he had any principles. Now that he is not negotiating they accuse of him of being too partisan. Fuck them.

  • c u n d gulag on October 06, 2011 4:24 PM:

    Ooops, that last line should read, "Just substitute the "N" word for 'sucker, and you get the idea."

    Jeez, and I haven't even had my pre-dinner drink yet...

  • LJL on October 06, 2011 4:29 PM:

    The only compromise from Obama that the Republicans will accept is his resignation from office. These reporters who are chiding the President for not compromising with the Republicans are the say ones who blame European Jewry for not compromising with Adolf.

  • Live Free or Die on October 06, 2011 4:30 PM:

    This is why all Dems should ignore the media and their bad advice. The Republicans do not listen and are actively antagonistic towards the media. For one thing, if I was Obama I would write the names down of those reporters asking stupid framed questions, and not call on them until April 2012. Cheney would not even allow anyone from the NYT on his plane and would never answer their questions.

  • kevo on October 06, 2011 4:31 PM:

    Is it just me, or have others noticed how our WH Press Corp is becoming dumber than a bag filled with handleless hammers?

    Have these intellectual cretins sold out all of their self-respect and dignified wits? Have they been even paying attention these past 3 years to the abuse the American people have had hoisted upon them as the Republican Brand has made it no secret it wants to lead and actively guide the demise of our current, duly elected POTUS even if it takes a prolonged, excerbated recession to get there?

    Hey inkheads of our not so illustrious American media - get your heads out of your asses and begin to bring us American citizens the true scorecard as to whom is doing what to whom, and for what reason!

    Until you decide to take a stand for the health of our society, you, media mogols, will continue to aid and abet our diseased body-politik! -Kevo

  • Bat of Moon on October 06, 2011 4:35 PM:

    "Is it just me, or have others noticed how our WH Press Corp is becoming dumber than a bag filled with handleless hammers?"

    "Is becoming"? That happened about 20 years ago when Clinton ran for prez -- or perhaps even before. The questions Steve prints above might as well have been written by the RNC -- and perhaps were.

  • dede21206 on October 06, 2011 4:41 PM:

    Were these Fox or CNN reporters? Or a Murdock owned paper?
    Because they sure sound a lot like words straight out of Cantor's mouth.
    I am the 99%

  • richard on October 06, 2011 4:42 PM:

    Next time, why not include the names and email addresses of these reporters? Then they could hear directly from the people what they think about their questions.

  • Ron Byers on October 06, 2011 4:45 PM:

    Why aren't those same reporters asking the same questions of Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Eric Cantor?

  • T2 on October 06, 2011 4:46 PM:

    this type of "question" is simply meant to perpetuate the "Government is Broken, both sides to blame" crap the Media is apparently paid to spread....Even the "journalists" asking the questions know that its a B.S. line....they know the Republicans are determined to refuse any progress Obama might make. But they have a job, and that job is to keep the normal American convinced that both sides are to blame. That all Obama has to do is simply modify his "plan" so the Republicans will accept it. Everyone knows that time after time, the GOP has actually voted against things they themselves previously offered, rather than give Obama a win, or create a better economic environment that, while help all of us, might also help him.
    That the Media "journalists" get paid to do this is sickening. But they do.

  • Holmes on October 06, 2011 4:48 PM:

    One of those morons turned Obama saying the government should stop financial institutions from deceiving customers into businesses shouldn't be able to make a profit the way they want.

    Charles Pierce called said moron a 'fop' over on his blog, which sounds about right.

    We need better journalists.

  • Bobfr on October 06, 2011 4:53 PM:

    Our4thEstate Bobfr
    #NEWSTAINERS #WHPCStenographers >> The #GOPFAIL's mission is to Destroy #OBAMA. They will Destroy America, if necessary, to do so. Got it?

  • fry1laurie on October 06, 2011 5:00 PM:

    Had to have been Chip the Dip Reid asking the question, right?

  • stormskies on October 06, 2011 5:08 PM:

    Our biggest enemy is the Corporate Media. They have all sold their souls be be among the 'media elite'. If you are, Brian Williams, and get paid 15 million a year to read for twenty minutes what is prepared for him to read, get driven to work in a limousine, live in a gated community with it's own security service, and have servants wipe your corporate asshole who pay more in taxes that you do, whose side to you think you would be on ? The common or "little people", or the self appointed Zarathustra's who have hired you and made you one of their own ?

    That's these corporate reporters don't have souls anymore. In there place is nothing but a rancid abscess.

  • rbe1 on October 06, 2011 5:10 PM:

    Simple. The corporate plutocrats want Obama out, and a dummy in.

  • Kathryn on October 06, 2011 5:12 PM:

    I'm with Richard, if there is anyway to let us know the names and emails of these cretins, I would enthusiastically contact (and politely) contact him. Was in the car this morning when Chuck Todd was whining about Press Conference being called unexpectedly, what a dweeb.

  • iyoumeweus on October 06, 2011 5:13 PM:

    There is no compromise with today's republican party. They have become immune to the voice of "We the People" to our concerns for good paying jobs, security, health care, education and many more anxieties. They have become turned in only to those who pay them richly to vote against our interests. Large corporations control our banking, news, communications and other resources. Occupy America is our best hope to energize the liberal/progressive movement and revive the Democratic Party or replace it with something representative of us the 99'ers.

  • stormskies on October 06, 2011 5:18 PM:

    exhibit a among countless other examples of our corrupt corporate media .........this is from crooks and liars ...

    October 05, 2011 09:42 PM

    CNN's Trader Suck Up, Alison Kosik Ridicules #OWS Protesters

    From Media Matters -- CNN's Alison Kosik Ridicules Occupy Wall Street Protesters, Later Reports Traders "Hit Hard In This Economy":

    CNN financial correspondent Alison Kosik described the "purpose" of Occupy Wall Street protestors "in 140 or less" as "bang on the bongos, smoke weed!" in Twitter comments captured by NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen.

    Kosik deleted that comment from her Twitter feed. She later responded to a question about the list of demands from protesters by noting "the list of whines is too long already."

    Wonkette wasn't too kind to Kosik in their post on the same topic which you wan read here -- Dim CNN Reporter’s News Analysis of Protesters: They Just ‘Smoke Weed’.

    And here's more from Media Matters:

    When Kosik reported on the protests on-air, she wasn't nearly as dismissive of concerns from Wall Street traders, explaining that "the traders that I talked to, they want protesters to understand they're getting hit hard in this economy as well."

    And if you really want to be disgusted there's this bit in the video posted above which Media Matters had linked as well with traders at the NYSE wishing Erin Burnett good luck on her new show this week:

    CNN's Alison Kosik finds traders at the NYSE have hardly forgotten Erin Burnett, who launches OutFront tonight at 7 pm ET.

    They're wearing pictures of Burnett taped to the inside of their jackets and backs while they talk about how much they love her. Looks like we're going to have lots of "fair and balanced" reporting on Wall Street now that we've got two of their favorite "reporters"... and I use that word lightly, Kosik and Burnett, carrying water for them over at CNN.

  • j on October 06, 2011 5:20 PM:

    I just got sickened watching Chris Matthews & Howard Fineman dissing the president, I thought better of Matthews, they seem to think the jobs bill has no chance & keep harping on the fact that Obama cannot get re-elected. They were using all the talking points from the reporters at the press conference and turning them against Obama. I won't be watching Matthews again.

  • rikryah on October 06, 2011 5:21 PM:

    that's why I enjoyed POTUS telling them to ask the GOP for THEIR jobs bill

  • Jim on October 06, 2011 5:21 PM:

    Wouldn’t it be more productive to work with Republicans
    Ben Feller of AP. Damn. I made a little bet with myself that it was either Jake Tapper or Chuck Todd.

  • DenverRight on October 06, 2011 5:42 PM:

    Still don't understand why the Dems won't work to pass the PIECES of the AJA that the Repubs say they can accept.

    This is not COMPROMISE - it's passing the parts that both sides already agree on. In addition to hammering the AJA into Congress as a another "Grand Plan," the President has asked the Republicans what part of the bill they liked. (cf his radio address on Saturday). And in a memo to their House caucus on Sep 16, the Republican leadership already presented the ideas that they liked in the AJA:
    Obama's tax breaks for businesses and employees,
    some of his stimulus spending,
    Extension of 100 Percent Bonus Depreciation,
    incentives for hiring veterans,
    Small Business Capital Formation,
    Unemployment Insurance System Reforms.

    Obama insisted that the whole package only contained ideas that Democrats AND Republicans supported, but he should have known better with Neighborhood Stabilization Grants; federal school construction; tax increases on only one small group of wage-earners - the most successful 2%; limits on tax deductions and exclusions for charitable contributions, mortgage interest deductions, and municipal bonds for states, but only for those with incomes above $200,000. The Senate unanimously rejected that last idea in a more limited version on April 2, 2009.

    So what was he thinking: "Pass the bill!" Why not pass the parts that the Republicans have (so far) said they like? I know, I know, BENEN has already claimed it: the Repubs will "no longer support their own policies if the president agrees with them." Cynicism aside, you can be sure that if the ideas are never put on the floor for a vote, then the Republicans will NEVER VOTE ON THE IDEAS, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER!

    So why not call them on it? You cannot succeed if you do not try! Unless success is only measured in the stridency of the political rhetoric.

  • Anonymous on October 06, 2011 6:12 PM:

    "Hell, on more than a few occasions, Obama has endorsed GOP ideas, only to discover that they no longer support their own policies if the president agrees with them".

    Given the president's rhetorical track record, Benen, those are reasonably coherent questions. GOP obstructionism certainly hasn't publicly exasperated Obama, at least not during his first three years in office. To this day, to hear him tell it, they remain the Honorable Opposition.

    Although we both know they're not.

    So why should it bother you?

    As someone noted during the last PBS dust-up: why fight for someone or something unwilling to fight for itself?

  • M McLeod on October 06, 2011 6:24 PM:

    Please NAME the reporters and their organizations. We need to know who to call out. After two plus years of GOP bull****, in a rational world one would think the only journalist who would ask such a question would have to have an anti-Obama agenda..

  • Julie Charles on October 06, 2011 6:28 PM:

    Anonymous, that's simply dumb.

    Why fight for someone or something unwilling to fight for itself?

    Because it's BETTER. Because I'd rather have PBS than not, and I'd rather have Obama than not, and I'd rather not have these idiots who call themselves politicians when all they are are obstructionists.

    I even would fight for you, because I think that despite rhetorical missteps, your value as a human is greater than that of a corporation.

    That's why.

  • Quaker in a Basement on October 06, 2011 6:48 PM:

    And some White House political reporters want to know why Obama isn’t trying to negotiate...

    And it's an absolute gift every time they ask. Every time a reporter asks this question is another opportunity for President Obama to explain that the jobs bill is full of Republican ideas that Republicans have voted for in the past.

    I'm betting this question is exactly the question Mr. Obama wants to answer.

  • MCD on October 06, 2011 6:51 PM:


    The Republican leadership control the agenda of the House of Representatives. If they wanted to pass any of the legislation you claim they want, they have had since January 5 to do it. Anything that would help the economy *at all* would easily pass in the Senate, and be signed by Obama. House Republicans have not even brought a bill to the floor. Your argument is thus defeated.

  • jJM on October 06, 2011 7:11 PM:

    Reporters suck these days.

    I turned on television this morning, it was tuned to MSNBC. The 'expert' was 'advising' OWS: 'don't offend Middle America.'

    So stupid: OWS IS 'Middle America' -- the real one, not the mythical entity thought up by the Nixons and the GOP to pretend there was a 'mainstream' that protesters deviated from radically.

    These kids at OWS, and there are even quite a few older people I see, ARE AMERICA. They are the Middle Class, and they have done everything right in their lives and they are offered nothing for that but a mountain of education debt and no jobs in their future.

  • DenverRight on October 06, 2011 7:20 PM:

    MCD@6.6.51: Anything that would help the economy *at all* would easily pass in the Senate, and be signed by Obama. House Republicans have not even brought a bill to the floor. Your argument is thus defeated.

    You are so easily proven foolish - it's a simple matter of record. The following were compiled in just a few minutes.

    Please consult your Legislative search engine of choice:
    H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act
    H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act
    H.R. 1229, Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act
    H.R. 1230, Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act
    H.R. 1231, Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act
    H.Con.Res. 34, a Resolution establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2012

    ALL of the above bills passed the House this year, but the Senate has not taken action on a SINGLE ONE OF THEM. Others have been passed, and were signed into law.

    Regarding the American Jobs Act, the President's party has not even introduced it yet in the House, let alone any PART of it. Is the Senate waiting for an engraved invitation to act?

    The country waits for the Democrats to decide what they actually want to accomplish - so far, it's all campaign rhetoric.

  • Doug on October 06, 2011 7:57 PM:

    DenverRight, just WHAT do the contents of your second post have to do with your first post? NONE of what you mentioned @ 7:20 PM comes under ANY of the categories from your first post. They may sound nice but, besides being irrelevant to the question, are fine examples of what has been well-proven in the past: Republicans provide a great sounding title for a piece-of-sh*t bill.
    The question still remains, WHY haven't the Republicans in the House permitted a vote on the President's proposals? The House is where "money bills" are originated. The AJA qualifies as a "money bill". Republicans are the majority in the House and control the House agenda. I repeat: Why haven't the House Republicans allowed a vote on the President's proposals?
    One word: fear...

  • Dredd on October 06, 2011 7:59 PM:

    Sounds like pseudoscience, breakfast of chumpions.

  • JW on October 06, 2011 8:21 PM:

    Julie Charles: The fly in your world view ointment is an utterly corrupted two party system. The fix is in, the status quo unacceptable to all but the fixers, and something has got to give.

  • Josef K on October 06, 2011 8:24 PM:

    From DenverRight at 7:20pm:

    Please consult your Legislative search engine of choice:
    H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act
    H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act
    H.R. 1229, Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act
    H.R. 1230, Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act
    H.R. 1231, Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act
    H.Con.Res. 34, a Resolution establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2012

    More deregulation, yet another tax break for the energy sectormore off-shore drilling, and an essentially meaningless resolution on FY 2012.

    Remind me how any of that is going to releive our 9% unemployment by more than a hundreth of a percent?

    Regarding the American Jobs Act, the President's party has not even introduced it yet in the House, let alone any PART of it. Is the Senate waiting for an engraved invitation to act?

    I believe the President himself presented it to the House. The onus now falls to the Republican 'leadership' (such as it is) to put it on the calendar or continue to ignore it. Naturally they won't, as neither Speaker Boehner nor the Majority 'Leader' are interested or capable of acting on their own right now.

    Let us hope their sense of self-preservation outweighs their political cowardice, sooner rather than later.

  • TCinLA on October 06, 2011 8:25 PM:

    Before Obama entered the press room, was there a collective single-digit IQ there? I doubt it. Most "white house reporters" are otherwise-unemployables. They are an embarrassment to real journalists.

  • ORgone on October 06, 2011 8:36 PM:

    @DenverRight...You're wrong. What is it about economic crisis, economic EMERGENCY that you do not understand?
    This has nothing to do with REGULATIONS. People need safe work at a living wage. Simple as that. I live in a deeply rural area surrounded by private forests. My partner and I just happned to score less than an acre with a mediocre house that we have been working on for 30 years! The Bureau of Land Managment is having severe problems with homeless squatters, Most of them 40,50,and 60 years old. They have no place to live.
    Each time I travel to the Interstate, once or twice a week, the populations underneath the interstate bridges are growing. Our rural food banks are running out of food.


    American people are sick of games, my hat! Hard working American people are hungry, homeless, sick, and dying in tents and they are in your community too. Open your eyes, slacker.

  • The Oracle on October 06, 2011 8:47 PM:

    Hmmmm, during the planning stages of getting Osama bin Laden at his hide-out in Pakistan, I wonder what would have happened if President Obama had gone to Republican leaders on Capitol Hill and offered to work with them in a bipartisan way in planning for and executing the raid, welcoming Republican input, working out the details, compromising to reach a consensus on how to go forward with the mission to bring OBL to justice?

    Oh right, Capitol Hill Republicans would have blown the mission, leaking to the press that the Obama administration had a pretty good idea where OBL was hiding, warning OBL in advance of the mission, prompting him to move, all so that Republicans could deny President Obama a potential public relations coup in their attempt to hurt his chances of being re-elected while advancing their chances of getting another Republican in the White House.

    Luckily, President Obama held his OBL trump card close to his chest, not giving Republicans a "bipartisan" chance to blow the mission, after which Republicans would have no doubt used their right-wing echo chamber to blame Obama relentlessly for failing to track down and get OBL, with Republicans trying to hide that some Republican briefed on the mission tipped off Drudge, or Breitbart, or whomever, thus tipping off OBL in the process, letting him escape once again.

  • KarenJG on October 06, 2011 8:49 PM:

    Hearing about these reporters, I can only hope some enterprising entrepreneur will invent the product they need to do their jobs properly: A clear Plexiglas window to be installed in the abdomen so that these people can see what's going on.

    (Note, not really mine - some wit posted it on a forum many years ago - I'd give credit if I could remember who it was.)

  • jjm on October 06, 2011 9:07 PM:

    @DenverRight keeps saying the president hasn't presented the bill to the House. In my recollection he announced it on a Thursday and sent it to the House on the following Monday.

    DenverRight must have some kind of automated talking points program from Rove...

  • Werewolf on October 06, 2011 10:19 PM:


    Kinda like the meme "Well, if you don't like Ryan's budget, where's the President's budget?" It was presented in April, as required by law. Eejits.

  • DenverRight on October 07, 2011 1:20 AM:

    jim@9.07: "DenverRight keeps saying the president hasn't presented the bill to the House. In my recollection he announced it on a Thursday and sent it to the House on the following Monday.

    Sorry to leave you children on your own for a couple hours. On the challenge, I went into Thomas and checked once again. Turns out we were both wrong...

    The President spoke about the bill on Sep 8. It was not "sent to the House the following Monday." The following week, it was introduced, but only in the Senate: S.1549, Sep 13.

    Then the House waited...and waited. IT WAS IN FACT introduced there on Sep 21 by Rep Larson - H.R.12 (stealthy number kept in reserve, the other bill numbers in the House that week were 2980's). I beg your your forgiveness - the President was in such a hurry he waited 2 weeks, and then I missed the bill marked 2970 spaces earlier.

    Now, the wait for a vote continues. Of course, the Senate COULD HAVE VOTED ON THE ORIGINAL OBAMA BILL ON TUESDAY! McConnell brought it to the floor, respecting the President's demand for "a quick vote on the unaltered bill." But Reid wouldn't allow a vote. We've discussed that - embarrassment over not enough Dem votes to pass it.

    I did get the fact wrong (the one time I said it) about introduction of the American Jobs Act in the House. We all did, as it does in fact sit there, since the beginning of last week. When WILL EITHER CHAMBER VOTE?

    I still think it's smarter to pass the parts of the bill that both sides already agree on.

    And of course, in the meantime any one here is welcome to explain how this bill raising taxes in a recession, on ANY group of wage-earners (even millionaires), creates jobs (even by only "a hundredth of a percent").

  • Ken Puck on October 07, 2011 4:19 AM:

    This thread is simply too delicious. Those commenting simply cannot detect the flaws in their own arguments and in the final remove refuse to countenance the impending demise of socialism. They flail about and try to scramble up walls, like the proverbial rats in a sinking ship. Surely, they think, there must be a secret passageway somewhere that will avert disaster; the effort wants only renewed commitment, better communications, more enlightenment. Reason must surely prevail.

    Hang in there. All is not lost. Do not form the circular firing squad just yet. Remember the Bastille! Remember the Winter Palace! Remember the Long March!
    Workers of the world, you have nothing to lose but your chains!

  • MaybeNot on October 07, 2011 6:18 AM:

    President Obama had 2 years of complete Democrat control of the Fed Govt to do what he wanted. What he did failed, put many people out of work, left the economy weak and getting weaker. Republicans have put forward a bunch of measures that might actually DO something about fixing the economy and increasing hiring. Obama's jobs/tax bill is just more of the failed stimulus.

  • Spinward on October 07, 2011 6:42 AM:

    Let's see... a trillion in Chinese stimulus money didn't work, so let's try a half trillion of business owner's money. That will make those greedy SOBs hire!

    Why won't those pesky Republicans want at least SOME good money be thrown after bad? Why don't those nasty Republicans agree that JUST A FEW $250,000 "temp jobs" would be ok?

    Maybe Republicans own calculators? Bunch of Jerks!

  • Joseph on October 07, 2011 7:04 AM:

    What do you get when you compromise a hoagie with a cow pie: a $hit sandwich.

  • Mike Kelter on October 07, 2011 7:07 AM:

    What a spin Mr. Benen puts on the situation. Obama puts out a proposal that even Harry Reid and the Dems won't support in the Senate. Mr. Benen dutifully reports that it is Boehner and the House Republicans who aren't lining up to drink the kool-aid.

    Poor Mr. Obama! His party owns the White House. His party owns the Senate. His party got shellacked and lost the House less than a year ago. Now he only has two-thirds of the marbles and nobody wants to play nice with him. Poor Mr. Obama!

    According to Mr. Benen, Mr. Obama has been the epitome of collegiality. Reaching out to Republicans at every opportunity only to have his hand bitten by the ungrateful Republicans. I am certain that all the Republicans who voted in favor of ObamaCare got the same "Cornhusker Kickbacks" as the Dems. I'll bet Mr. Obama handed out Solyndra-sized subsidies to his Republican buddies.

    I don't know which planet Mr. Benen is reporting from, but it isn't the same planet that will go to the polls next November and end poor Mr. Obama's misunderstood administration.

  • rick g on October 07, 2011 7:08 AM:

    "As the president said this morning, “I’m also dealing with a Republican Majority Leader who said that his number-one goal was to beat me — not put Americans back to work, not grow the economy, not help small businesses expand, but to defeat me. And he’s been saying that now for a couple of years.”

    This is one of the bigest lies in the news on a daily basis. MM did not say his "number-one goal was to beat me". He said his number one "politcal" goal was to defeat Obama. And it's probably a reasonable certainty that Obama's number one "political" goal is to get re-elected.

    It's so much easier to make your case when lying and no one calls you out on it, as this article fails at also. Thats why Obama keeps repeating this lie.

  • Kevin on October 07, 2011 7:09 AM:

    I think you need to check your facts... the Senate Dems know this bill won't get passed. Reid wouldn't even bring it up for a vote (http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/185455-reid-blocks-mcconnells-call-for-an-immediate-vote-on-obamas-jobs-plan).
    And if any of you, including the author, think this bill will creat jobs - please see stimulus I and stimulus II. Then, cross-reference that with the current rate of unemployment.

  • Roscoe on October 07, 2011 7:33 AM:

    Get serious. The Repub's were willing to work with 0bama, but he thought he was elected King, not President. Even his own party won't bring his jobs bill for a vote in the Senate because it doesn't have enough votes. His only hope is to eat some humble pie and ask for a do-over.

  • artvet2 on October 07, 2011 7:35 AM:

    Morning y'all! Please take a minute to read the Associated Press article below - published today, 7 Oct. This points out why Mr. Obama is failing so badly in maintaining the trust of the people. He tells way too many fibs, and with the internet, most folks spot the inconsistencies immediately.

    FACT CHECK: Obama claims miss some evidence

  • DC Economist on October 07, 2011 7:44 AM:

    Senate Democrats also rejected Obama's fake jobs plan. The gig is up.

  • Stella on October 07, 2011 7:45 AM:

    Obama doesn't need anyone to help him "destroy his presidency." He is doing QUITE WELL on his own. His so called "jobs bill" is not supported by either side, and yet, he expects Congress to cave and pass BAD LEGISLATION--why? It's NEVER Congresses' job to make Obama look good, when he has clearly shown us he can't do his job.

  • gladRocks on October 07, 2011 8:09 AM:

    Consider working with him on some half-measures that probably wouldn’t do much good...that's exactly what the president is doing.

    Obama's opportunity to do something meaningful about the economy that could have had broad based support was Bowles-Simpson reform. Broad structural reform is the only thing that will right this ship and Obama punted for purely ideological reasons. The only problem is that ideology is a complete failure.

  • MsJoanne on October 07, 2011 8:22 AM:

    Wow. The wingers are out in force. The Jobs Bill is resonating with so many people and the right wing is freaking out so badly, the shills are crawling out of the woodwork to regurgitate every winger talking point.

    You guys forgot that Obammy is a socialist, Marxist, communist Muslim. You guys are slipping.

  • AnyBodyButObama on October 07, 2011 8:38 AM:

    LOL, Obama is stuck on stupid, same old failing ideas, just now, with angry rhetoric. Yeah, that'll work. The voters made a clear statement with the midterms, America will make an even clearer statement in 2012, You will see an landslide like never before... who will win the election?... anybody but Obama, of course.

  • Rastus on October 07, 2011 8:45 AM:

    As I recall, at the end of the debt ceiling increase fight, Republicans and Democrats compromised, in that neither side got all that it originally wanted. Significantly, Obama got what he desperately wanted, a deal that would last beyond next year's election. Republicans, for their part, got some but not all of the spending cuts that they wanted, but had to compromise as to the length of the deal. This is, by definition, a compromise.

  • BadKosh on October 07, 2011 9:02 AM:

    It WOULD be passed if it would ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING, but its the same old regulate and tax BS that this admin has been peddling since day 1.

    Why trust these Democrats anyway. Didn't they ALREADY try the same BS several times already? How did THAT work out. POORLY. WHY MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES AGAIN AND AGAIN??

  • Mister8tch on October 07, 2011 9:15 AM:

    It is ironic to me that Dems keep hammering away at this idea that it's the Republicans who are "doing nothing", when, in reality it is the Dem controlled Senate that has failed to push ANY legislation forward, including the Jobs act. If you look the House has passed NUMEROUS measures that the Senate has simply even refused to consider. Obama's stance on this bill is not a leadership sign; it's his only way to survive politically, for who in their right mind would propose something that he KNEW could not be passed?

  • Jack Davis on October 07, 2011 9:16 AM:

    Compromise? Yeah, like Obamacare was a compromise. Get real, Steve.

  • BCanuck on October 07, 2011 9:31 AM:

    Government is about power. Politics is a game of power.

    Obama has compromised but the GOP is guessing that there is more to gain by not compromising at all. In 2010 they were right; intransigence was rewarded. Why would they start compromising now? It won't work forever but so far, this has been an effective strategy for the GOP.

    Obama complains that the only goal of the Republicans is to beat him. So what, isn't that the point? Isn't that why Obama is building a $1 billion war chest to beat them? Obama played the game brilliantly in 2008 but he's been in a bit of slump the last three years. I think it premature to write him off yet though. He clearly had the talent and guile to rise to the highest political position in the land, he's still a big league player.

  • Tom Genin on October 07, 2011 9:46 AM:

    Steve, you make me laugh. First, polls stating people want compromise are the dumbest of all polls. Ask people if they want Politicians to Compromise, you'll get 80% yes. Ask those same peolple if you want the Right Solutions, or a compromise, and 80% plus now want the right solution.

    Steve, you want to put gas in your car, I want to put in Sand. Let's compromise, half gas, half sand. Deal?

    Obama's "I Won" my way or the highway approach has never been about compromise, it's been about getting what he want's while attempting to appear to compromise. Obama's "bring me your good ideas that I can sign" is saying the same thing as "so long as the ideas you bring me are mine."

    Obama is a clueless disingenous arrogant ideologue whose destined to fail in the next election or destroying America's economy (if he hasn't totally done so already)

  • Southerner01 on October 07, 2011 9:58 AM:

    The problem is, Obama's version of compromise is to allow the Republicans to vote on his bill as is, or to pass the bills a piece at a time.

    Lets simplify this. The Democrats have a bill that says 10 blue circles. The Republicans want 10 red squares. Obama's idea of compromise is, ok we'll rewritie it so is says 7 blue circles.

    The Republicans say "what about red squares?" and are told "elections have consequences" or "you can come along for the ride but get in the back of the bus".

    Real compromise would be, ok, we'll only do 5 blue circles, and we'll allow 4 red squares.

  • Diane Eldred on October 07, 2011 10:06 AM:


  • Kirk Weir on October 07, 2011 10:21 AM:

    All this whining about "the President tried to work with Republicans" is laughable on its face.

    This is the guy who said "I won". This is the same guy whose policies took a "shellacking" from the voters last November.

    No one believes Stimulus 1 did anything but put a lot of $$$ into union coffers. Stimulus 2 (aka the Jobs Act) does much of the same - direct tax dollars to favorite Democrat constituencies without doing anything to fundamentally address the causes of weakness in the economy.

    Were the President to shift to the middle and embrace real regulation reform, suspend implementation of Obamacare and remove tax loopholes while lowering marginal rates our economy, and Federal revenues, would explode. He is a man who puts failed ideology over governance. Truly sad.

  • Swordfish on October 07, 2011 10:26 AM:

    Hey lame brains - his democratically run Senate won't even carry this piece of crap bill for him, why should the Republicans. It's the "pay back the unions with a 1/2 trillion more dollars that we don't have so that I can have something to run on" bill. He owns this economy and had the largest majorities ever for 2 years. Finally in January the American people put a dam in the river to impede the waterfall of stimulus that does nothing.

  • superlogi on October 07, 2011 10:29 AM:

    Half measures? You mean $860 billion was a half measure. Are you suggesting over $4 trillion in deficits since Barry has been in office is a half measure? Hmm. I wonder what you would consider a full measure? Oh yeah, twice as much.

  • Sue on October 07, 2011 10:33 AM:

    For this independent voter, Obama's comments (and his entire jobs bill) are anything but compelling. Surely he knew, before his speech to the joint session, that this bill couldn't pass, so it (and his journey and speeches around the country) come across as just so much hyperbole. I have two sons who are underemployed (I am grateful that, at least, they can still pay mortgages and put food on the table) -- this jobs bill won't help them, or the thousands of other un- or underemployed Americans. Building bridges won't help people who have no building experience -- I daresay, the majority of the unemployed. Raising taxes on 200,000aires won't help either. I am severely disappointed in this president, who seems so out of touch with the real problems of Americans.

  • teppe on October 07, 2011 11:37 AM:

    OK, If the Pres shouldn't try something again that failed the last time .....

    Why pass the jobs bill (stimulus II) .... Stimulus I did absolutely NOTHING but stimulate the debt!

    Maybe OBAMA should really try something new .... get out of the way!

  • john Davis on October 07, 2011 11:46 AM:

    Lame article that is devoid of evidence or fact. Steve, give some examples of when Obama really tried to reach out to Republicans. What I have seen (as a voter who voted for Obama) is that he quickly turned from the "President of all America" to the President of special interests. He started early with the blame game, and that does not invite compromise. He needs to learn how to lead.

  • Rueben Scott on October 07, 2011 11:50 AM:

    Finally, a reporter gets it. Obama has done everything he can to compromise and the Republicans have stiffed him. Whoever asked those questions ought to have their heads examined and fired for lying to the public. The implixcations of their questions is they are pushing the republican agenda and not trying for objective facts. The nuanced posture of some reporters border on prevarication at the worst. The president is doing what he can to pressure them to do the right thing.

  • john werneken on October 07, 2011 11:56 AM:

    Government has been broken for ages and one side is to blame, they just take turns. On civil rights it was the Dixiecrats and conservative Republicans who were to blame. On the Economy its Obama and the Progressives.

    The questions are very reasonable. The Jobs Bill is a Bill all right but no jobs.

  • Rueben Scott on October 07, 2011 11:56 AM:

    These corporate planted reporters have become part of the problem rather than the solution.They know Obama has done more than most to move the republicans from obstructists to constructionist and they have refused. The one samba of this group ought to deafening for the poor and the middleclass.

  • Rod Hug on October 07, 2011 12:21 PM:

    Obama isn't fooling anyone. When he calls for compromise, he is calling for the same tax increases and spending he always did. His latest call (the so called Jobs Bill) also includes more regs for business, one of the prime causes of economic stagnation and high unemployment. His jobs bill contains 10 years of tax increases and an instant $1/2 billion of spending.

    Nothing has changed. Nothing will change until Obama is out of office.

    The solution to America's problem is so simple it unfortunately cant't be made to sound new: Cut spending, cut taxation, cut regulations.

  • ww40 on October 07, 2011 12:22 PM:

    How do you compromise with this man? For two years the Democrats had complete control of Washington. They paid no attention to jobs but concentrated on Obamacare. Now businesses are afraid to hire for fear of what the cost will be. They passed a 787 billion dollar stimulas that did nothing. Now having lost the House they want to spend 440 something trillion more even tho the last 787 trillion did nothing? How do you work with that sort of a mind set?
    Worst president ever? Obviously. Worst person ever to be president? Quite likely.

  • Alex on October 07, 2011 12:31 PM:

    Will the economic issues be Obama's downfall? Or will another scandal (Solyndra, Fast & Furious) be his ultimate demise? Come discuss on an open political discussion poll: http://bit.ly/qEgxBk