Petty political posturingPosted Wednesday, September 7, 2011, at 8:35 AM
It was a perfect example of how petty our politics have become in this country.
The president wanted to address a joint session of Congress, normally a rare thing and therefore a big deal, to lay out his proposed jobs program for the country -- which potentially could be a very big deal (although we'll hold our judgement until we actually hear it).
The Speaker of the House said, "No, not the night you want to do it."
See, the president wanted to give his speech tonight, which would have overridden the Republican candidate forum. It was petty of him to ask for that night, which had been scheduled well in advance, and smelled of gamesmanship.
Boehner's response appeared equally petty and smelled of gamesmanship every bit as much. He gave some vague excuse about being unable to arrange security that quickly (are you kidding us?!) but really it was equally about politics. He didn't want the Republican message being tainted by the president's response. So he suggested the president speak tomorrow night, putting him up against the opening of the NFL football season.
Realistically, at this point in time, let's see a show of hands for how many people would rather watch football than listen to politicians jockeying for position next fall? We only wish there were a football game on tonight (heck, even ice dancing would be preferable to listening to a dozen candidates spouting spurious campaign promises).
What's worse, is that neither of these events, tonight's GOP forum or Thursday's presidential speech, are likely to do anything for this country now. Because it's obvious that "now" isn't important to either political party. Both are playing for position for the general elections next fall. Neither side seems willing to compromise and both are hoping the other party will get hammered next fall, allowing one side or the other to run roughshod over the other. Before next fall, we'd be astonished to see either side make a move to break the deadlock.
So until the next "new" Congress meets, 18 months from now, we can all expect much of what we've got now -- and nothing better.
Because it's become clear, it's all about petty political positioning right now.
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