Can you imagine if there were actually people out there hoping that the economy wouldn’t recover? Or not recover as fast? Is it the kind of thing like when you go to watch a football game and you don’t really like your uncle, so you just root against whatever team he is rooting for (what? … you don’t do that?) I was watching season 1 of Mad Men (yep, I’m in) and saw that they were hired by the Nixon campaign to help with media strategy against JFK- and in that sense, it wasn’t about what any of the ad execs actually thought about the issues or about who they were going to vote for for president, it was about using the power that they had, which was messaging in the context of the media (that and buying power), to push the agenda of one side- the side that paid for their lunch ticket.
And I think we are seeing the similar kind of deal going on in Washington right now- over our economy, of all things. The White House is accusing Republican leaders of “rooting against” economic recovery. Republicans asserted, in kind, that Obams is working on a “job-killing” agenda. A good lesson in word and message management. I’m sure neither side is anywhere close to as radical in their position, which is really the same position. Both sides are accusing the other side of not only not fixing the economy but of theoretically and actively working against economic recovery.
Which is ridiculous.
House Minority Leader John Boehner wrote a nasty opinion article in the Washington Post, so the White House addressed it… in their blog!
"The president has always said there is an open door for good ideas, and when Congressman Boehner and Republicans in Congress are interested in being a part of a conversation about how to move forward instead of rooting against the path to economic recovery, we look forward to having a productive conversation," White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer wrote on the White House blog. (let me take a moment to say how awesome it is that the White House is using their blog to address an opposition op-ed in the Washington Post… it’s awesome.)
Boehner’s accusation that Obama is trying to raise taxes on small businesses does sound a bit absured, seeing that Obama said in a speech last week that he was trying to institute tax credits for small businesses- but the logic is that of war and opposition, not logic.
I would say that Boehner is picking a good time to pick a fight with a President who just raised troop levels, has rough health care legislation in the works that is dropping his political capital by the day, and seems to be having a very hard time making new things happen that will be good for the economy. It’s a smart political move by Boehner- good timing and in tune with vague dissatisfaction around the country, and it can easily be forgotten after the holidays if things change, or it can be pointed to next summer when midterm elections are upon us…
As in, “We’ve been saying since last year that…” and that kind of thing. Watch out, Obama.