The president and first lady this weekend gave a traditional Christmas message of sorts, thanking the troops and the visitors who streamed through the White House to see the extravagant decorations.
Not that there wasn’t room for a little policy gloat.
“You see, the war in Iraq is over. The transition in Afghanistan is underway. After a decade of war, our heroes are coming home. And all across America, military families are reuniting,” President Obama said. “So this week let’s give thanks for our veterans and their families. And let’s say a prayer for all our troops – especially those in Afghanistan – who are spending this holiday overseas, risking their lives to defend the freedoms we hold dear.”
“Our military families sacrifice so much on our behalf, and Barack and I believe that we should serve them as well as they serve this country. That’s why Dr. Jill Biden and I started Joining Forces – an effort to rally all Americans to honor and support our veterans and military families. Just go to joiningforces.gov to find out how you can show your gratitude for their service,” Michelle Obama said.
“Because that’s what this season is all about. For my family and millions of Americans, it’s a time to celebrate the birth of Christ. To reflect on His life and learn from His example. Every year, we commit to love one another. To give of ourselves. To be our brother’s keeper. To be our sister’s keeper. But those ideas are not just part of our faith. They’re part of all faiths. And they unite us as Americans,” the president said, coming this close to launching into the fairness doctrine.
In the weekly GOP address, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) could have stuck to a Christmas greeting but instead relived his notoriously bad week.
“The House has done its part to avert this entire fiscal cliff. On the 10th of May and again on Thursday, we passed legislation that would replace the ‘sequester’ with responsible spending cuts. We also passed a bill to stop all of the January 1 tax hikes. The events of the past week make it clearer than ever that these measures reflect the will of the House,” Boehner said.
“The American people re-elected President Obama on Election Day. They also re-elected a Republican majority in the House. In doing so, they gave us all a mandate. It was not a mandate to raise tax rates on families and small businesses. It was a mandate for us to work together to begin solving the massive debt that threatens our country’s future,” he continued.
“Unfortunately, the president and Senate Democrats have vowed to reject and veto all of our proposals while failing to offer a responsible solution of their own.”
Boehner said while Obama has “to challenge the members of his party,” he’s done just that with the GOP. And that culminated in his Plan B compromise not even having the votes to come to the floor last week.
“The president’s solution of raising tax rates would still leave red ink as far as the eye can see. And it would hurt jobs, at a time when far too many of our citizens are struggling to find them,” the speaker said, vowing to continue working on a plan. “For now, I wish all the American people a blessed and merry Christmas.”