It’s not that President Obama’s big economic speech (which you can read here) was bad. It’s that it was, unexpectedly, a warm-up rather than the main event. Obama said it himself. “Let me give you a quick preview of what I’ll be fighting for and why,” he told the crowd. The meat of Obama’s economic policy agenda will be unveiled in a series of speeches over the next several weeks.
So don’t look to this speech for the details of the policy. Look to it for the signal of the “pivot.”
“Pivot” is the word Washington likes to use when a White House stops talking about one thing and begins talking about another thing. In this case, the speech was billed as President Obama’s “pivot” back to jobs.
In almost all cases — this one included — the idea of that kind of “pivot” is nonsense. The “jobs” tab didn’t disappear from the White House Web site in recent months. It was still there, and if you clicked on it, you’d see a link for “the blueprint,” and if you clicked on that, you’d see links to a series of plans all of which included vastly more policy proposals than Wednesday’s speech.
Nor did President Obama stop talking about jobs between, say, Feb. 2 and July 24. On July 13, for instance, he gave a radio address on immigration reform that was all about how it would create jobs. Talking about jobs is pretty much a prerequisitie in any speech the president gives. On July 2, at a speech in the Symbion Power Plant in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, he argued their success “means more exports for the U.S. and more jobs in the U.S.” They must have been very excited to hear that.
Like any of the devoted and uncritical MSM Obama lapdogs, Klein sees and hears a “there” where none exists simply because Barack Obama is speaking. In a mind devoid of questions about The Lightbringer, the mere fact that there was a jobs tab on the White House web site and a little lip service was paid to the subject by HIMSELF in a speech or two means that all is right in the world.
As is his wont, the president pretty much just babbled for an hour, wrapping it up with a Carl Sandburg quote that will surely have the faithful ejaculating praise about his Heaven-sent oratory skills and muttering fervent prayers to Earth Mother Gaia that they were once again blessed to witness this shining moment of light in an otherwise gloomy existence. WaPo‘s text reprint of the address even calls it “Obama’s big speech”. It’s a model that, with the exception of his Sequester Scare Theater tour at the beginning of the year, has worked well for him when he needs to get the press chattering about anything other than what is actually happening. This speech was a 60+ minute gasbag eruption designed mostly to sneak in the “phony scandals” line, which they hope to reinforce in the MSM vernacular.
There was a minor subplot about Republicans refusing to pay the country’s bills that was included as a talking points kickoff for the next round of debt ceiling drama.
Still, there weren’t a lot of specifics in this “big” speech about what this pivot would accomplish that the other twenty didn’t. Klein even admits as much in the beginning of his post. As is always the case with the Obama MSM, brief moments of painful clarity must immediately be followed by fantastical rationalization to quell the oncoming fits of cognitive dissonance. So Klein convinces himself that President Obama has done a bang-up job with temporary measures because he was able to bloat the ranks of government employees in the metro DC area. The numbers from the rest of the country remain sobering but-hey-who pays attention to those people?
Awash in the glory of having once again been given a healing word bath by his hero, Klein comes to the conclusion that some super serious, long term solutions to this hot mess of a stagnant economy are forthcoming. Why? Because HIMSELF said they would be, of course.
To the mindless Cult of Obama members masquerading as journalists, his words are all of the sustenance they need to carry on, whether those words are conveying anything reality based or not. If he says it is all going to be better, that’s all the proof they need that a) the sun will most definitely come out tomorrow, and b) it will shine brighter than ever before.
In a different time-back when real journalists roamed the land freely-and with a different president, today’s speech would have been laughed right out of the room. The tired “inherited mess” and “obstructionist GOP” excuses would have been met with eyerolls. A real journalist would have written, “Look champ, the expiration date on your inherited mess free pass is YEARS old now. What have you done for us lately?”
But we live in this time, with this president and a press corps who tells us that everything is going to be just fine because he told us it would be.
Just like a three year old being read a bedtime story.