Obama in the Heartland: 'Don't Worry, We'll Be Flyover Country Again Soon Enough'

[Reprinted from QuincyNews.org.]

Welcome back to the Midwest, Mr. President.  We’ve not seen you in the tri-states since you were trying to outdistance Mrs. Clinton’s pantsuits on the trail to the White House. We welcome you back to the heart of America.

I’m glad to see you broke away from your middle class vacation long enough to see how the other half lives … or is trying to live.

Mr. President, this isn’t the change we heard you promise to usher in nearly two years ago.  Some of us have changed jobs more than once; others of us changed from being gainfully employed to unwillingly unemployed thanks to the economic implosion over which you served as commander in chief.

I’m so glad you’ve focused that laser beam intensity of yours on the economy and ways to help businesses of all sizes create jobs.  Why, just this year you’ve passed … uhm … you’ve passed … well … you’ve passed … a lot of time on a horrible health care bill.  But, in the pipeline, you’ve got … a bill about climate change. OK. Well, let’s look at what’s being talked about on the long-term horizon, and that would be … immigration reform and a possible path to citizenship for illegals.

Mr. President, I respectfully ask … what the heck are you thinking? Do you have your head in the sand or in a place that up ‘til now I really thought was physically impossible?

It’s not just tea party members ... it’s not just Republicans ... it’s not just the American public as a whole that’s asking you this question, Mr. President. Even your own party’s members are begging you to stop focusing on party-killing issues like health care and climate change; from state senators like Missouri’s Wes Shoemyer on up to congressional leaders, they are begging you to focus instead on jobs.  They’ll do anything they can to get you to stop talking endlessly about the unpopular health care baggage you’ve saddled them with and the potential of an unpopular climate change bill or a misguided immigration reform measure.  The jobless rate in the tri-state area did decline last month, true. However, applauding where it’s at would be akin to cheering if gas dropped to $6.50 per gallon after it reached a high of $6.51.

You call this success? You call this turning in the right direction? Nearly two years in, and you’re cheering your efforts while we’re still in double-digit unemployment. Talk to anyone of the 150 people who attended last week’s job fair here or the 1500 people who applied for 100 jobs at Menards here in Quincy earlier this year, and they’ll tell you the sky isn’t falling; it fell months ago. You and your allies in D.C. have been fiddling around on health care while the country’s economy burned. We’re still seeing double the unemployment rates we saw before you came into office.