Ed Driscoll

The Pelosi Recursion

“U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has brought back archaic procedures in order to silence conservatives.”

Jenifer Mesko, Citizen Link, January 7, 2009.

“The Republicans’ refusal to respond to the president’s proposal on jobs is not only disrespectful to him, but to the American people.”

Nancy Pelosi, yesterday.

But as Ed Morrissey writes, why bother crafting a new review of a Recovery Summer rerun we’ve all seen ad nauseum: 

It’s now disrespectful to refuse to disagree with Obama?  That takes “dissent is patriotic” to a whole new level, doesn’t it?

Boehner has played this well.  He maneuvered Obama into a Thursday night address just before the NFL season opener, which means that fewer people will bother to tune in Obama and his demand for Porkulus II: Economic Boogaloo, and fewer would have stuck around to watch a designated Republican remind people that Obama’s “new” plan failed in 2009 when he had three times the funding for it.  By waiving the response, Boehner bolsters the impression that Obama won’t be saying anything new at all, thus hardly requiring a response anyway.

Boehner also knows that the Republican presidential hopefuls will garner a lot more attention with their rebuttals than he will from a House anteroom while Green Bay and New Orleans kick off.  Why not let the headline-grabbers make the case that Obama’s simply recycling his failures instead of formulating a new economic approach?  Republicans in the House will have plenty of time to rip the proposal apart when it comes to Congress — assuming, of course, that it ever does come to Congress.  Obama’s deficit reduction plan outlined in an April speech is still only seen on the sides of milk cartons in Washington DC.

And speaking of well-played:

Sources tell National Review Online that Gibson’s chairman and chief executive, Henry Juszkiewicz, will attend President Obama’s joint address to Congress on Thursday. Federal agents recently raided Gibson’s manufacturing facilities, suspecting that the company was using illegally-imported wood.

Juszkiewicz has vocally defended Gibson’s practices and denied the allegations. “There’s no doubt we’re being persecuted,” he said in an interview with the Tennessean. “But while I was sitting in my conference room, while agents blocked the door to my office, I decided two things. One, we were going to try and fight this in court. Secondly, we were going to give this issue visibility.”

At the Tatler, Bryan Preston adds:

He and Blackburn have done their part to gain maximum visibility. The networks probably won’t be able to resist cutting to shots of him as the president talks about creating jobs — there sits a man whose company, an American icon, has been all but wrecked by the heavy hand of Obama’s own government. Since there will be no official GOP rebuttal, an impromptu interview with Juszkiewicz after Gibson’s travails after the big speech should suffice. Get on it, Fox.

Incidentally, Nancy’s becoming more selective in her speech these days as well.

Related: “I’m going to shuck and jive! Time to shuck and jive.”

More: Steven Hayward on “Nancy’s Nobbled Knickers.” TMI! T.M.I. Though as Steve notes:

The now traditional “response” speech from the other party is a relatively recent invention.  It started in the Reagan years, when the news media was only too happy to offer broadcast time to a Democratic Party that was desperate in the face of Reagan’s TV skill to do something—anything—to blunt his appeals.  The “response” speech was a transparent attempt to attack Reagan, as everyone understood at the time.  These response speeches are always written in advance, and are never an attempt to make a genuine engagement with what the president says.

So Pelosi is right that it is very telling that Republicans think the speech will sink so badly of its own weight that the best response is no response.  And in complaining she probably is giving away her own worry that the Republicans are probably right.

“Obama Has Lost Both Power and Mystique,” Peter Wehner adds at Commentary. “It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for the man. Almost.”