You truly have to admire the NY Times and writers Jamie Calmes and Nicholas Kulish, who work themselves into Gordian Knots as they attempt to tell us that “Obama’s hands tied on weak economy”. That was the original web title, changed to Weak Economy Points to Obama’s Constraints
The bleak jobs report on Friday predictably had heads snapping toward the White House, looking to President Obama to do something. Yet his proposed remedies only underscore how much the president, just five months before he faces voters, is at the mercy of actors in Europe, China and Congress whose political interests often conflict with his own. (snip)
Developments overseas have not helped either. American officials have complained as Beijing began letting its currency devalue again, making its exports cheaper and those from the United States to China more costly. And administration officials, and Mr. Obama himself, have lobbied leaders in Europe for more forceful action to promote growth or at least contain the threat of financial contagion there.
Now, let’s be fair as we look at Reality Land: there are things happening on the international stage that are somewhat out of Obama’s control. The original economic downturn was an international one, and things really haven’t gotten any better around the world (which kinda highlights the notion that Leftist economic policies are worthless). Buuuuuuuut, if that’s the case, that a president can be at the mercy of other actors, then this notion destroys the talking points that this is all the fault of Bush and the Republicans, ie, past administration. There were quite a few things happening that were out of Bush’s control. Furthermore, if Obama is essentially helpless, then any good news cannot be laid at his doorstep.
That day, Mr. Obama continued his weekly travels around the country, prodding Congressional Republicans to pass his “to-do list” of temporary tax cuts and spending initiatives to help create jobs. The Republicans only mock him, which leaves Mr. Obama free to blame his opponents and their presidential standard-bearer, Mitt Romney. But in doing so, he telegraphs a message of powerlessness that no leader likes to convey — least of all one who ran for office four years ago vowing to bridge Washington’s partisan gulf.
So, Obama is blameless for submitting a sticky note with no details, no detailed legislation, to Congress which they’ve scoffed at. Even Democrats have done zero about it. Many weren’t even aware of it. And, last time I checked, Democrats controlled the US Senate.
The entire article is meant to convey the notion that when things go bad in the economy that it’s Not Obama’s Fault. He’s just a bystander. The part about Obama showing a message of powerlessness is about the only honest part. He hasn’t tried to bridge the partisan gulf. He stands up on his podium and tells Congress to “get it done” like a parent to child, forgetting that Congress is a co-equal branch of the federal government. And that Obama has blamed Bush uncountable times for not fixing the recession. Although the Bush policies essentially officially ended the recession by June 2009, before the Obama policies kicked in. And once those policies kicked in, the US saw stagnation.
Imagine that John McCain was president: does anyone think the NY Times and the rest of the media would be giving him a pass if the economy sucked this bad?