President Obama took Congress over the knee last night and in the process delivered his most compelling argument for anything since he was asking The America to vote for that hopey-changy stuff back in November, 2008.
His new American Jobs for Americans Without Jobs and Who Need Jobs Jobs Jobs Act is a more subtly crafted mini-stimulus — payroll tax cuts, tax credits for companies adding employees, and a whole lotta love for those dunderheads who are and will remain hopelessly unemployed until they turn 65 and become euphemised wards of the state. Oh, and money for — GASP! — teachers, too.
The plan alone offers a lot to digest (though it’s a relative novella compared to Candidate Romney’s Homage to Dead Russian Writers), and the president’s spastic cajoling of his colleagues to “Pass this bill now like before you get up for a piss!” only made it harder to chew, swallow, chew, swallow. But as it turned out, the Major Speech was just a prologue to the true odd happening of the night, which would come in the form of a statement released by the office of House Majority Leader John Boehner… and began like this:
“The proposals the President outlined tonight merit consideration.”
What the shit?
We at TDF have a lot of questions and more than a few jokes about Mr. Boehner’s citric countenance. But all that to the side a moment…
"The proposals the President outlined tonight merit consideration."
Perhaps the speaker was emboldened by the spirit of Tip O’Neill, Ronald Reagan’s sodden enabler for much of the 1980s? Given the president’s channeling of The Gipper, his “Screw all you here, I’m gonna convince the fat morons watching this on their flatscreens” BEFORE I start cutting deals, and not the other way around strategy, this is very much a possibility.
It’s also feasible that Boehner had been drinking. Or that he had lost a lot of money on the golf course and this was his only way to settle up the debt. Who knows, maybe the vice president threw in a box of fatty Cubans to sweeten the deal?
More questions than answers, as always, but there’s one thing that’s becoming increasingly, emphatically clear: John Boehner is THE guy in Washington you want to get drunk with.
For too long, the debate over which politician, which candidate usually, the people would most like to meet out for a beer has been miscast; a serious question transformed into some frivolous proxy war over who can appeal, with the least thinly-veiled contempt, to the lowest common denominator of the electorate. George W. Bush built a campaign around the the idea, aided and abetted by a credulous press who was too busy anyway making fun of wonky Al Gore, that he was that guy.
John Boehner is not George W. Bush. For one, he does actually still drink, while GWB is a Recovering Alcoholic and Born Again Christian (not ideal company at the pub). But neither is Boehner a Republican reboot of 80’s Ted Kennedy. You won’t read stories about Boehner slobbering on the waitress and kicking over trash cans after a $2,000 night in Georgetown with Chris Dodd. And he’s certainly no Obama, whom we’d imagine takes about an hour to finish his Heineken Light and only then after checking his Blackberry 36 times.
No, John Boehner likes The Good Things In Life…. Single Malt Scotch Whisky, a pack of Camels, 36 holes on a Friday afternoon, and goddamn it, what ABOUT those stogies you were showing off on the boat last weekend??
Winner: Null field
Loser: You’ve read all the way down to the bottom? Well, congrats, it’s most certainly you.