I wonder if the Republicans actually think that complaining about the President being mean and saying things they don’t like, makes them look tough? It may be the new “Blubbering Boehner” strategy, cry like a freakin baby and hope that people feel sympathy for you and give you a pity vote. When the tweets started flying yesterday about the reaction to the speech from Paul Ryan and others, my smile just kept getting bigger and bigger. I was smiling for a lot of reasons yesterday while the Republicans were running to their mommies.
I was smiling because I knew that the President was going to knock the shit out of Paul Ryan’s plan. In the days leading up to the speech, many in the Professional Left were making up all sorts of shit based on their insecurities and lack of maturity. They always underestimate the President in his progressiveness and ability to deliver a message. And then when he rises to the occasion and gives a major speech, many of them fall all over themselves like Rachel Maddow last night. She’s done it on several occasions using words like, “where has he been?” and other silly things like that. He’s been just a little bit busy in his day job. The unrealistic expectations people have projected onto this president have gone beyond ridiculous, they want him to be “Hand-holder-in-chief”, “Explainer-in-chief” and “Do-my-job-in-chief”…for all the people who expect him to sell everything himself, with no help from progressive pundits, politicians or bloggers. I loved it when Al Sharpton called out the whiners at the Black Agenda forum and basically said, get off your asses and do something. President Obama shouldn’t be expected to do your job for you, too.
I was also smiling because almost immediately, the reaction from the Republicans was juvenile. Now, just because Paul Ryan looks like Eddie Munster, doesn’t mean he should act like him. (I couldn’t resist the Eddie Munster reference, sorry) But this isn’t the first time that the Republicans who sure can dish out the nastiness, pettiness, birtherism bullshit, socialist crap….but when the President shares his vision for American, they take great offense to it. Mark Halperin and Joe Scarborough (yes, I watched his stupid ass) were all sorts of upset that, in the words of Rick Klein at The Note tweeted “President Obama took Paul Ryan’s plan off the table and then stomped on it for a while.“…after inviting him to sit in the front row for the speech. I guess it would have been better if Paul Ryan were holding his mommie’s hand in her living room, or something. If that is how they are going to react for the next year and a half of the election, man, they better just get some counseling. I know there are going to be some more asswhoopin’s coming down the road. I’ll say it again, don’t underestimate this President.
Steve Benen, the best blogger there is, of course nails this juvenile response to the wall with big huge nails…
But those expectations notwithstanding, I’d hoped the House majority party would come up with a response slightly less ridiculous than this.
[House Republicans’] responses thus edged beyond substance into the realm of personal grievance. Indeed, they implied that the speech may have poisoned the well so much that working together where common ground exists might now be impossible. […]
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) attacked the partisan bent of the speech, then characterized it as “a political broadside from our campaigner in chief.” […]
After the press conference he suggested Social Security might not be doable anymore. “I was hoping Social Security and some budget controls, and I didn’t even hear that,” he said. “I was naively optimistic that the President was going to give us a sincere olive branch.”
Ah yes, the anticipated “olive branch.” This from the right-wing lawmaker who drew up a budget plan that “deliberately constructed to be as offensive to Democrats as it’s possible to be,” and didn’t even bother with insincere “nods in the direction of bipartisanship.”
The president presented a proposal that was entirely mainstream, and would have been considered palatable to the Republican Party before it descended deep into the fever swamp. Yesterday, however, this debt-reduction plan apparently hurt the GOP’s feelings.
I have to say that the Republicans are ruining the tough-guy image that there messaging people have spent decades building. Democrats were painted as the wimps who couldn’t take a punch and quivered when confronted. The “Blubbering Boehner” strategy is an interesting approach to politics, I have to say. But out in the middle of the country, I’m not so sure it is going to play very well. But please, don’t tell the Republicans.