‘WHAT DO YOU THINK A STIMULUS IS?’…. I’m starting to get the impression that President Obama has just about seen enough. He’s talked, listened, cajoled, back-slapped, and engaged in hours of discussions with confused conservatives who don’t seem to know what they’re talking about. Last night, addressing a meeting of Democratic lawmakers, the president tried a different approach — telling it like it is, without conciliatory language to protect Republicans’ delicate sensibilities.
This clip is only about half of Obama’s remarks — which were largely delivered off the cuff, after he gave up on his teleprompter early on — but pay particular attention to the president’s exasperated attitude about the ridiculous GOP talking points: “[Y]ou get the argument, ‘Well, this is not a stimulus bill, this is a spending bill.’ What do you think a stimulus is? That’s the whole point. No, seriously. That’s the point.”
The president also noted that his plan, from the outset, including targeted tax cuts, which Republicans initially liked: “[W]hen we announced the bill, you remember — this is only about, what, two weeks ago? When we announced the framework — and we were complimented by Republicans, saying, ‘Boy, this is a balanced package, we’re pleasantly surprised.” And suddenly, what was a balanced package needs to be put out of balance?”
Obama added that there’s simply no reason to re-embrace “the same policies that for the last eight years doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin.” He added, “I don’t care whether you’re driving a hybrid or an SUV. If you’re headed for a cliff, you have to change direction. That’s what the American people called for in November, and that’s what we intend to deliver.”
The Politico‘s Jonathan Martin said that the president’s urgent tone was “reminiscent of the final days of the campaign.” It was actually more than just reminiscent — at one point, Obama literally asked lawmakers, “Fired up?” They shouted back, “Ready to go!”
Publius added, “Obama is starting to get his second wind — for the first time, he’s making aggressive and even openly partisan attacks against the stimulus opponents. To which I say — it’s about time. The Obama team has a tendency to be a few days late on tactics, but they’re pretty good when they finally get the ball rolling.”