Let’s Get Real

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President Obama is getting some ribbing today for telegraphing that he’s going to release his ‘jobs plan’ in September. What took so long? The country has been in the grip of historic, catastrophic levels of unemployment for going on three years. All good points. And count me among those who wish he would have come forward with something like this in 2010 rather than 2011. But let’s get real. The President’s mistake is not coming forward with a plan when he — quite rightly — believed that the Congress would refuse to do anything to help create jobs — because of ideology and a desire to see President Obama defeated.

I think that’s a mistake. But you can’t ding President Obama for not more aggressively pushing a plan while ignoring the elephant in the room: the Republicans refusal not only to do anything on job creation but insisting on policies the inevitable outcome of which is to retard job creation.

A week or so after the debt deal, the Post came out with a lengthy, admirably reported story which explained that the debt ceiling debacle wasn’t an example of partisanship running off the rails but the product of a considered plan pushed by Eric Cantor for almost a year. It was quality, contextualizing journalism, especially in contrast to the Post’s and everyone else’s coverage during the debt deal crisis. Far better if that sort of heavily reported truth-telling had informed the coverage during the crisis.

So this time. Yes, criticize Obama for getting convinced not to even introduce a plan in the face of Republican intransigence and hostility to any job creation measures. But let’s not forget the real story: Republican intransigence and hostility to any job creation measures.

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