President Obama, promising to unveil specific proposals in September to combat the unemployment crisis, all but dared the GOP to block his plan in Congress. Republicans have signaled that they are unlikely to support new spending on infrastructure, unemployment benefits, or a payroll tax break — setting up yet another showdown with the White House. Since jobs are America's top concern, will the GOP really take Obama up on his dare? And if so, who stands to win the spin war?
Obama should relish this fight: Obama's a little late with his "specific plan" to create jobs, says Eric Zorn in the Chicago Tribune. "But assuming it's ambitious and contains a significant proposal for job-creation," he should channel Larry the Cable Guy by relentlessly challenging the GOP House to "Get it done." When they don't — and they won't — "he'll be able to remind voters next summer and fall who had ideas and who had ideologies."
"Obama slogan should channel Larry the Cable Guy"
Republicans needn't fear Obama: Running against a do-nothing Congress might have worked for Harry Truman, but this isn't 1948, and Obama isn't "give 'em hell" Harry, says Chris Stirewalt in Fox News. "The professorial Obama's shift to confrontation" might shore up his dispirited base, but it will look "somewhat forced" to everyone else. So when Obama submits whatever un-passable plan he comes up with, Republicans can rest easy swatting it down.
"Professor Barry channels Give 'Em Hell Harry"
Obama needs less talk, more hardball: Running against Congress may or may not help Obama, but it certainly won't help the unemployed, says Ezra Klein in The Washington Post. "Voters want more than stunts," and if Obama is truly determined to get job-creating proposals through Congress, he has to act as "intransigent and obsessive" as the GOP is about spending cuts. All the browbeating in the world won't work if Obama isn't "willing to strap on some pads and play by the new rules."
"How would Republicans fight for jobs?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The latent sexism of the male marriage proposal
- Bush vs. Clinton in 2016 is the perfect way to make millennials hate politics even more
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Don't blame Chuck Hagel: Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster from end to end
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- Alien conspiracy theorists think the government is on the verge of spilling big secrets
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
Subscribe to the Week