It's been a week since President Obama's much hyped jobs speech and it's safe to say, aside from some mildly impressive oratory and attempts at strategic partisan posturing, the speech is a failure in terms of what truly matters (I've re-posted my video analysis of the speech).
Americans are fed up with the economic status quo. The country's been slammed by the worst economy since The Great Depression, 14-million people are out of work, and by the president's own estimations the unemployment rate will remain at 9% by next year's election. Furthermore, Americans are sick of the political gamesmanship and partisan chicanery that's prevented anything material from being legislated that will help them. That explains Congress's abyssimal 13% approval rating.
So a week later what we're faced with is the ugly truth that plagues Washington politics and the nation's economic health: that Obama's "American Jobs Act" has zero chance of passage in the House; and that the partisan vitriol, which has paralyzed D.C., is more intense than ever. That fact's been made quite clear by the words and actions this week by Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, among other GOP leaders. And that's why the president's speech has failed. Nothing has changed, and nothing will.
Voters want and need a fix, not a fancy speech that puts a political marker in the ground. Maybe, and I mean maybe, the speech might in some way help Obama's re-election efforts as it showed a more passionate, aggressive leader who's pitted himself against an obstructionist right wing and is now semi-forcefully framing the debate. But Americans didn't watch the speech because they hoped it'd boost Obama's chances of winning another term. Americans are desperate for action. Action which will help lift the struggling economy out of its miserable trough. People want to be put back to work, to see their home values increase, and want the country to grow and prosper again and invest in its future so it can compete on the global stage. And they want their leaders to stop the juvenile bickering and, put bluntly, stop fucking around with their lives as they further their selfish political ambitions.
So what's next? America simply sits back for the next year as Obama is neutered by a salivating GOP which, in the homestretch and with it's rapacious eyes transfixed on the White House, is going to say "no" to everything he and Democrats put forth? This doesn't fix the economy and it doesn't help Americans. It's a pretty bleak picture.