Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Respect must be earned


Republicans have decided they're not going to give a rebuttal to President Obama's jobs speech later this week, a decision House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi took as a high affront to the White House
At least three GOP lawmakers also have announced they're not going to show up for the presidential address. House Speaker John Boehner's office then confirmed Tuesday evening that nobody from the party would deliver an official televised response. 

Pelosi said the party's "silence" would "speak volumes about their lack of commitment to creating jobs." 

"The Republicans' refusal to respond to the president's proposal on jobs is not only disrespectful to him, but to the American people," Pelosi said. 

 No Ms. Pelosi.  What is "disrespectful to the American people" is Obama using an address to a joint session of congress to make what will amount to a campaign speech.  A speech in which he will whine about how none of the nation's problems are his fault.  About how he inherited this mess from Bush.  About how the Republicans are deliberately sabotaging the economy to make him look bad. 

He will propose a course of action so wrong-headed and disastrous that Republicans in the House will view it as dead on arrival and he will do this on purpose.  This will be done in order to give him an issue to run on next year - Republican obstructionism.  This is because he knows that any program of government action which would actually stimulate private sector growth would by necessity involve public sector shrinkage.  Taxes would have to be lowered and the tax code reformed.  Regulations would have to be evaluated with an eye to simplification or outright repeal.  Government would have to admit that there are a great many things that it does not do well and has no business (from either a constitutional or practical standpoint) even attempting. And the government payroll would have to be trimmed which would mean that many public employees being laid off.

It goes without saying that this course of action, while indisputably good for the nation, would be anathema to Obama's (and the Democrat party's left-wing base).  Therefore there is absolutely no chance that Obama anything even close to a program which would have the slightest chance of encouraging economic growth.  It simply isn't in him to put the nation's interest before his own.

So for these reasons the GOP is doing exactly the right thing in refusing to offer a reply to what will certainly be a nasty little telepromptered screed.  Doing so would elevate Obama.  A reasoned response justify his empty words and confer upon him an illusion of respectability and reasonableness which he simply does not deserve.

What Republicans should do is boycott the speech.  Let it be obvious that Obama is making a partisan speech to a partisan audience.  If a Republican legislator feels that he must attend then he or she should be polite but offer only the most tepid and brief applause, refuse to stand for any ovation started by Democrats and leave the chamber immediately after the conclusion offering either no comment to the press or making only short statements about how sad it is to see such a great nation governed by such a small and inconsequential man.

The detailed response to why Obama's program of big government tax and spend statism is exactly the wrong thing to do can come in a day or two after our economists have had a chance to analyze it.