Greg Sargent: …. Yesterday in the Senate, Republicans – joined by two Dems – unanimously blocked passage of Obama’s jobs bill, even though a majority of the Senate wanted to act. While this was a defeat for Obama, it also gave the White House the positioning it wants for the next phase of this fight, in which Obama will now pressure Congress to take a stand on individual pieces of his plan. Which is to say, Obama will pressure Congress to reveal whether it’s willing to take any action at all at a time of nine percent unemployment and mass economic suffering and anxiety.
Meanwhile, the Republican candidates met for a debate last night, and they uniformly agreed on one thing: Government is the problem, and must be rolled back on multiple fronts if we are to have any hope of a recovery.
And so, the White House, facing certain defeat on the jobs bill, at least established a baseline for the 2012 fight, which will be all about a simple question: Can and should our public officials act to bring relief to the American people at a time of national crisis? Or should government simply move out of the way and let the private sector right itself of its own accord?
…. The media play the White House wanted: The AP headline tells the story just as the White House hoped: “Senate Republicans vote to kill Obama’s jobs bill.”
This is the positioning the White House was going for: Republicans blocked the will of the majority by killing Obama’s effort at action on unemployment, and now Obama will continue the campaign by demanding they take a stand on the bill’s individual provisions, which poll very well.