The president is in the process of re-diagnosing what ails us, which is challenging but interesting. In this model, the economy is struggling badly, but that’s a symptom of a larger disease — policymakers are fully capable of addressing this and other problems if our politics weren’t so badly broken.UPDATE: August 15, 2011 3:54pm. Put up the infinitely better YouTube Video from the White House.
The unstated point is redirecting blame: don’t blame one person or one piece of legislation for what frustrates you; blame those who won’t cooperate, won’t work in good faith, won’t try to solve problems. And given the most recent polls, Americans making this judgment will blame the wildly unpopular Republican Party.
With this in mind, Obama went on to note we’ve seen officials who act as it “winning the next election is more important than fulfilling our responsibilities to you and to our country”; we’ve seen a downgrade coming as the result of “Washington” lacking “the capacity to come together and get things done”; we’ve seen good ideas languish on Capitol Hill because of “the refusal of some folks in Congress to put the country ahead of party. There are some in Congress right now who would rather see their opponents lose than see America win — and that has to stop.”
I especially enjoyed hearing this advice for Congress: “Stop sending out press releases. Start passing some bills that we all know will help our economy right now.” (Speaker Boehner responded by sending out a press release.)