Harry Reid, on the Senate floor today speaking about GOP opposition to the the Paycheck Fairness Act (transcript per his office):
“Unfortunately, it seems Paycheck Fairness may have two strikes against it. It would good for women and good for the economy.”
Obama senior adviser David Axelrod, on CBS yesterday, discussing the bad May jobs numbers and Republican obstruction of Obama’s job creation policies:
“Instead of high-fiving each other on days when there is bad news, they should stop sitting on their hands and work on some of these answers.”
And on Friday afternoon, in the wake of the release of the bad jobs numbers, Democratic National Committee executive director Patrick Gaspard went on MSNBC and accused Republicans of “cheerleading for failure.”
There was a time when charges like these were approached with a bit more caution by Democratic leaders. Now top Obama and Dem officials are going out into every conceivable forum and repeating the claim that Republicans are actively rooting for widespread economic misery and are doing all they can to block solutions designed to alleviate it.
I don’t really know how effective this strategy will be. Paul Krugman writes today that Obama has no choice at this point but to run with this argument as aggressively as possible. The bad jobs numbers mean Obama no longer has the option of running on claims of economic success. Better to admit that the policies he was able to get passed weren’t enough, and that we’d be doing better today if it weren’t for determined GOP obstructionism.
Ed Kilgore counters that swing voters can never be persuaded to hold anyone but the president’s party wholly accountable for the state of the economy. I’ve made a similar case, arguing that even if swing voters are fully convinced that the GOP is deliberately blocking Obama policies they believe would help the economy, they may not care, and may simply ask themselves why Obama isn’t getting his policies through despite the opposition.
But all this aside, let’s face it: If Dems want a national media debate over whether the GOP is deliberately sabotaging the economy or is actively rooting for economic failure, they aren’t going to get one. This is not a topic that will get sustained media attention or discussion, no matter what Dems do.