The Washington Post

Into the fun house we go

Mitt Romney, on the campaign trail, bashes Obama for not having a jobs plan:

“[W]ith America in crisis, with 23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work, he hasn’t put forth a plan to get us working again,” Romney said Tuesday. “Now I know we’re getting close to an election so he’ll come out with one soon, but three and a half years later, we’re waiting.”

Of course, as Jed Lewison notes, Obama proposed the American Jobs Act, much of which Republicans blocked, and continues to demand that Congress pass various components of it, such as investing in the nation’s infrastruture and sending federal aid to the states to staunch government job loss.

Jed is right to point out the absurdity of this, but it gets worse. In the very same appearance, Romney went on to slam Obama for blaming Congress for our economic woes:

“[h]e blames Congress, he goes after Congress, but we remember the president’s own party had a super majority in both houses for his first two years, so you can hardly blame Congress for the faults that he’s put in place himself, and so he’s casting about looking for someone to blame and just hasn’t been able to find anybody — whether it’s the ATM machines or the tsunami or Europe.”

And what is Obama blaming Congress for, exactly? Why, for not passing ... his jobs plan, which Romney says Obama lacks. So Obama is at fault for not having a jobs plan, and is simultaneously at fault for urging Congress to pass his jobs plan, which proves he’s passing the buck.

And there you have it. This is a candidate who is proceeding from total confidence that swing voters will hold the president alone entirely responsible for the state of the economy, and will not factor in the basics of recent history or the GOP’s role in blocking Obama’s suggested policies to fix it as they make their decision this fall, even though those policies were broadly supported by the public. Romney’s calculation: Voters will not care if Obama had a job plan that was blocked by the opposition; voters only care about results; not being able to get your plan passed despite determined opposition is tantamount to not having a plan or not acting at all; it’s time to elect someone who will be able to get something done.

And you know what? Romney may be right.

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.


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