I asked readers what the result, if any, of President Obama’s jobs speech last week would be. Stevendufresne had an astute take, including this:

This jobs plan doesn’t have a chance in hell of passing as described by the president, and he knows it. One, it can’t be paid for in a way that can be honestly be considered responsible or reputable (how do you pay for $450 billion in one year?). Two, it’s of the same sort of structure as the previous failed stimulus. . . . Lastly, Obama has no credibility on anything that he would deem “must pass” after the original stimulus legislation and Obamacare, which ultimately is the piece of legislation that took Obama’s eye off the economic ball at the most critical point in the anemic recovery period. Obamacare remains Obama’s biggest domestic legislative achievement, and he’s willing to lose the 2012 race to preserve it.

With all this said, the GOP and Obama will pass something, but that something will have no impact on the economy. And don’t think that means Obama’s plan in total would have an impact on the economy to help him in 2012. It won’t even if it was to pass as Obama wants it. It’s more of the same and only adds to the overhang of debt that is weighing down the economy.

So from the GOP perspective, its about minimizing Obama’s designed demagoguery, while not inflaming its Tea Party base by giving Obama an unpaid-for “stimulus” package.

JoeSLC added some insightful detail on the expected progress of the bill:

Speaker [John] Boehner will pass it around his caucus before saying that his membership cannot support a bill that 1) is more of the same and 2) will add to the deficit. He then will propose his own legislation, which will have some parts of the bill that Republicans like . . . [and] none of the parts they don’t like, and he will include some things that President Obama will not like at all. Offshore drilling? Some amount of deregulation?
The House will pass such a bill, but Senate Dems will be upset and claim that Republicans are again saying, “My way or the highway.” . . . [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid will put it on the floor to vote it down. End result? No bill passes, or a very weakened jobs bill (read stimulus) passes.

Negligible impact on the economy except that it probably causes the market to drop a few hundred points again. And for the 2012 election it reinforces the view that the president is weak and can’t get things done; if he gives another speech deploring the partisanship of Washington, again it reinforces that image doubly so.

These readers, like many Americans, grasped the essential problem for Obama: He’s run out of time. His inept stewardship of the economy is now the central issue for 2012. The president will be reduced to arguing that, sure, the economy stinks but give him another chance and he’ll fix it. That, plus attempting to scare the electorate about the GOP nominee, is about all he’s got. You can understand why Democrats are starting to panic.