Speaking at the Forum on American Latino Heritage, President Barack Obama said the following about GOP resistance to his jobs bill:
“I ran for President for the same reason many people came to this country in the first place: Because I believe America should be a place where you can always make it if you try; a place where every child, no matter what they look like, where they come from, should have a chance to succeed. … So that’s why I put forward the American Jobs Act. … Independent economists who do this for a living have said the American Jobs Act would lead to more growth and nearly 2 million jobs next year. No other jobs plan has that kind of support from actual economists — no plan from Congress, no plan from anybody. But apparently, none of this matters to Republicans in the Senate.”
It’s not exactly clear what Obama is referring to by the term “this” when he says “none of this matters to Republicans in the Senate”.
Does Obama mean that Republicans don’t want a country where “every child, no matter what they look like, where they come from, should have a chance to succeed”? If that’s what he’s saying, then he’s engaging in name-calling and demonizing. It’s not racist or anti-child to oppose the American Jobs Act.
Maybe that’s not what Obama meant (though it’s not dissimilar to his earlier acts of name-calling, saying the Republicans are Social Darwinists with no sense of community or neighborliness). Perhaps he meant that Republicans don’t care about creating jobs? That would just be more name-calling, saying that Republicans have malicious motivations. Or maybe he meant that Republicans don’t care about the opinion of “independent economists”. Again, that’s just more name-calling. Of course Republicans care about expert opinion, it’s just false to say that “independent” economists have all come to the same opinion about whether the American Jobs Act is a good idea.
Obama doesn’t like it when he gets demonized, and he shouldn’t. It’s wrong to put him on par with Hitler, or to say that he doesn’t want the country to be a strong leader in foreign affairs, or that he intentionally let AK-47s get in the hands of criminals in order to garner support for gun control. All of that is just derisive caricature.
But just because he’s a victim of name-calling doesn’t give him a free pass to be a perpetrator of it, as well.