Around here, Republican obstructionism and backpedaling on the economy has been rightfully called what it is -- sabotage. And up until today, Democratic members of congress have avoided describing the Republican's strategy in such explicit terms.
Today, Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Dick Durbin took to the podium to reverse that discrepancy and call things as they see them.
In a Capitol press conference Wednesday, the Senate's top Democrats argued that Republicans don't want to pass measures like a temporary payroll tax holiday for employers because they'll improve President Obama's re-election chances.
"Our Republican colleagues in the House and Senate are driven by putting one man out of work: President Obama," said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL).
The harshest denunciation came from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the man who crafted the Dems' new "jobs first" message.
"We are also open to hiring incentives, perhaps in the form of a payroll tax cut for employers that was floated by the administration.... That might not be our first choice, that shows how willing we are to work with the Republicans to create jobs. It's pro-business, it's a tax cut, and many Republicans have been for it in the past. But now all of a sudden they're coming out against it," Schumer said.
Republican efforts to obstruct and sabotage do not stop at the borders of the economy, and it's a salient point to make that the pro-tax-cut Republican party is all of a sudden opposed to a tax cut, because they're also the pro-war-party and they're all of a sudden opposed to war. Not because of some tectonic movement of ideological boundaries, but because there is a Democrat currently occupying the Whitehouse.
I don't have to stretch my imagination to reach that conclusion. Just take a look at what Mitch McConnell had to say today.
McConnell admitted that his party is divided over President Obama's military action in Libya, but that you're only hearing about it because Obama's a Democrat. Many of these same divisions, he said, existed under President Bush, but party loyalty "muted" the dissent.
"I'm not sure that these kinds of differences might not have been there in a more latent form when you had a Republican president," McConnell admitted. "But I do think there's more of a tendency to pull together when the guy in the White House is on your side."
And if a Republican were in the Whitehouse right now, they may very well be all-in for a second stimulus, all-in for another war either in Iran or Pakistan, and certainly all-in on privatizing the whole of government.