Dick Durbin and the Fierce Moral Urgency of … Next Month

posted at 10:05 am on September 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama went to Congress eleven days ago and demanded that they pass his jobs bill immediately … seventeen times, in fact, during his speech to the joint session.  The White House insists it won’t negotiate on its terms, either.  Congress has had Obama’s jobs plan for a week now. So where does it stand? Understandably, the Republican House isn’t terribly excited about getting around to Obama’s retread of the 2009 stimulus. As Dick Durbin explained yesterday to CNN’s Candy Crowley, the Democratic Senate doesn’t seem to be in a rush to get to it, either:

CROWLEY: When is the bill going to get on the floor?

DURBIN: The bill is on the calendar. Majority leader Reid moved it to the calendar. It is ready and poised. There are a couple other items we may get into this week not on the bill and some related issues that may create jobs. But we’re going to move forward on the president’s bill. There will be a healthy debate. I hope the Republicans will come to…

CROWLEY: After the recess, so next month? Or when will it actually begin to act on?

DURBIN: I think that’s more realistic it would be next month.

Andrew Malcolm puts this in perspective:

So, given the president’s professed urgency, the next day, Sept. 9, everyone asked where was his jobs legislation?

And, well, it seems the urgent jobs bill hadn’t actually been written yet but should be ready in a week or two. When the laughter died, the White House said on second thought the legislation would be ready for a photo op the next Monday.

Well, here we are on the next Monday after that next Monday and we’ve just learned from the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin, that actually it seems that body won’t really be seriously getting into the legislation for a while yet. The Senate has some other more important business to handle. And then there’s this month’s congressional vacation. …

Good thing the president’s own Democratic party controls the Senate. Because, otherwise, there might be some kind of silly, unnecessary delays in deliberating Obama’s urgent jobs bill that he says will surely help the nation’s unemployed millions if only those Republicans don’t connive to slow things down.

Why won’t the Democratic Senate rush the bill to a floor vote?  Frankly speaking, Reid doesn’t have enough Democrats supporting it to pass.  He has a 53-47 majority, which means he can only lose three Democrats and then ask Joe Biden to cast a tiebreaker.  On Friday, five Democrats in the Senate went on the record opposing the bill as written — Mark Begich, Jim Webb, Mary Landrieu, and Barbara Mikulski — and that was after a White House rally session.  After that story broke, a fifth Democrat publicly announced his opposition to Obama’s bill as presented, Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, who echoed John Boehner in suggesting that the proposal get broken up into its component pieces for separate floor votes instead.

Over the weekend, Joe Manchin became Senate Democrat #6 to announce that he wouldn’t back the package.  Manchin specifically objected to a rerun of earlier failed policies as a new approach to job creation:

As for creating job growth, Sen. Manchin said he had “serious reservations” about some of the ideas put forth in Obama’s jobs bill.

“If spending money solved our crises, we would be okay,” Manchin said. “When the President first spoke to Congress, I had some serious reservations. After we did a breakdown on the numbers, I was even more skeptical. At $450 billion, it is a tremendous cost, with a doubtful return on investment.” Manchin said he worries that the bill includes ideas that have been tried before and failed, at tremendous cost to taxpayers.

That would put the whip count at 53-47 the wrong way for Harry Reid and Durbin, and we still haven’t heard from red-state Democrats like Ben Nelson, Claire McCaskill, and other endangered incumbents facing a bad 2012 re-election campaign.  It’s possible that once 2014 candidates like Mark Pryor get counted, Obama’s bill might not even get 40 votes, which would be a humiliating outcome for Reid and for the White House.

Obama wanted to paint House Republicans in a corner by offering a jobs bill that they would oppose, allowing him to blame the GOP for the bad economy and hang an “extremist” sign around their necks.  Instead, Obama may end up looking even more extreme than his own party’s Senate caucus and entirely isolated on economic policy.  Small wonder Durbin and Reid want to delay debate on this jobs bill until after the recess in order to twist arms.  If that doesn’t work, expect Obama’s jobs bill to disappear quietly in October.

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Mark Begich, Jim Webb, Mary Landrieu, and Barbara Mikulski

You jackwagons will be getting a visit from AttackWatch; nobody disses the Baracky Man and gets away with it. NOBODY.

Bishop on September 19, 2011 at 10:10 AM

But if you really loved me…

vcferlita on September 19, 2011 at 10:15 AM

It’s all coming up snake eyes. Luckily, November and the Bali vacay is close at hand to recharge his batteries. You know the old saying,..when the going gets tough..the tough go to Bali.

a capella on September 19, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Just do nothing and demagogue the hell out of House Republicans. The media will be glad to help.

forest on September 19, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Love is a many splintered thing.

SlaveDog on September 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Small wonder Durbin and Reid want to delay debate on this jobs bill until after the recess in order to twist arms. If that doesn’t work, expect Obama’s jobs bill to disappear quietly in October.

And what will Obama do then? Is he seriously gonna try to run against a do-nothing Congress when the culprits are in his own party? I can’t imagine a bunch of vulnerable Senate Democrats are too keen on being thrown under the bus by their President.

Doughboy on September 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM

a capella on September 19, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Liar. It’s not a vacation but rather a diplomatic outreach effort to build and strengthen relations in the south Pacific.

Ok yeah the wife, kids, mother in law, 5 cousins, 42 of Moochy’s closest friends, Great Aunt Theodra and her cat are coming along too but so what? You need to have family around during tense overseas visits to exotic, tropical paradises.

Bishop on September 19, 2011 at 10:22 AM

I am sure glad that Obama isn’t listening to Carville…

right2bright on September 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

And what will Obama do then? Is he seriously gonna try to run against a do-nothing Congress when the culprits are in his own party? I can’t imagine a bunch of vulnerable Senate Democrats are too keen on being thrown under the bus by their President.

Doughboy on September 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM

If he runs, that’s exactly what he will do, and the media will help him pretend it’s the Republicans stopping him and his wonderful plans.

forest on September 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

It’s all coming up snake eyes. Luckily, November and the Bali vacay is close at hand to recharge his batteries. You know the old saying,..when the going gets tough..the tough go to Bali.

a capella on September 19, 2011 at 10:17 AM

That’s where he supposedly wrote the second volume of his autobiography.

Maybe he’ll get a start on the third volume, to be published in December 2012 – Nightmares From My Voters: The Audacity of Dopes.

Drained Brain on September 19, 2011 at 10:28 AM

On Friday, five four Democrats in the Senate went on the record opposing the bill as written — (1) Mark Begich, (2) Jim Webb, (3) Mary Landrieu, and (4) Barbara Mikulski — and that was after a White House rally session. After that story broke, a fifth Democrat…

FIFY. I know, no one said there would math involved…

rcpjr on September 19, 2011 at 10:30 AM

If he runs, that’s exactly what he will do, and the media will help him pretend it’s the Republicans stopping him and his wonderful plans.

forest on September 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

That might work on some idiot voters out there, but in those local and state races where these Dems are in serious trouble, it won’t make them too happy when Barry blames them(albeit indirectly) for killing his precious job bills.

Doughboy on September 19, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Ewww! Could you cover up Dick al Durbin’s face…please/
I’m tryin’ to eat here!

annoyinglittletwerp on September 19, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Doughboy on September 19, 2011 at 10:31 AM

True, but Obama only cares about Obama. If they lose the Senate and he wins there will just be more people to blame for his own pathetic failures.

forest on September 19, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Ewww! Could you cover up Dick al Durbin’s face…please/
I’m tryin’ to eat here!

annoyinglittletwerp on September 19, 2011 at 10:33 AM

At least you still maintain the fortitude to eat,imagine if it were Polosi’s mug on the screen?

heshtesh on September 19, 2011 at 10:40 AM

You jackwagons will be getting a visit from AttackWatch; nobody disses the Baracky Man and gets away with it. NOBODY.

Bishop on September 19, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Despite being a mother(actually, it’s been argued that I was a ‘mutha’ before Spawn the Almost adult was born but anyway…) I don’t wear mom jeans…but Baracky-Wocky does.
*scampers away*

annoyinglittletwerp on September 19, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Andrew Malcolm has done some serious damage with this article. Looks like it’ll be the feature du jour on talk radio today. Beck is talking about it now… and the picture that goes with it.

petefrt on September 19, 2011 at 10:42 AM

“Focused like a laser”.

KMC1 on September 19, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Love is a many splintered thing.

SlaveDog on September 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Maybe he’ll get a start on the third volume, to be published in December 2012 – Nightmares From My Voters: The Audacity of Dopes.

Drained Brain on September 19, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Our A Team is definitely in action today! I am in awe. :)

jwolf on September 19, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Trust me, it’ll be a freakin’ hair on fire emergency when it finally does come up.

mchristian on September 19, 2011 at 10:47 AM

So as near as we can tell this vaporware bill has not even been written.

dogsoldier on September 19, 2011 at 10:48 AM

heshtesh on September 19, 2011 at 10:40 AM

You mentioned the Witch-therefore you ARE the Weakest Link!
Now get back in your corner.
*wink*

annoyinglittletwerp on September 19, 2011 at 10:48 AM

This thread is just begging for a theme song…

annoyinglittletwerp on September 19, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Republicans should publicly push for a vote right now. Also, they should push for a Senate vote ASAP on the President’s “entitlement reforms” expected to be unveiled today. Let’s get the Senate Democrats on the record.

MTF on September 19, 2011 at 11:01 AM

If that doesn’t work, expect Obama’s jobs bill to disappear quietly in October.

*crickets chirping*

cmsinaz on September 19, 2011 at 11:03 AM

I am sure glad that Obama isn’t listening to Carville…

right2bright on September 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

That’s right.

Just keep doing what you’re doing, Oboobi. Just keep talkin’, just keep talkin’…

AH_C on September 19, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Perhaps if the CBC realized it was time to overlook The One’s physical attributes and march on Washington, maybe, just maybe, that would turn his lazer-like focus back to doing His Job .

Lily on September 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM

By the way, read the comments on that article. Really interesting.

Voter from WA State on September 19, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Good grief, the comments there read like a thread at HA.

petefrt on September 19, 2011 at 11:58 AM

I am ashamed to admit that I live in the state that elected Mr. Durbin [shudder]

I’d much rather watch TEN 0Stalin speeches than ONE Durbin speech.

Lock up your wallet if this guy comes within 100 feet of you.

Feh

FlatlanderByTheLake on September 19, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Seeing him giving another recital this morning reminds me that I really must get to work on my O’Muter project. It plugs into the headphone jack of any tv, recognizes little Bammie’s voice in milliseconds and mutes the TV until he is done. I’ll make millions.

slickwillie2001 on September 19, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Durbin is a hilarious dope.

There are a couple other items we may get into this week not on the bill and some related issues that may create jobs.

I mean, anything’s possible … right, Dick? This dork has never seen a job created in his meaningless life, and wouldn’t know how to do it on a bet. And he obviously couldn’t care less about it.

Jaibones on September 19, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Republicans should publicly push for a vote right now. Also, they should push for a Senate vote ASAP on the President’s “entitlement reforms” expected to be unveiled today. Let’s get the Senate Democrats on the record.

MTF on September 19, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Now THIS is a good idea. Bang that drum, insist that obama is correct, we have to vote NOW!!! Then, when the senate refuses to take it up, insist that the democrats are killing jobs for Americans!!!

As long as the house republicans stay silent and this is pushed by McConnell….(oops….that’s where the whole thing falls apart, see).

runawayyyy on September 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM

So as near as we can tell this vaporware bill has not even been written.

dogsoldier on September 19, 2011 at 10:48 AM

It’s S. 1549.

Barnestormer on September 19, 2011 at 3:33 PM