“Mr. President, why have you given up on the country and decided to campaign full-time?”

posted at 4:45 pm on October 6, 2011 by Tina Korbe

John Boehner, calling it like it is. At the same time that the president took to the podium to chastise members of Congress for purportedly putting politics before country, the House Speaker expressed his own frustration with the president’s unwillingness to actually negotiate:

“Mr. President, why have you given up on the country and decided to campaign full-time?” Boehner asked at the Washington Ideas Forum, at the same time that the president was holding his own press conference at the White House. …

Working with the president has at times been frustrating, especially in efforts to come up with a “big deal” in budget and deficit negotiations, Boehner said.

“I can tell you I put every ounce of effort that I can to come up with some agreement,” he said. “I could never get the president to the point where he would say yes to real changes in entitlement programs.… It takes two to tango, and the president would never say yes.”

While I’m inclined to take John Boehner’s side in this back-and-forth (it’s evident the president is in prime campaign mode at the moment!), I can’t help but wonder why so many folks see gridlocked government as a problem. Yes, divided government does less. Consider these numbers from Roll Call:

From Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 last year, the House passed 752 measures, while the Senate passed 440. The president signed 115 measures into law.

During the same period this year, the House has passed 247 measures, compared with the Senate’s 265. A mere 35 bills have been signed into law.

But is that so bad? Think of all the unintended consequences of legislation, of the countless programs the government already runs inefficiently. If the lack of legislation over the past year means fewer problems inadvertently created by government and fewer poorly-run government programs, then I’m really not too troubled by it.

It’s one thing if a lack of legislation stems from laziness (e.g. the lack of a budget from the Senate), but it’s another if it stems from the intentional goal of keeping government interference to a minimum or from a divided government that requires Congress to be more thoughtful and acquire broader support for the bills it does pass. Yes, we need targeted legislative solutions to our most pressing problems and, yes, certain functions of government have to be carried out, but why is our immediate solution to every so-called crisis a new law? A reexamination of old laws, the removal of regulatory and other barriers, and increased opportunity to let people do what they do best (a.k.a. innovate) would go a long way toward fixing our current economic and jobs crisis.


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Less is good.

antisocial on October 6, 2011 at 4:49 PM

To be fair, the country gave up on him first.

Vashta.Nerada on October 6, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Because all Obama cares about is holding onto his power.

Wethal on October 6, 2011 at 4:52 PM

It’s one thing if a lack of legislation stems from laziness (e.g. the lack of a budget from the Senate)

I don’t think it’s laziness in the Senate–it’s just Reid playing his hand to keep power.

If he thought it was beneficial to the Dems to have presented a budget, he would have done so.

INC on October 6, 2011 at 4:54 PM

A Republican majority House, Senate, and a compassionate conservative as president. Sounds Great!

a capella on October 6, 2011 at 4:54 PM

I could answer that honestly, but I’d rather not be banned.

hillbillyjim on October 6, 2011 at 4:54 PM

BTW, that was sarcasm.

a capella on October 6, 2011 at 4:54 PM

A Republican majority House, Senate, and a compassionate conservative as president. Sounds Great!
a capella on October 6, 2011 at 4:54 PM

NOOOOO.

antisocial on October 6, 2011 at 4:55 PM

“… I can’t help but wonder why so many folks see gridlocked government as a problem.”

The Dodd-Frank Act should be exhibit “A” on why less is good…

Seven Percent Solution on October 6, 2011 at 4:56 PM

The bills that need to be passed:

- repeal 0bamacare
- Balanced Budget Amendment
- entitlement reform
- cut wasteful spending

etc etc

pedestrian on October 6, 2011 at 4:56 PM

a capella on October 6, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Too bad we’ll get Romney.

lorien1973 on October 6, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Good post, Tina!

35 new laws, just this year. Yikes.

Name ten Congressional Acts in our history that have actually increased our liberties.

fossten on October 6, 2011 at 4:57 PM

No offense, Tina. But where’s Ed and why no mention of his show?

kingsjester on October 6, 2011 at 4:58 PM

No one’s listening to Boehner. No one will ever listen to Boehner. What a depressing news day this is. Barack Obama has destroyed the nation’s economy, and managed to turn the very people whose lives he destroyed into an army of useful idiots out there blaming someone else. So depressing. There really just doesn’t appear to be much country left worth saving. He’s got us fighting each other in the streets for government scraps and threatening to kill anyone who gets a bigger scrap. Obama has won.

Rational Thought on October 6, 2011 at 4:58 PM

CAPTION CONTEST:

Mr. President, I’m willing to bet you head is up your a$$ this far.

milwife88 on October 6, 2011 at 4:58 PM


“Mr. President, why have you given up on the country and decided to campaign full-time?”

Campaigning and speaking seem to be the only thing Omama does well and the only thing he has left. And his speaking is contingent upon the Teleprompter. I’ve heard him try and speak without the teleprompter and it’s painful to watch. At best he’s a high school level orator.

But, when it comes to the left, shadow is much more important than substance. Bush 43 was a marginal speaker and admitted to it. But, compared to the eloquent Omama he was much more than an empty suit pontificating from a podium. I didn’t agree with everything GWB said and did as President but at least I had confidence I wasn’t going to have smoke blown up my behind every time he opened his mouth. With Omama I can’t trust anything he says. It’s the Chicago democrapic way.

greasywrench on October 6, 2011 at 4:59 PM

I can’t help but wonder why so many folks see gridlocked government as a problem.

That’s because, Ms Korbe, you are not a progressive; you will never understand their insatiable desire to forever progress until the culture is unrecognizable.

Dr Snooze on October 6, 2011 at 4:59 PM

kingsjester on October 6, 2011 at 4:58 PM

KJ, I believe he is going to DC for some meeting through the weekend…I am not Ed’s stalker, but I saw a tweet from him..

d1carter on October 6, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Q: “Mr. President, why have you given up on the country and decided to campaign full-time?”

A: “Well, John, because I’m a narcissist, and when a community organizer governs, incompetence results.”

“Thank you, Mr. President.”

locomotivebreath1901 on October 6, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Obama never stopped full-time campaigning, in the first place.

Christien on October 6, 2011 at 5:05 PM

“a reexamination of old laws, the removal of regulatory and other barriers and increased opportunity to let people do what they do best(aka innovate)would go a long way toward fixing our current economic and jobs crisis.”

Not ONE of the above is relevant to the current administration’s agenda. Practice of any would result in a lessening of control.

Do you REALLY believe that Obama&co.would cede that control?

irongrampa on October 6, 2011 at 5:06 PM

It’s one thing if a lack of legislation stems from laziness (e.g. the lack of a budget from the Senate)

It’s not laziness, it’s cowardice.

disa on October 6, 2011 at 5:06 PM

d1carter on October 6, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Thnks.

kingsjester on October 6, 2011 at 5:07 PM

“Mr. President, why have you given up on the country and decided to campaign full-time?”

Obama: Getting a job out there is tough so I need to keep this one, to hell with everyone else.

tommer74 on October 6, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Tina – the link to the article is actually a link to a JPG of Tapper.

Timothy S. Carlson on October 6, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Good post, and it is good news that fewer laws are being enacted. On the other hand, the Obama administration is churning out more and more regulations that are as stifling as new legislation.

GaltBlvnAtty on October 6, 2011 at 5:14 PM

My dad taught me that gridlocked government is the best government. I pine for the days of Bill Clinton and the gridlocky Repub Congress.

Hey, let’s draft Bill! We’re not following the Constitution anyway, so…we were pretty well off then.

PattyJ on October 6, 2011 at 5:16 PM

A reexamination of old laws, the removal of regulatory and other barriers, and increased opportunity to let people do what they do best (a.k.a. innovate) would go a long way toward fixing our current economic and jobs crisis.

Those things are a large part of what the House has been doing this year.

youngTXcon on October 6, 2011 at 5:26 PM

..you all do know that The Pantload is gearing up for another bus tour of the nation, don’t you?

“..On the road again..”

The War Planner on October 6, 2011 at 5:28 PM

Mr. Speaker, please propose legislation stating that every time a new law is signed into existence an old one must be taken off the books.

rogerb on October 6, 2011 at 5:31 PM

A reexamination of old laws, the removal of regulatory and other barriers, and increased opportunity to let people do what they do best (a.k.a. innovate) would go a long way toward fixing our current economic and jobs crisis.

What have you been smoking, Tina?

peski on October 6, 2011 at 5:33 PM

What have you been smoking, Tina?

peski on October 6, 2011 at 5:33 PM

What ever it is, I want some, too! Tina, that all makes sense to me.

If we could just package common sense and sell it to the liberals. Maybe if we could paint it green and call it SENSE-imillia. Hmmmm…

Timothy S. Carlson on October 6, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Because all Obama cares about is holding onto his power.

Wethal on October 6, 2011 at 4:52 PM

And vacations.

And basketball.

And golf. He cares about golf too.

And probably Michelle and the girls.

Well the girls, anyway.

And don’t forget his dog. And his dog’s jet.

So see, he cares a lot. A lot more than conservatives will ever give him credit for.

Lily on October 6, 2011 at 5:49 PM

I’m for the 1:5 legislating -for every page of new law passed they must dispose of five previous disasters.

One use for making gridlock a valuable thing is to require everyone in both houses read the two gazillion page bills the dems passed, (to save the economy?) but haven’t read yet to find out what’s in them.

Don L on October 6, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Because Michelle has a raving appetite for taxpayer-funded lobsters. She’d kill me if I didn’t fight for them with all I’ve got…which is not much any more.

Schadenfreude on October 6, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Remember that each new law passed is usually an admission of the failure of the previous bills they and their friends passed.

If the bills they pass actually worked a million lawyers would be out of work trying to sort out the deliberate confusion.

Don L on October 6, 2011 at 5:53 PM

the first link brings you to a picture of Jake Tapper.

rob verdi on October 6, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Let Barry keep on campaigning. He’s totally ineffective as a leader anyway, and every time he visits a business, or appears with another Democrat, or opens his mouth, he manages to produce an epic fail.

RebeccaH on October 6, 2011 at 6:07 PM

“O’bama is Quitting on the country! If he were a Republican I would call him a Quitter!”

/Chump Threads

Del Dolemonte on October 6, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Back in the day ‘There ought to be a law!’ was a joke. Now, not so much.

MaggiePoo on October 6, 2011 at 6:26 PM

but why is our immediate solution to every so-called crisis a new law?

It’s called job security.

As for Barry’s constant campaigning – let him.
a) keeps him occupied
b) keeps him out of Washington
c) NO ONE can take 13 months of Barry, except Barry

GarandFan on October 6, 2011 at 6:26 PM

I can’t help but wonder why so many folks see gridlocked government as a problem

It’s a problem when someone is trying to restore some spending sanity. Gridlock prevents new bad laws, yes, but it also prevents the repeal of old bad ones.

curved space on October 6, 2011 at 6:44 PM

..you all do know that The Pantload is gearing up for another bus tour of the nation, don’t you?

“..On the road again..”

The War Planner on October 6, 2011 at 5:28 PM

Which of course is not a real bus tour, because the bus is carried from airport to airport in an air force transport plane, and only driven from the airport to the site of his fundraiser. It’s all about looking like ‘a man of the people’.

slickwillie2001 on October 6, 2011 at 6:48 PM

If the lack of legislation over the past year means fewer problems inadvertently created by government and fewer poorly-run government programs, then I’m really not too troubled by it.

If guess if you’re a blogger and not in any way dependent on the real economy, it may seem great that inaction in DC leads to disarray in the financial markets. But for everyone who’s affected by the nation’s economic outlook, this is bad news.

bayam on October 6, 2011 at 7:13 PM

because thats what narcissists do.

maineconservative on October 6, 2011 at 7:38 PM

The article link takes you to a picture of Jake Tapper… not the article…

ajacksonian on October 6, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Gotta love how Carney criticizes Boehner for not putting Obama’s Jobs Bill up for a vote… say exactly HOW MANY co-sponsors does it have in the House? And how about in the Senate, where the Republicans did want a vote on it? Where are all the Democrats on this bill, anyways?

ajacksonian on October 6, 2011 at 9:10 PM

No, I won’t. It’s too easy.

Fortunata on October 6, 2011 at 9:47 PM