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August 31, 2011

Obama: Hey, Little Favor. Can I Deliver a Droning Speech to a Joint Session of Congress At the Exact Same Time As the Much-Anticipated Republican Debate?
UPDATE: Carney Gives Permission to GOP to Reschedule Debate

Boehner should just say no, or propose that it comes earlier.

That would be the smartest play-- for Boehner say "There must be no delay, let's do this sooner, not later." I think.

The other possibility is just to say no. Or to counter-propose a public debate, or information exchanging session, as happened a while back, when Paul Ryan sort of embarrassed the hapless Obama.

Ed says to let him have the event on this night:

Besides, this actually plays well for Republicans. Usually, the opposition party gets a few minutes for a rebuttal speech, shot in an anteroom with none of the drama and flair of a joint session speech. Instead, the GOP will have eight or nine responses to Obama on live television in a dramatic setting. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Republicans at the debate decide individually to focus their criticisms on Obama all night long and his plan, especially if — as I suspect — the plan will amount to a junior-grade Porkulus.

I disagree with that. Obama's speech will, as usual, consist of pleasing soundbites, most of which are entirely meaningless (and hence hard to object to) without actual numbers behind them.

It puts the Republicans on a very bad footing to have to respond to Obama's speech within minutes of its ending.

Furthermore -- for God's sakes, the candidates are supposed to be talking about themselves and their vision -- not just letting Obama be Alpha Dog and determine the subject matter and parameters of their own debate.

Mitt Romney played Alpha Dog in the last debate.

This proposal means the Alpha Dog is determined in advance -- and it's Obama, apparently the 12th Republican candidate for President, and then one who gets to talk for an entire hour without getting a single question from the others.

BTW: The typical rebuttal to the SOTU isn't really a response to it, because the speech is released very late in the process, and the person giving the response can't incorporate very much of it into his response -- which is of course written in advance.

That's what Obama has cooking here. He gets to bigfoot an important debate, and essentially be the 12th Republican candidate, the one who gets to speak forever in an environment of power and pomp, while the actual Republican candidates stand at 11 podiums on stage and give two-minute answers.

The answer should be "No."

The back-up answer should be "The crisis is to urgent to tarry; let us have this much sooner than that."

The second-back-up should be "No."

And the third back-up should be "Are you kidding? Can you make it more obvious that all you care about is your ego?"

Update: If you were already angry, this isn't going to help.

Jay Carney has granted permission to the GOP to change the schedule of its months-in-planning debate.

So we've got that going for us.

Rethinking This: The standard paradigm for responses include the assumption that politics isn't involved here. And my own suggestion for Boeher -- "Let's have it earlier" -- avoids calling Obama out for playing politics.

But that's the wrong response. This is obviously politically motivated and it would make liars of anyone pretending it wasn't.

The timing should simply be rejected as animated by crass politics. Call him out. Refuse to play political games while he goes on vacation and indulges in procrastination and then suddenly divines that September 7 is the only possible day on which the dog will not eat his homework.

Call him out, refuse flatly. Don't play games with it ourselves -- it's obvious this is a political play, and we should refuse on those grounds. Not play politics ourselves in crafting a cute response.

He was on vacation for ten days. He has promised this "plan" (now more of an "outline," it turns out) for two months.

He can do it earlier. He just doesn't want to.

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posted by Ace at 02:02 PM

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