Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
- Yes, New York Times Commenter Maggie Mae, ‘The Heartland’ Matters - January 9, 2017
- The Year in Climate Realism: A Review of 2016 - January 6, 2017
- Dear President-elect Trump: Don’t Listen to Ben Santer - December 28, 2016
In just the past week:
- America experienced the first zero-job-growth month since the 1940s, and his administration had to admit that unemployment will not likely go south of 9 percent through 2012.
- Obama called together a rare joint session of Congress for his ballyhooed “jobs” speech — which, after a getting rightly called out on amateurish attempt to trump the first GOP debate with front-runner Rick Perry, is squeezed on Thursday night just before the kickoff of the NFL season, and at a time when everyone west of the Appalachians will be either eating dinner, coming home from work, or still at work.
- The president’s aides let it be known that in that speech — at a venue most presidents reserve for really important things, such as declarations of war or post-terrorist-strikes on America in which thousands died — that Obama will reveal only part of his jobs plan.
- And Solyndra, the one company the president personally vouched for as the example of his new green-jobs future, went belly up — taking with it a half billion of our tax dollars that Obama handed over without doing due dilligence.
Of course, with all this very bad news breaking, Obama took off for Camp David for the weekend — to rest up after his Martha’s Vineyard vacation. But the president found enough time on Labor Day to make an appearance with Jimmy Hoffa — a man who in name and deed represents what’s economically destructive in the labor movement. (Watch the vid, or read below.)
We’ve got to keep an eye on the battle that we face — a war on workers. And you see it everywhere. It is the Tea Party. And there’s only one way to beat and win that war — the one thing about working people is, we like a good fight. . . . President Obama, this is your army, we are ready to march . . . Let’s take these son-of-a-bitches out.
Could Mr. Civility — Mr. Change the Tone, Mr. Hope! — let Hoffa’s words stand? Yes. Yes, he can. Obama seems to like having that “army” declaring “war” on those “son-of-a-bitches” (It’s sons-of-bitches, Hoffa … If you’re gonna curse, do it right!), because it serves his political purpose. The president needs to be held to account on this.
On January 12, in the wake of the wounding of Rep. Gabriel Giffords and the deaths of six innocents, Obama stood before the nation in Tucson, Arizona, and decried the “usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.” In that speech, widely praised by Obama fans as one of the best of his presidency, he said:
… if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud.
Did Hoffa’s cursing rage make the president proud? By his administration’s admission, the answer is, “yes.” Back in Tucson, Obama continued:
I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here — they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.
How Jimmy Hoffa decided to treat those who wish a different path for this country was entirely up to him — and he took a vulgar road, with no “decency and goodness” to be found. Yet, according to the president, that’s all fine … now. Dissent of any kind, no matter how low, is once again the highest form of patriotism. I’ll take note of that, as has Don Surber of the Daily Mail.
One more from that Tucson speech:
… we are all Americans, and … we can question each other’s ideas without questioning each other’s love of country, … Our task, working together, is to constantly widen the circle of our concern so that we bequeath the American dream to future generations. I believe we can be better.
Then show it, Mr. President. Not only did the guy you proudly shared the stage with Monday literally curse, in public, those who oppose him peacefully at the ballot box, he declared “war” on them. And just the day before, he called Apple “unpatriotic.” Apple is one of the most successful companies in history — and, it can be argued, is more responsible than any other American company for keeping our economy afloat right now.
Harassing American companies with onerous regulations, suing firms like Boeing for building a plant in a right-to-work state, shutting off all exploration of our natural resources … this is all official government policy. And it all discourages job growth — as does endorsing the “unpatriotic” slurs toward American businesses of Jimmy Hoffa.
Obama doesn’t care a whit about the civility of our public discourse. And, as I wrote a couple of weeks back, Obama doesn’t care about creating jobs, either. This weekend is the clincher for those who have not yet been convinced.