It’s Circular Firing Squad Season on Capitol Hill

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With friends like this, who needs Republicans? Today the Democratic congressional caucus, in a dazzling display of circular firing squaddishness, unloaded on President Obama’s jobs bill:

“I think the American people are very skeptical of big pieces of legislation,” said Senator Robert Casey, Democrat from Pennsylvania….“I have said for months that I am not supporting a repeal of tax cuts for the oil industry unless there are other industries that contribute,” said Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana….“I have been very unequivocal,” said Representative Peter DeFazio, Democrat from Oregon. “No more tax cuts.”….“I have serious questions about the level of spending that President Obama proposed,” said Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat from West Virginia….Senator Kay Hagan declined on Wednesday to say her support for the bill that Mr. Obama spent the day touting in her state was indubitable….. “I’m going to have to look at it.“….Representative Heath Shuler, another North Carolina Democrat, said Congress should tame the deficit before approving new spending for job programs. “The most important thing is to get our fiscal house in order,” said Mr. Shuler.

Republicans must be laughing their asses off right now. For a brief moment it looked as if maybe, just maybe, Obama had put them in a tough spot: either support a jobs bill their base hated or else look like mindless obstructionists on the single issue most important to the American public. But now? All they have to do is lay low and let Democrats do the dirty work of undermining the bill for them. It’s a pretty sweet deal. Sometimes politics is just too easy.

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LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

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