If you were wondering whether the latest White House initiatives being teed up weren’t mainly political – I know probably you weren’t, but in case you were – take a look at this exchange on Air Force One the other day between White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and a reporter.
The Republicans, as you may be aware, are perhaps going to cave on the issue of maintaining reduced rates for subsidized student loans. Mitt Romney already has. But THIS IS RUINING THE PARTY in the West Wing, which has counted on Republican intransigence that President Obama’s political team could use to whack the GOP around.
You can almost hear the disappointment in Carney’s voice as you read the transcript of his response to a question about Republicans coming around to Obama’s point of view.
Q It seems the debate on the Hill is more about how to pay to extend these than actually whether to extend the rates. So who is the President trying to convince?
MR. CARNEY: Well, there’s a couple of things here. First of all, we welcome any support that is out there for the idea that we need to take action to make sure that these interest rates do not double. It is certainly welcome, although ironic, that those who fervently support the Ryan budget, which would double interest rates for student loans, some of whom now say they want to not have that happen . . .
I would simply note that overwhelmingly Republicans in Congress support the Ryan budget, the Republican budget, that has become essentially the governing doctrine of the Republican Party, and not only does it not include within it any provision to prevent student loan rates from doubling, but it slashes Pell grants and other programs that are essential to ensuring that young Americans get the education they need to compete in the 21st century economy.
Not only that, it cuts programs that help — that invest in the very industries that we need young Americans to be entering in the 21st century economy.
So the White House feels some love from Republicans, sees light at the end of the tunnel for a supposedly important initiative, and it REMINDS EVERYONE THAT THEY ARE A BUNCH SHALLOW, UNCARING JERKS.
Let’s pretend you are the president of the United States.
Feels good, right?
Hey – get your finger off that button, you don’t know what it’s for!
Now, you really want Congress to pass a piece of legislation. It seems like they may support you. What do you do?
Do you start attacking them??
No. You invite them to the White House theater to watch a movie with you and you put out a statement telling the nation how impossibly smart and good looking the Republicans all are.
Unless, you know, attacking them was the point.