As the latest Independence Day rolls around, the partisan bickering in Washington goes full force. National Review reported on Thursday that President Obama has called for something called “economic patriotism” which seems to involve passing his agenda without opposition. House Speaker John Boehner retorted that the Republic led House has passed dozens of economic and jobs pieces of legislation that he says is languishing in the Senate thanks to Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“’[W]e can make even more progress if Congress is willing to work with my administration and to set politics aside, at least occasionally, which I know is what the American people are urgently looking for,’ Obama said Thursday at 1776. ‘It’s a sort of economic patriotism where you say to yourself, how is it that we can start rebuilding this country to make sure that all of the young people who are here but their kids and their grandkids are going to be able to enjoy the same incredible opportunities that this country offers as we have. That’s our job. That’s what we should be focused on. And it’s worth remembering as we go into Independence Day.’”
As Hot Air points out, the president last used the term “economic patriotism” during the 2012 campaign, with a 20 page booklet and a two minute ad. He has since left off using the term. His revival of it is thought to be not so coincidental to the oncoming midterm elections which it is expected that Democrats will lose badly, perhaps turning over control of the Senate to the Republican Party.
Despite a somewhat favorable jobs report, Forbes suggests that the outlook for the economy is still dismal, six years into the Obama presidency. There have been some slight upticks in economic indicators such as housing starts and consumer confidence. But they remain much lower than would be the case were the economy booming. In short years after the economic meltdown in 2008 that helped catapult Barack Obama to the presidency, the recovery seems as elusive as ever.
The president was not specific about what “economic patriotism” actually means. Hot Air suggests, based on past experience, it means a lot of deficit spending and unsustainable unfunded liabilities. Traditionally midterm elections have not been happy affairs for the party in power. There have been two recent exceptions, 1998 when impeachment politics helped President Clinton’s Democrats to gain seats and 2002 when the afterglow of President George W. Bush’s post 9/11 popularity redounded to the benefit of Republicans. Midterms are especially brutal in times of economic distress, hence the president’s latest pivot to the economy.