When looking at the unfolding of President Obama's jobs proposal one has to wonder if the Democrats are committing suicide before our eyes. This epic collapse is a combination of several key factors. First, there's the crisis atmosphere that has been perpetuated throughout the Obama presidency. While this helped provide the impetus for early legislation, it's impossible to maintain a frantic emotion for extended periods of time. At some point people living in a state of alarm hit a wall and all systems start to shut down. Critics have argued this point with regard to the TEA party's adherents, but the case could just as easily be made that enthusiasm for Democrat initiatives have suffered the same fate but on an even greater scale.
Second, people are tuning out the President. One key reason for President Obama's rise was his ability to connect to the public with the spoken word. But just like an addictive drug, Obama's regular appeals to the public have resulted in a law of diminishing return. Each press conference, each message to congress, each national interview has led to a built up resistance in the public conscience.
Third, there's been a subtle sense of desperation that has permeated the policy of the Democrat policy as the "solutions" haven't delivered, Obama's approval polls are dismal, elections have turned against them, and the drumbeat of 2012 comes ever closer. There has been more and more news of infighting within leadership, pushes for change of direction, and open defiance of the President.
This leads to the present where we see several interesting things happening. With the current Jobs bill up for debate we see truly bizarre behavior. The President takes a vacation in the midst of credit downgrade to come up with a bold, new jobs plan. What he produces is more stimulus, more spending, and another call for taxes on America's job producers. With the dysfunction within the party, vulnerable Democrats feel they can't afford the political liability of these unpopular measures and refuse to jump on board, delaying a vote on a proposal from the leader of their own party. Unwilling to lay the blame on his own party, the President blames Republicans in congress only to see Republican leadership offer an immediate vote on his proposal. The Democrats are now in a bind of having a hopelessly flawed bill they know they can't bring to a vote but also can't leave drifting in the political winds.
And now for the final act in the theater of the absurd. Harry Reid knows that a straight up or down vote won't work, but allowing Republican amendments to the bill could be just as destructive. So what does the Democrat Senate decide? Put the bill up for a vote with as crafted by the Democrat majority, suspend the rules to prohibit discussion, invoke the nuclear option, and prevent Republicans from providing input or highlighting the issue. Yes, in attempt to sweep the Jobs bill debacle under the rug the Democrats have resorted to changing the rules in mid-stream and invoking the nuclear option. I just hope that the Democrats enjoy this fun precedent when they're in the soon-to-be minority. Two sayings come to mind: "What goes around comes around" and "You reap what you sow".