Republicans have decided they're not going to give a rebuttal to President Obama's jobs speech later this week, a decision House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi took as a high affront to the White House.I'm sorry, but that is just weird. Nancy Pelosi wants someone to rebut the President? Out of respect? Public disagreement implies respect? Wouldn't respect be to agree with him? Doesn't respect include listening, digesting any proposals and thoughtfully responding after careful consideration? does respect require an immediate response before Republicans have had the opportunity to discuss matters among themselves? Doesn't the immediate rebuttal imply mostly partisanship?
Pelosi said the party's "silence" would "speak volumes about their lack of commitment to creating jobs."
"The Republicans' refusal to respond to the president's proposal on jobs is not only disrespectful to him, but to the American people," Pelosi said.
But Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said Obama's proposals on Thursday "will rise or fall on their own merits," suggesting a GOP response was not needed.
I can see only one argument that the refusal to rebut is disrespectful, but Nancy Pelosi did not make that argument. She could have argued that the failure to make a formal rebuttal trivializes the President's speech, implying that his ideas are not worth public dialogue. But she did not make that argument.
Whether the President's proposal are trivial remains to be seen. We certainly expect nothing less from the President than big government solutions that will make the problem worse. Whatever the President has to say, discussion by Congress happens in a different forum, not necessarily on the public airwaves.