In his post-budget deal speech this morning, President Obama outlined the necessity of an effective federal government and thanked the Democrats and Republicans who worked together to end the shutdown while criticizing, without specifically naming, the conservatives responsible for the closure.
“Now, there's been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of this shutdown. But let's be clear. There are no winners here,” Obama said, before taking some well-earned shots at certain Republicans.
“We hear some members who pushed for the shutdown say they were doing it to save the American economy," Obama said. "But nothing has done more to undermine our economy these past three years than the kind of tactics that create these manufactured crises."
He challenged those Republicans (who, again, he did not mention by name or party) responsible for the shutdown, telling them to "argue for your position" and to "go win an election" instead of "break[ing] what our predecessors spent over two centuries building."
But who else is to blame for the government's problems, aside from the more conservative Republicans? The bloggers, or at least in part.
And now that the government has reopened and this threat to our economy is removed, all of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists, and the bloggers, and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict, and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do, and that's grow this economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, educate our kids, lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul. That's why we're here. That should be our focus.
The president also listed three ways in which he feels Congress can make progress immediately: by pursuing a balanced and responsible budget, by fixing our “broken” immigration system, and by passing a farm bill, which already has bipartisan support in the Senate.
Obama ended the speech with another dig at conservatives and the Tea Party: by noting the importance of “smart, effective government.”
And we hear all the time about how government is the problem. Well, it turns out we rely on it in a whole lot of ways. Not only does it keep us strong through our military and our law enforcement, it plays a vital role in caring for our seniors and our veterans, educating our kids, making sure our workers are trained for the jobs that are being created, arming our businesses with the best science and technology so they can compete with companies from other countries. It plays a key role in keeping our food and our toys and our workplaces safe. It helps folks rebuild after a storm. It conserves our natural resources.
[Image via AP]