James Taranto writes an often brilliant column at the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Best of the Web Today.”  If you do not now read it, you are missing some of the most clever and insightful writing on the political scene today.

If what I heard on the radio today had been on the web, it most certainly would have been the subject of one of Mr. Taranto’s scathing regular features, “Other Than That, the Story Was Accurate.”

Josh Earnest, a Deputy White House Press Secretary must have drawn the short straw because he was chosen to give the Administration’s line to a local News Radio station in Portland this morning.  The subject of the “interview” with Paul Linnman (of Great Exploding Whale fame) was the President’s American Jobs Act.  I highlight the word “interview” because this was really nothing more than an opportunity for the White House to give its talking points about the bill just before the Senate votes on it.  It is a bill that was never meant to be passed but the White House continues to pretend that it is anything other than a political maneuver.

Smile to Impress the Boss - Earnest (center) has the broadest fake smile of all

Mr. Earnest was attempting to sound like he believed what he was saying and did a fairly good job of sounding like he was telling the truth.  The problem is that he knows what he said was untrue.  He knows he was telling lies for the President.  I’m sure he asked himself whether his integrity was worth losing his job and concluded it wasn’t.  I wonder how he sleeps at night knowing he is perpetrating a huge lie.  What am I talking about, you ask.

Mr. Earnest claimed that this bill was proposed for one reason and one reason only, to put Americans back to work.  It is putting politics and class warfare aside, he said, and doing the work of the people.  He echoed Mr. Obama’s words, “This is not the time for the usual games or political gridlock in Washington,” Mr. Obama said in his weekend radio and Internet address. “Any senator out there who’s thinking about voting against this jobs bill needs to explain why they would oppose something that we know would improve our economic situation.”  He then stated that the bill has provisions supported by both Democrats and Republicans in the past and that no member of Congress would vote against it for any reason other than for political gain.  He claimed this was not about class warfare.  It is about getting our economy going.

He claimed that independent analysts claim that the bill will create 1.9 million jobs almost immediately.  These are the same “independent analysts” who Mr. Obama highlighted when they claimed the original stimulus bill would drop unemployment to under 8%.  He claimed the bill would pay for itself with only a small increase in taxes for the “rich.”  He neglected to say that if the “rich” made enough money to pay the additional tax, it would take 10 years to cover the money to be spent over the next 12 months.  In Mr. Earnest’s view, this must not bve either class warfare or lying with statistics.

He then went on to claim (in spite of the fact that he had already said on three occasions that this was not a political thing) that if it did not pass, it would be because the Republicans were playing politics with the President.  He said this knowing full well that a minimum of three Democrats have said they will not vote for it.  My guess is that the number of Democrats voting against will be many more than three.  Even if every Republican voted against it, the Democrats have enough votes to pass the bill, even without the Independents.  So why is it that all Mr. Earnest could say, many times, that the Republicans will kill the bill?  He said that because that is the goal of the bill – to put the Republicans up as the ones who are playing politics and blocking the President at every turn.

It is clear that the President had no intention of this bill ever passing.  He put enough waste and stupidity into it to turn off all but the most loyal Democrats.  It will fail in the Senate tonight, like Mr. Obama planned and then he will have the Republicans to blame for it – his original intent for the bill.

Mr.Earnest has sold out to his Master to keep his job but don’t expect him to ever be the actual Press Secretary.  He has been passed over for that job once already.  It must be that he actually thinks about what he is told to say.  From the looks of this bill, and the anger Mr. Obama shows when reading his teleprompter about it, that may be enough to make the President mad at him.  Have you noticed that the President has seemed very upset each time he has addressed the issue of his jobs bill?  I think I know why.  Mr. Obama’s clever plan to make the Republicans look like they are sacrificing teachers and policemen so Millionaires can have tax breaks may backfire on him.  It turns out that Democrats are having to think long and hard about supporting the bill.  They don’t  want their constituencies knowing that they have voted for a bill that will spend $450 Billion right now but will hope to collect that money over the next 10 years by increasing taxes.  Could it be that Mr. Obama will bury some friends as he tries to blame the poor economy on his enemies?

Mr. Earnest may still lose his job for not being 100% loyal but if his act on radio this morning was any indication, he wants to keep it pretty badly, enough to lie for it.

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