This morning's Face the Nation was an interesting contrast in style. Bob Schieffer led off with Haley Barbour in what can only be a softball interview about Republicans, their chances in 2012, and the current field of candidates. In the second half, he suddenly got a bit more strident in his questioning of Nancy Pelosi, but she managed to place responsibility where it truly belongs. Here's the money moment:
Schieffer: The fact is, the Congress has been in session since January and it's done basically nothing.
Pelosi: Well you can talk to Mr. Boehner about that.
Schieffer: So it's all their fault. It's not your fault.
Pelosi: Well no, they set the agenda. We have said every day that they're there another day goes by and there's no jobs agenda or jobs bill that has come to the floor. But again, it's about how we can work together to go forward. These issues are bigger than politics, they're bigger than elections. They're about the country that we will live in. And what we will see as we go forward is one vision of America that's encompassed in the Republican budget plan that abolishes Medicare, that makes college unaffordable for nearly ten million young people in our country, that takes us deeper into debt and does not create jobs, or you can talk about an agenda that talks about making it in America, investing in American education, innovation and that's what campaigns are about.
The opener on this conversation drives me a little crazy. Blaming a President for the economy without holding Congress' feet to the fire is disingenuous, given Congress' responsibilities with regard to appropriations and setting the national agenda that the President must then act upon. Yet in this current session of Congress, we've seen numerous votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, legislate a woman's right to choose into oblivion, the defunding of agencies like NOAA and the EPA, and an overall agenda that kills jobs in the public sector at the very least. So what exactly does the President have to do with any of that?
And Pelosi delivers that message quite effectively. Bothered about the jobs report? Talk to Mr. Boehner, because he's the guy who has set the agenda for this session of Congress. Democrats should be running with this message and asking Americans whether or not they understand Congress' role in the economy and what this crazy Republican House of Representatives is doing to tank it.
Schieffer pushes back on her