How to go from lose-lose to win-win
The short version is that Obama has been putting pressure on Congressional Republicans to temporarily extend his fairly useless payroll-tax cuts (useless mainly because they are temporary). Republicans have been resisting it, because like all of the President’s stimulus measures they have succeeded only in spending money we don’t have, which put them in a position where Democrats could demagogue them as wanting to raise taxes on the middle class while preserving tax cuts for the “rich.”
It was a nasty pickle, to be sure. Then, our glorious leader said this:
So now Obama has painted himself into a corner. All Republicans have to do is call his bluff. If he vetoes it, it’ll be him who killed the payroll-tax cut. If he doesn’t, not only will he be diminished by having to back off from his threat but America will get oil and jobs.
Maybe it’s all reverse psychology and the President secretly wants both the payroll-tax cut extension and the oil pipeline, and is trying to use the Republicans to screen him from the environmentalists fighting the pipeline, and is willing to take the hit to his stature that caving on a veto threat would bring to accomplish this. Given the size of the man’s ego, I doubt that’s the case though.
Update: Here is a an even better reason to discard that theory. Straight from the President himself:
So yes, not only does he believe paying people to not work creates jobs, but creates more jobs than a private enterprise that transports oil to the United States. To think, if I had gone to Harvard I could have learned stuff like this as well.