|"Stimulus has become a bad word," says Lasky (left).|
Last Monday in his jobs speech
, President Barack Obama made a serious effort to wrest control of the Narrative away from the Republicans.
For months Democrats have complained about how they kept ending up negotiating on Republicans' terms, how Republicans dictated the discourse. But of course Republicans dictated the discourse, they controlled the Narrative. While Democrats worked to persuade people by reciting numbers and expert testimony, Republicans connected with people by telling a story. Numbers feel arbitrary; stories make sense.
All this came to a boil during the debt-ceiling debate, and Obama has since learned his lesson. Now he is telling stories the way he did in '08. Now he is recognizing the importance of the Narrative.
In the speech he explained that the $447 billion American Jobs Act will spur the economy through a variety of mechanisms: tax cuts for workers and small businesses who hire, with added cuts for hiring veterans and the long-term unemployed; investment in infrastructure -- from roads to schools -- to provide jobs for construction workers; and funding to prevent teacher, police, and firefighter layoffs.
A major goal of the speech was to highlight the tools the government has to improve the economy, to dispel the growing notion that the government needs to just get out of the way and let the Free Market correct itself.
But did his message resonate?
In this week's edition of Of the People, we headed over to Barrister's in Clayton to find out. More »