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Aren’t elephants supposed to have thick skins?

House Republican Leader John Boehner’s office just sent me a link to a blog item just published by The Hill regarding President Barack Obama’s speech today in Pittsburgh:

President Barack Obama is “diminishing” the U.S. presidency through his rhetoric against Republicans, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) charged Wednesday.

Boehner ripped a speech by the president in Pittsburgh this afternoon in which Obama spoke against the GOP’s economic policies, arguing they would only benefit monied and powerful interests.

“The president diminishes the Office of the President when he resorts to straw man arguments that willfully mischaracterize the views of others,” Boehner shot back this afternoon. “All of the president’s talk of post-partisanship, reaching out and finding common ground reminds us that the country deserves better than his hyper-partisan speech today.”

Obama sought in remarks at Carnegie Mellon University to portray the midterm elections as a choice between old, Republican ideas and a future led by his economic policies.

“As November approaches, leaders in the other party will campaign furiously on the same economic argument they’ve been making for decades,” he said. “Fortunately, we don’t have to look back too many years to see how it turns out. For much of the last ten years, we tried it their way.”

crying elephantThis was, however, the fifth e-mail that Boehner’s office has sent me today, all of them mounting attacks on the President and his policies: two preemptively pooh-poohing the soon-to-arrive May employment figures, which the GOP notes will be “spiked” with temporary hiring of census workers; two offering comments (Boehner’s and an economics professor’s) on the President’s speech, and this one.

That’s par for the course: Boehner’s office, the Republican National Committee and other party organs churn out release after release – “ICYMI’s” (in case you missed it), “GOP Leader Alerts,” “RNC Research Briefings” and so on – every single day attacking the President and his policies. (I got one of those “RNC Research Briefings today, too.)

That’s fine – I read ‘em all and save most of ‘em – but spare me the hypocritical crocodile tears when the President talks back. It’s like the playground bully who goes crying to the teacher when somebody finally clocks him.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • AJ

    It’s just a political game played by both sides so don’t get your panties all twisted!

  • Josh Richman

    Oh, don’t worry about me, AJ – I’m just exercising my ability to call out bull—- when I see it, just as I’m sure you do. If nobody did so, of what use would the blogosphere be?

  • John W

    Whatever ointment Boehner uses to color his skin orange may cause degradation of his elephantine epidermal thickness.