Swatties Help Obama “Pass This Jobs Bill”

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

President Obama called on Americans two weeks ago to help him pass the American Jobs Act. Last Thursday, College Democrats heeded the call, gathering in Shane Lounge to show their support.

With a phone handy and help from Delaware County Democrats, Swatties were encouraged to call their representatives in Swarthmore and back home.

“We’re trying to build pressure on Congress,” says Peter Gross ’13, a College Democrat. “It’s a bipartisan bill, and should be passed.”

However, as government shutdown looms—the second this year—talks of austerity and party rancor has stalled the president’s already sputtering agenda.

In past weeks, with nowhere else to turn, the President  has become increasingly populist, taking his plan directly to the people. Standing in front of an aging bridge, the President yesterday promoted the plan, which includes tax cuts, state aid and infrastructure financing. Less than incidentally, the bridge connects the states of his chief Republican opponents, John Boehner of Ohio and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Both lambasted the president, who is proposing to pay for the bill with tax increases on the rich, accusing him of “class warfare.” “When looking at the GOP, it’s clear how important it is to support Obama,” says Lisa Sendrow ‘13.

Even while the President pressures Republicans, much criticism has come from Democrats, who have quietly groaned over the President’s stray from standard Democratic values. To the disappointment of many progressives, he has placed Social Security and other entitlement programs on the chopping board in his debt reduction plan.

Yet Swarthmore Democrats are still undeterred. The American Jobs Act is a “massive step forward” says Gross ’13. “It’s a realistic track during a split Congress.” When asked why he was calling to support the bill, Ryan Greenlaw ‘15 explained, “I’m supportive because if given the opportunity, he will do what we sent him there to do.”

Nevertheless, despite their best efforts, it’s unclear how voicing their support will give the President the wherewithal to pass this bill in a divided Congress. Republicans remain intransient, and so far Senate majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada has no plans to bring the bill up for a vote.

“I don’t know if it’s enough,” says Aaron Eckhouse ‘13, “but we’re here to make a difference.”


  1. I find this article a little bit embarrassing, especially the description of the American Jobs Act as a “massive step forward,” but please know that I feel nothing but sympathy for Swarthmore students who will soon be attempting to enter a dead-as-a-doornail jobs market whose doornails have been hammered home by the policies of this administration. You all deserve better opportunities than staffing Democratic Party-sponsored phone banks and your parents deserve a better return on their investment in you than currently seems to be in the cards. I couldn’t find the word “intransient” (obviously a typo)in the dictionary, but it should be there. It seems appropriate for these highly confused times.

  2. Hey Curtis good job, that’s the first conservative reply I’ve seen in a LONG time that has no grammar, spelling or syntax errors. Teach your people how to communicate!

    But yeah, really, seriously, it’s painfully obvious that the Republicans just want to stay rich and quit paying for poor people to eat and get an education, and would rather enslave them and invest their profits offshore. Here’s a crazy, crazy fucking idea: Let’s tax them a TINY bit more, send a FEW more kids to college, feed a FEW more starving American children (maybe even vaccinate them?), stimulate the economy a LITTLE bit, and maybe, just maybe, allow the American dream to be a realistic possibility for people other than those that ALREADY have accrued a massive amount of stagnant wealth.

    • Your sarcasm is childish and your response is ignorant. Conservatism does not equate to stupidity, which may be why Swarthmore students tend to think that anyone not liberal or in support of the Democratic Party is stupid. Being libertarian is not much more fun, either. Also, increasing taxes on the rich won’t do anything because there are loopholes within the tax code which many businessmen use to their advantage that allow them to pay a much lower rate. A better answer would be to reform the tax code, simplify it so that it has less loopholes, thereby creating equity in the system without heaping more taxes on the people who pay more than half the taxes in this country as it is, especially when they are the ones doing all the hiring.

      On a side note, the definition of liberal is: “tolerant, open-minded, especially in religion and politics.”

      Food for thought.

  3. Thanks Curtis. It’s embarrassing that some Swarthmore students dismiss conservatives as inherently stupid. It’s time “liberalism” lived up to its definition.

  4. Mr. X was out of line. That doesn’t make what Mr. Roberts says any less condescending.

    “…your parents deserve a better return on their investment in you than currently seems to be in the cards.”

    My parents sent me to Swarthmore to become a well-educated, open-minded person with integrity. If you sent your children to college to churn out money, speak for yourself.

    • I’m sorry, I fail to see how I was out of line. Everything in this article and in Mike G’s post fails to strike me as fair to conservatives in any way, shape, or form. I’m glad you came to Swarthmore to be an “open-minded” student, but if you feel like a response like his is not out of line, you may need to take a good look in the mirror and question that axiom. What in Mr. Roberts’ post is out of line? The economy does suck. People can’t get work. The administration has had minimal if not adverse effects on the economy, and the only response is to say that conservatives are greedy? I didn’t know the truth was out of line. Being childish about it like Mike G does not really help the case either. A little humor injected into a post is ok, but dripping sarcasm and condescension do not make for a serious debate. Sorry. Nor do I think that defining liberalism (open-mindedness) is out of line either, because it seems to be the one thing that Swatties tend to forget. Yeah, we are open to “progressive” thoughts, but when it’s conservative, forget about it.

  5. K, let’s not conflate prioritizing employment as suddenly wanting to “churn out” money. The level of American joblessness and economic ineptitude of the current administration is frightening. I don’t need to be a millionaire, but I have a right–yes, as a Swat student–to desire a well-paying job after graduation. That means engaging in an honest conversation about our current president.

  6. I think it’s a little unfair to blame the current situation on the current administration. We know that the economic crisis started before Obama took office; that’s not my point. My point is that Obama entered office running as a ‘great negotiator’ who would be able to pull together Democrats and Republicans and solve America’s problems. This didn’t work largely because Republicans didn’t want to negotiate (instituting purity codes, etc.), which forced Obama to instead rely solely on Democrats to get anything done, like passing the health care bill. After the Democratic majority was removed, this became impossible, and so the current administration has had little chance to get anything done since because of the overwhelming conservative opposition to anything Obama tries. Meanwhile, Obama’s centrist position has alienated some liberals who want to balance out the current Republican extremism.

    That said, I think the jobs bill will help a little, and so I’m for it.

  7. Being slightly to the right of the entire Daily Kos agenda hardly makes the President a centrist. The Democratic majority was removed as the result of an overwhelming repudiation of the Obama administration’s failing policies. If anything he has proven himself as rigid an ideologue as anyone in Washington.

    This isn’t a jobs bill, it is the tax increase Obama has been hoping for since he was a candidate. From a job growth perspective,there is virtually nothing stimulative. Basically an election year payoff. I don’t blame the President for wanting it passed immediately,because it cannot withstand minimal scrutiny.

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