HuffPo Scribe Can't Decide if Obama's OT Order is 'Really Huge Deal' or 'Kind of Nothing'

A useful rule of thumb for discerning what liberals actually think about any given policy emanating from the Obama administration -- wait a few minutes after their initial gushing. Usually the gush continues indefinitely, but unexpected candor will occasionally surface.

An example of this curious dynamic was heard on libtalker Bill Press's radio show March 14 during a discussion with one of his guests, Huffington Post reporter Dave Jamieson. (Audio clips after the jump)

Press and Jamieson were talking about Obama's most recent executive order, this one pertaining to overtime pay. Jamieson was initially quite enthusiastic about this, as to be expected whenever Dear Leader extends His Munificence to The People (audio) --

PRESS: The president yesterday taking steps to expand overtime pay for overtime work. Dave Jamieson covers these issues for The Huffington Post, labor reporter, good friend to the program, back in this morning. ... So, I want to understand these overtime rules. This is a big deal, right?

JAMIESON: Yeah, this is a really huge deal actually and I think it could really change work and life for a lot of people.

After several minutes of back and forth on the specifics of Obama's action, Jamieson pulled back a bit on his earlier "really huge deal" claim (audio)  --

PRESS: All right now, the president signed yesterday in this order that doesn't, it doesn't require businesses to do this, right?

JAMIESON: What he signed is kind of nothing yesterday, right? He signed an order directing the Labor Department to start developing changes, so we're a ways off. Uh, but it could be just a few months before they changes. (sic)

Got that? It's both a "really huge deal" and "kind of nothing," which also qualifies as one of the most succinct descriptions ever of the Obama presidency.

Don't hold your breath waiting for anything concrete to emanate from Obama's latest sprinkling of fairy dust on the economy. But not to worry -- real, actual, living breathing change is just months, or years, or election cycles down the road. For now, this is little more than a jobs program for bureaucrats in the Labor Department.

Jamieson gets it right that it is "kind of nothing" -- for the people it purports to help. As the Heritage Foundation's Genevieve Wood pointed out, businesses will respond by cutting base pay, slashing hours and/or giving more work to fewer people. But none of that matters since what is most important here is that Obama is again seen as doing something, anything to help struggling workers and to valiantly rouse the economy from its chronic lethargy. 

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts