by John Lawrence / Will Blog for Food / November 27, 2010
Republicans are set to throw sand in the gears of everything Obama attempts to do to make the US and the world a better place. From DeMint saying that, if they could defeat him on health care, it would break him, it would be his Waterloo, to McConnell saying it was his main goal in the next two years to see that Obama would not get reelected. They are out to degrade and discredit Obama in every way they possibly can. From Jon Kyl blocking the START treaty to shutting down the government over the debt ceiling, they’ve made it clear there is no price that they will make others pay that is too high.
And they have their phalanx of right wing talk show hosts and Fox News who are pouring gasoline on the flames. They have capitalized on anger and made it the base of their appeal to the masses. The aggrieved masses are reacting in the same way the Germans did in the 1930s when a madman capitalized on their anger to catapult himself into power. There is no issue so benign that the Republicans won’t seek to trash it rather than give Obama an ostensible victory. They cast aspersions on him at every opportunity. Their goal is to turn him into a screaming meemie, an angry black man foaming at the mouth. There is no trick too dirty to play on him. They will use every political tool available to act in the worst interests of Obama – and the US and the world be damned.
Middle class tax cuts. You want middle class tax cuts? Then you must give tax cuts to the rich even though that would produce no economic benefits and would add $700 billion to the debt. But, hey, the rich could step up to the plate and buy a few more vacation homes thus alleviating the real estate market and providing construction jobs. Or they could buy another Lear jet. You want to reduce the debt? Not on the backs of the rich you won’t as long as the right wing Republicans and Tea Baggers have anything to do with it. In America, where never is heard a nondisparaging word about Obama, Republicans are content to produce a Gotterdammerung pulling themselves, the US and the whole world down with them if they don’t get their way.
They will castigate Obama in every conceivable way. They will tie him down like the Lilliputians tied down Gulliver. They will seek his death by a thousand cuts. When one of them flames out, another will arise to whiplash him. What legislation they can’t kill, they will delay. They are licking their chops savoring the day when they assume complete power. Although Democrats still control the Senate and the Presidency, Republicans act like they are running the whole show. They are playing chicken with Obama and the American people because they have enough Americans in their camp who have been whipped into a frenzy by right wing talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. And their campaigns are fueled by right wing billionaires like the Koch brothers. They have enough demagogues to sabotage every issue. They have a movement behind them – the Tea Baggers. Where is the movement on the left? There isn’t any. Where is the wind beneath Obama’s sails? There isn’t any.
Forget unemployment insurance, food stamps, anything to do with the unfortunate souls who have lost their homes and their 401ks. Those folks will end up on the streets dependent on charity for the rest of their lives. The rest will hang on by their teeth in debt peonange for the rest of their lives. Republicans have vowed to dismantle any and all programs which might benefit the poor or the unemployed. Expect unemployment to surge until the Republicans obtain enough power to redefine unemployment and make 25% unemployment the new normal. They will just redefine it in such a way that 25% unemployment will turn into an official 5%, and then everyone will go about their business as if nothing ever happened until the next financial catastrophe requiring a massive government bailout. The simplest way to redefine unemployment is to just limit the official number of unemployed to those currently on unemployment insurance and then reduce the length of time that they will be able to collect. Presto, we have reduced unemployment to 5% or even less! Welcome to the Brave New World where Republican compassion is an oxymoron!
The Republicans will seek deficit reduction by cutting or eliminating every social program that benefits the middle class like social security and Medicare. But they will extend even more tax cuts to the rich under the mantra that that will improve the economy, a theory that has proven to be totally false. In the 1960s there was a left wing movement, primarily an anti-war movement, but did that movement put elected members in Congress the way the Tea Party has done? No, they marched, they demonstrated, but they were politically ineffective because they didn’t have talk radio and Fox News behind them. Today the Tea Party has something approaching real political power. Their business is to constantly pound Obama day after day beseiging him by denigrating him and everything he stands for. It doesn’t matter how many lies they have to tell. No matter that Obama is a moderate centrist, they call him a far left socialist. It doesn’t matter how many poor people they have to sacrifice on the altar of their own political power aspirations. Millions have been set aside for Haiti relief only to be tied up by one Republican, Tom Coburn. When one man can defeat the will of the people and cause misery for millions of people, American democracy is at a standstill if it hasn’t already gone into reverse.
Obama and the Democrats need to play hardball with the Republicans because what the Republicans are doing is beyond hardball. They are using every dirty trick they can think of to denounce, denigrate, castigate and assassinate the character of the President of the US. The fate of the American people lies in the balance. What amounts to an angry mob has been whipped up by the right wing.
Fox News headlines “Democrats Fail to Extend Unemployment Benefits” rather than “Republicans Vote Not to Extend Unemployment Benefits.” Or Democrats Fail to Pass Tax Cuts for Middle Class. Yeah, because all Republcans voted against tax cuts for the middle class. Democrats fail to do anything. Yeah, because Republicans vote against anything Democrats try to do. It’s all in the spin. Republicans don’t want to give Obama or the Democrats any credit for anything, but they will give them credit for their failure to do anything, a failure that results from Republican determination not to let them get anything done.
Saturday Night Live did a skit about a press conference by Premeir Hu of China at one mike with an interpreter and Obama at the other. As Hu mumbled in pseudo Chinese, an interpreter standing behind him enunciated the English. Hu expressed increased frustration at Obama’s chiding. It seemed Obama thought his role was to tell the Chinese everythting that was wrong with them and to tell Hu what he must do to please the Americans. As Hu got increasingly fed up with Obama’s demands, his voice rose and he said, “Are you going to take me out to dinner first?” Obama was like, “Who? What the …?” And Hu says, “I like to be taken out to dinner first before someone does sex to me!” Then he bends over and backs towards Obama. Obama demurs. This goes on for a few more rounds before they announce, “LIVE FROM NEW YORK. IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT.”
SNL could revise this skit slightly with Obama playing Hu’s role and House majority leader John Boner [sic] playing the role of Obama. As Obama tries to get Boner to compromise for the good of the American people, finally in desperation he says, “Are you going to take me to the movies first?”