The truth about the GOP you won't see on Fox News...

Discussion in 'Politics' started by OPTIONAL777, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. Mitchell Bard

    Writer and Filmmaker
    Posted: December 28, 2009 02:24 PM

    Looking back on 2009, much of the discussion on TV news shows is whether President Obama and the Democrats in Congress correctly handled the problems facing the country. Somehow, a narrative seems to have emerged that the Democrats failed and would pay the price in the 2010 midterm elections.

    But where is the discussion of how the Republicans have behaved in the last year?

    It has been less than one year since President Obama was sworn in. When he sat behind the big desk in the Oval Office for the first time, he found himself responsible for a free-falling economy (and mounting staggering job losses), a massive deficit, the manpower and financial burden of hundreds of thousands of troops in Iraq, a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, and a militant Islamic movement looking to inflict damage on America and American interests, all of which came as a direct result of the failed policies of his predecessor. Obama also had a host of other problems to address, from global warming to energy dependence to a corrupt and dangerous Iranian government struggling to hold onto power and capable of real danger, just to name a few.

    The president didn't create any of these problems. Not one of them. And it is completely unrealistic to think that any person or party could solve these issues in less than a year.

    Now, there has been much debate over whether Obama's handling of these issues was up to snuff. From listening to the ridiculous rhetoric from the right, you would think that the president was trying to turn the country into some bizarre combination of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. And many progressives are unsatisfied with Obama's handling of the re-regulation of the financial industry, as well as his approach to health care, LGBT issues and other points of contention.

    But another way to put it is that the criticism form the right is not only unfounded, but the Republicans have offered no real alternatives to address the issues, aside from advocating for the failed Bush policies of the last decade. And progressives seem to forget that the arcane rules in the Senate limit what can be done with only a majority, while Republicans in Congress are single-minded and united to do anything they can to politically damage the president, without any concern for actually governing for the American people. We saw that in play in the health care debate, as the 40 Republican senators remained rock solid in support of the insurance companies and the status quo (the current system is a disaster, as health care costs chew up more and more of the country's GDP while leaving Americans with more and more health care expenses and less and less coverage).

    What have the Republicans offered aside from "no"?

    To me, that should be the real story of the first year of the Obama administration. The discussion should be about the utter disdain the Republicans have shown for the American people, as the party has put political games and protecting its corporate interests in the first position on every issue. That, and the out-and-out lies that have become the go-to strategy of the party (death panels anyone?).

    Consider that in the last two weeks alone, we have been treated to:

    - GOP senators blocking confirmation of Obama appointees as a way of securing petty political victories. (What kind of system allows a single senator to hold up confirmation of an appointee? How is it that a party can control 60 seats in the Senate and still not have the ability to confirm the president's appointments? Does this seem like a good idea to anyone interested in maintaining a functioning government?)

    - Republican senators holding up funding for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as a tactic to slow down health care reform. (When Democrats in Congress during the Bush years balked at writing a blank check for a failed war in Iraq, Republicans questioned their patriotism. But now, to Republicans, it's okay to block funding the troops as a way of slowing down health care reform? How is this not a story? Why is this not provoking voter outrage?)

    - Republicans opposing health care reform on fiscal grounds, even though the bill will lower the deficit, and despite the fact that the same Republicans had no trouble ballooning the deficit in the Bush years by approving massive tax cuts for the rich, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Medicare prescription drug program without paying for any of them.

    - Sen. James Inhofe traveling to Copenhagen to undermine President Obama at the Copenhagen climate change summit. (Can you imagine the charges Republicans would have thrown at a Democrat who traveled to a conference Bush was attending to undermine his position? I promise you the words "patriotism" -- as in lack of -- and "treason" would have come up.)

    - GOP senators calling for the watering down of financial reform legislation, just a year after the misconduct of the banks caused the economy to go into a death spiral. (If there is a lot of anti-bank feeling in the country now, why isn't the biggest defender of the finance industry, the Republican party, getting hit with the blame? And how can any legislator oppose reform in the face of developments like a credit card legally charging 79.9 percent interest?)

    - Sen. John Thune lying on the floor of the Senate as to when benefits take effect in health care reform legislation. (Thanks to Al Franken for not being intimidated and pointing out a lie when he saw one.)

    - Republican superstar Sarah Palin reiterating the lie that health care legislation called for death panels, and changing the basis for the accusation when her original charge was proven untrue. (This kind of dishonest fear-mongering is more contrary to American ideals of democracy than anything in the health care legislation itself could ever possibly be.)

    - Sen. Tom Coburn demanding a reading of an amendment to the health care reform bill calling for a single-payer program (which would have taken 12 hours, but which only went several hours before Sen. Bernie Sanders withdrew the amendment) as a way to slow down health care reform. (If the Democrats had tried something like that during the Bush years, they would have been pilloried by Republicans for not respecting the American people's wishes as expressed by the election results.)

    Again, these events are only from the last two weeks. And the list is hardly complete.

    So if the Republicans are supposed to be guaranteed to win seats in 2010, on what will these victories be won? What have the Republicans done to help the American people with the grave problems they face? (Sen. Mitch McConnell seems to think that the health care reform bill will be enough. Will Americans really support the Republicans on this one?)

    To be clear, I am not arguing that the president and the Democrats in Congress have been beyond reproach in 2009. I think there is a lot of fair criticism to be levied, and a fair debate can be had as to whether the Democrats handled health care reform and other issues as well as they could have. But any deficiency in the Democratic approach pales when compared to the shameful conduct of Republicans during this time. The Democrats were making an effort to clean up Bush's messes. The Republican motives in the last year have not in any way involved actually trying to fix problems (or, even worse, they don't even acknowledge that many of the problems exist in the first place).

    The story for 2010 should be the Republican party's complete disregard for the needs of the American people. The party's decision to prioritize scoring political victories over the president, protecting corporate interests, and relying on lies to do it over solving problems and governing should be clear to anyone paying attention. Let's hope that when voters go to the polls in 2010, they remember who was trying to solve problems and who wasn't. Time will tell if we will ever fully recover from what Bush did to the country. The last thing we need is more Republican rule, offering more of the same failed policies.
  2. The story for 2010 should be the Democratic congress complete disregard for the ideas of the Republican congressional party.
  3. Especially when they worked so well before. :)
  4. Wallet


    The story will be that the Democratic members of congress passed bills in spite of the will of their constituents that voted them into office.

    The Dem's want to bash Bush for the TARP but it's being paid back, but nothing about the failed Stimulus package, or future Stimulus bailouts being discussed, the Socialist Auto Bailout debacle, Carbon Tax hoax and Health Care.

    No, the Democratic Party has spewed out a never ending list of self-serving trash, in an effort to cement their power, with out regard to the American people.

    Yes you can knock past GOP decisions, but for the DNC to point a finger is epic hypocrisy.

    The Story will end with the American voter forsaking those whose representation forsook them, and hopefully pulls their respective heads out of their own arse and elects someone from outside the two parties, as obviously anyone coming from their ranks is incapable of leading independently from their parties orders and agenda.
  5. Excellent post.
  6. Ohhh I forgot, Jimmy Carter must have been a great President.

    What we know is the democrats took control of Congress in 2007. How has the country been doing since Jan 2007 till now?
  7. Arnie


    Mr Bard is an idiot. All of his arguments can be easily refuted.
  8. If the arguments are so easy to refute, do so.

    You show your own impotency by calling him an idiot and then not backing up such claims with a counter argument...

  9. Wait... president, congress -- you want to pick one as the leaders of the economy?
  10. Gee, I almost forgot that VP Biden, Secretary of state Clinton, Majority Leader Reid, former VP candidates Lieberman and Edwards, Presidential nominee Kerry and former Dem Senate leader Daschle each voted FOR the war in Iraq.

    So which is worse? Being a Republican who stonewalls Obama or being a Democrat who affirmed Bush's war but then campaigns as a duplicitous peacenick?

    Was it not Obama during his 2004 Senate campaign who advocated an even harder line in Pakistan than bush when he stunned the Chicago Tribune editorial board with his comment, "I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. "But let me make this clear, If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and (Pakistani) President (Pervez) Musharraf will not act, we will." How Ghandi like. No wonder he received the Nobel Peace prize.

    For eight years the Left harped about pre-emptive wars, our grandchildren paying off big deficits, profiteering by Bush oil buddies, jobless "recoveries" while Wall Street stock holders got rich, lack of public spending on "shovel ready" infra structure improvements, a military composed of desperate minorities and lack of transparency.

    Has even one of those conditions changed? Now all we need is a tepid Federal response time to a natural disaster and Bush/Obama will have virtual 100% serial correlation.

    And to dispel Big Lie #1 about the prescription drug bill: Old school medicine performed expensive surgeries that were fully covered by Medicare. New school medicine prescribes expensive drugs that have eliminated the imperative of many said surgeries. So was it fair, let alone fiscally prudent for Medicare to effectively say, "yes we'll cover your $200,000 valve replacement but we won't cover the new $200 a month drug that lessens the chance of an expensive heart procedure"? Comparing a national health insurance plan benefiting young, able bodied illegals to enhanced coverage for those who've paid a half century in medicare taxes is the most disingenuous argument I've yet seen. But then again, who is more of a duplicitous, lying, envious, anti-American speciman than a progressive, socialist, Democrat?
    #10     Dec 29, 2009