Thursday, September 1, 2011



With President Obama gearing up to present a jobs and growth agenda next week, expect the Republicans to fight him tooth and nail on it. How do I know they'll do this? Because they have a long history of doing this. In fact, a little over 2 1/2 years ago I wrote that the GOP would refuse to work with President Obama because laying President Bush's economic mess at President Obama's doorstep would work politically for the the GOP in 2010 and 2012. As a reminder of when the GOP's obstructionism with President Obama began I'm re-posting my January 29, 2009 post below (with pictures this time).


Thursday, January 29, 2009


A nation of morons . . . This is what Republicans think of America.

The House Republican’s party-line “thumbs down” to President Obama’s economic stimulus program, and their rejection of Obama’s pre-vote olive branch, represents one thing and one thing only: their first step toward regaining power

According to Republicans, if they leave President Obama and the Democrats to deal with President Bush’s economic mess, they believe their rejection of the stimulus package will allow them to cast blame and gain some seats in 2010, with the goal of regaining power in 2012.

Unfortunately, this line of thinking is not so far-fetched.

Republicans understand very well that the economic catastrophe facing this country is real. Record deficits, stagnant wages, record personal debt, and an exploding national debt will not disappear any time soon. Still, they don’t want to help President Obama because they also understand that if Obama’s vision (making government work) and policy initiatives (directed toward social justice) help Americans see light at the end of the tunnel he will be rewarded. So will the Democratic Party.

Simply put, Republicans see FDR’s spirit in Barack Obama’s initiatives, and it scares the hell out of them. Obama has become a political Ghost Whisperer of sorts.

So the Republican strategy today is to put some distance between Bush’s record, and their blind support for Bush’s programs. They believe America will forget that they handed President Bush the matches he used to light our national house on fire. Worse, they think this will happen if they say "No" to everything President Obama proposes and wait for the underlying economic tsunami that is poised to wash up on our political shores (the numbers surrounding bank positions on derivatives are truly scary).

They are banking on additional meltdowns and bailout fatigue. Like political vultures, they are waiting for system rot and the smell of death. Hence the non-cooperation.

Obstructionism and a lack of cooperation worked for Republicans at the national level in 1994 (led by Gingrich), and in 2003 with California Governor Gray Davis (led, in part, by current minority Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy). The goal is not to govern, but to obtain power. It makes no difference to Republicans that the ideas they offer today – more tax cuts and deregulation – are the exact same ideas that ran this country into the ground under Bush.

You’re probably scratching your head, and asking yourself, “Are they really thinking like this? ... Do they really think America will forget?" The short answer to these questions is YES.

Like I said, Republicans think America is inhabited by a nation of morons.

OK, back to the present ...

Pretending to stand on principle (where were these guys when Reagan tripled and Bush II doubled our nation's debt?), the GOP's "just say no" program was noticed by the NY Times in October of 2009, but it really began during the health care debate under Newt Gingrich in 1993, as Adam Clymer documents here.

Now, think back over the past 2 1/2 years and ask yourself if the GOP has tried to work with President Obama to correct the mess that President Bush left behind.

* Repeal President Bush's budget busting tax cuts, which cost $300 billion per year? No.

* Repeal of President Bush's Medicare Part D, which costs $40-70 billion per year? No.

* Bringing the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, which costs $250 billion per year? No.

* A jobs or stimulus program to deal with the $250 billion a year hit we're taking because of the 2008 meltdown? No.

* Reining in the bailout gravy train (and pursuing the crooks on Wall Street), which costs at least $250 billion per year? No.

* Asking our nation's wealthy and upper middle class to cut back on some of their tax deductions, which cost us about $1.2 trillion per year? No.

They won't even consider cutting back on oil subsidies though the industry is making record profits. Simply put, the GOP isn't serious about the debt, or helping President Obama fix the economy unless it's done their way.

My new prediction? The GOP's going to do what they can to kill anything of substance that President Obama proposes on jobs. And if they do offer to help they won't touch tax cuts for the rich, or their tax deductions. Instead, their help will come with the poison pill of more cuts on insurance and other programs that help America's middle class and the poor. Then they'll propose more of President Bush-style tax cuts and deregulation programs.

What a mess.

- Mark

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