Time for Work or Politics?
Tony E Hansen
25 Jan 2012
Tony E Hansen
25 Jan 2012
Over the course of the past few months (and years), GOP candidates have been ramping up claims that there are problems with President Obama’s leadership. Interestingly, they have also frankly stated that their number one goal is to “stop” Obama. Their focus is upon making Obama a one-term president: not job creation, not deficits, not wars, not civility and definitely not helping middle class Americans survive the Great Recession. Workers, rights, jobs, research, cost of education, military and such clearly are not in the interests of the GOP.
There has never been any hope for bipartisan efforts because that has been contrary to the GOP focus since Obama was elected (especially since gaining control of the House). Within hours of his election (before even taking office), his policies were declared “failures” with no alternative proposed and no evidence to showcase these purported failures. Just because the talking heads say “Obama” and “failure” in the same sentence, herds of “sheep” go around bleating mindlessly this characterization with an eye on embarrassing Obama rather than addressing serious issues facing the United States. Perhaps the economy could have a chance to recover quicker with help from those on the right, but instead they choose to play the role of hecklers and thorns-in-the-side of Obama.
The right-wingers have continuously voted to block government efforts without regard to the needs of the American public. Essentially, they have put politics ahead of doing the work they were elected to do (e.g. governing). This, at a time in American history, when people need responsible government and the government needs to keep the economy from going into tailspins. They want to discuss the validity of birth certificates, failed notions of supply-side economics, or bailouts of companies (forgetting that we subsidize large corporations with far more money year after year). They have brought our financial stability into question without handling deficit spending, rather than attempting to solve the issues. They want to argue morality issues despite acting like spoiled adolescents willing to jeopardize global markets through their inaction towards budgets and fiscal matters. Even fellow Democrats have been willing to throw Obama under the bus when he is not as progressive or liberal as they would like.
We hear so much about freedom of religion so long as you are practicing a certain type of Christianity. That is a mockery of religious freedom. As if to believe something different is painfully inconvenient, people like Santorum want to reverse the gains in equality and recognition of rights because that does not fit his contorted view of fundamental Christianity. These people want to protect the unborn but are completely happy with sending kids to die overseas fighting in Islamic countries. Are we fighting terrorists or are we becoming them? These people want to introduce legislation that extends “personhood” to the unborn, but does that also change when the “birthday?” Maybe these God-fearing right wingers are content with sending kids that are not even old enough to drink to die in battle because they do not want to clean up the streets at home.
One has to question whether these people even care to read the material (e.g. bills and laws) they are discussing or just wait for O’Reilly and his type to declare baseless talking points. Consider some of these guys did not believe there was a recession and they thought that the pessimism of the past years was completely unwarranted. As someone who works in the utility industry, I can assure you that there were dramatic reductions in commercial and industrial energy use during the past few years that warranted pessimism.
People are so blinded by rhetoric that they do not see what Obama has accomplished in the last few years. We forget there were some really pressing issues that needed to be handled, and without intervention, these issues would have sunk the domestic and global economies. Even without the help of Congress, the Obama administration has managed to save entire domestic industries from collapse. Despite the posturing by the GOP in the Senate, we have long awaited health reforms that will surely breed more changes to cut medical costs. Despite the behavior of the GOP, Obama has moved forward with programs to help homeowners and to help with education loans. Despite the Congressional impasses, Obama has signed measures that will reduce budget deficits by half over the next few years. Despite the roadblocks set by Congress, he managed to keep our economy from going into a complete depression while he got Bin Laden and helped to topple Gaddafi.
We know that job creation does not happen simply when taxes are low (we have the lowest tax rates in decades despite high unemployment numbers). We know that more money to the top 1% does not “trickle down” to “raise all boats.” That 1% benefits when the 99% are able to do things. We do know when more people have discretionary incomes; the economy can grow because more people can buy more products. Yet, the GOP cares more about protecting the 1% than letting them share the burdens of capitalism.
Over the next few months, we are going to hear more distortions and ridicule from various candidates. Americans have to realize that despite the awful set of circumstances; Obama helped the United States weather a big storm. Hopefully, we can realize a better future when we are able to fully implement a recovery instead of these temporary emergency bandages. Maybe with a little help from others in government, we can see a recovery that works for all Americans rather than a select few as proposed by the several GOP candidates.
We need substantial work from Congress rather than this rhetorical garbage that paints falsehoods and ignores reality. Tell Congress to get beyond the pettiness and do what they were elected to do: govern.