Catching the headlines from back home, I see that the Republican Party simply tries to block and step in the way of every initiative coming out of the Obama Administration.
And that, in fact, this is their plan for the 2010 election cycle. Simply keep saying “no” between now and November election day.
They’ve called the man a socialist. They cast aspersions as to whether being born in Hawaii makes you an American. They are always building on this theme of the President as incompetent black man who can’t manage to do anything. They never come out and say that; they just dance up really close to the border line. I think the latest was Glenn Beck’s adolescent screaming about finding himself “on the Planet of the Apes!” with President Obama in the background. Of course, there was the Fox shit about Shirley Sherrod last month.
It’s so clear that in late 2008, the Republican apparatus simply decided not to cooperate with Barack Obama. Cast aspersions on anything he proposed or anything he did. Much worse than whatever the Democrats did with former President Bush. In fact, it’s even worse than what the Democrats used to do with Nixon.
What complicates it for Obama is that the federal government has just had a strong eight years of not delivering for the public. They ran two stupid wars, wasting our military strength, and wasting tons of Treasury money, which we have to pay back to the Chinese at some point.
Meanwhile, federal agencies on the homefront got used to not delivering. Where the Republicans disagreed philosophically with a department or a unit, they simply understaffed it. Where some of their GOP buddies could make a fortune, they outsourced the functions.
That was the whole student loan debate by the way. Private companies have made fortunes ‘managing’ the government program, plus tied students into loans that weren’t even part of the government program. When it came time to reform the government’s operations, the senators from the states where this outsourced money was going screamed bloody murder.
Over at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it’s becoming clear that big corporations learned simply to say “no”. They only needed to maintain a charade that they hired a certain (low) number of minorities stateside, and chanted the language of “diversity”, in order to avoid the full application of American civil rights laws. I think the commission is only now sending the message that saying no to Congressional acts by dancing around administrative charges is not acceptable.
So as America is stuck dealing with sets of crises that haven’t been seen since the 1970’s, many of which were the responsibility of Bush and stupid Republican philosophy, Obama is the guy taking the hits for not solving it all yesterday. He’s supposed to fix what’s broke, guess how bad it’s going to be coming down the pike, AND try to persuade the Republicans to take the action he wants. (To which, they will say, “no!”)
This is what they started in February 2009 (the socialism thing was Joe the Plumber, even earlier), and this is what they intend to continue right through November.
For the people who are seriously unemployed, or in a difficult bind due to the messed up policies from years before, the Republicans saying “no!” and high-fiving each other about it, isn’t exactly help. I don’t know what it’s supposed to represent, and it’s a shame that it is as successful as it is as politics.