In the throes of the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama to be President of the United States, GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell declared that the number one priority of his party would be to make Obama a one-term president. Suddenly, jobs were no longer on their radar. McConnell’s declaration came at a major GOP confab wherein the policy of the party would be to oppose any legislation that Barack Obama supported.
This deliberate sabotage of an American presidency, at the expense of the safety, well-being and prosperity of the American people and the American economy is unprecedented. Not only has the congressional GOP, at the behest and urging of the talking heads in the right-stream media, been willing to default on the national debt for the first time in the nation’s history, they are also willing to allow the destruction of President Eisenhower’s interstate highway system and they have been willing to increase the ease with which companies can poison and pollute our air and water with little or no consequence. But these Republicans are not willing to come to the aid of their friends, neighbors and countrymen in the seemingly unending carnage of weather related natural disasters. And their only solution to curing the deficit and national debt is to inflict as much pain and suffering on those who can least withstand it while asking not a dimes worth of sacrifice from those who would not feel the pain of a pin prick.
While the GOP concern over the deficit and its long term effect on the nation’s people is noble and commendable, the reality is very different. They would empty the vault to Fort Knox to fund construction of a massive southwestern US wall or to send our military men and women off to foreign conflicts with no reasonably discernable goal – yet when those same men and women return home from risking life and limb for God and country and find themselves in need of a doctor, a meal, a place to live or a job, the Republican Congress’ position is that the bank is closed.
Although the Dow has more than doubled during the Obama presidency and the Bush era massive monthly job losses have been reversed, the sluggish economic growth, the failing state of education and the inability to put millions more Americans to work is laid at the door of President Obama’s policies by the GOP, not their unreasonable intransigence. Their disdain for Obama as President is so ingrained that Republicans in Congress now vote against policies they formerly supported and for policies they have generally opposed.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the GOP assault on Obamacare, nee the Affordable Care Act. This marketplace idea to cover more Americans and bring down the overall costs of health care was the brainchild of the conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation. Individuals in both parties initially lauded the idea. The Massachusetts legislature adopted the plan and its governor, Mitt Romney, signed it into law. In a subsequent interview, Romney saw it as a model for the nation. But as the multitude of Republican presidential candidates debated their positions during the 2008 campaign, Mitt Romney’s signature healthcare achievement received no scorn from his opponents or the conservative media. However, after Barack Obama signed virtually the same program into law, their own conservative plan became the GOP’s singular, most visible political attack throughout the 2012 national campaigns. Even candidate Romney vowed to destroy his very own policy lauded as good for Massachusetts just a few short years before.
The passage of the Affordable Care Act and its subsequent authentication by the Supreme Court of the United States, has not deterred the Republicans in Congress from voting to repeal the law more than 4 dozen times. In a fit of desperation, at the urging of the Tea Party and several of their congressional delegates, the GOP orchestrated a government shutdown in a futile effort to defund the law. The reported signups for health insurance under the Act have reached 8 million and it is climbing. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office’s recent evaluation expects that the law will save billions more than originally forecasted. And many Americans who were against Obamacare actually like the law when the provisions of the ACA are explained to them. Yet under these promising conditions the influence of the Tea Party and their bankrolling apparatus has convinced the GOP to go all in against Obamacare as a mid-term election strategy. The millions of newly insured, and better insured, Americans and their children, who would suffer in the loss of the ACA, would become collateral damage – casualties of a domestic political war.
The emergence of the Tea Party, as an extension of the Republican Party, has so frightened the GOP that Florida Senator, Marco Rubio voted against his own proposal for immigration reform. Also unprecedented is the refusal of the Republican Congress to allocate funds to repair a severely crumbling infrastructure that would not only create jobs, but also improve the safety of the American traveller as well as the delivery of interstate commerce.
Recently, President Obama was asked whether he thinks race has affected the course of his presidency. The right-stream media, almost exclusively without context, began to berate the president over, what was a totally logical response. In the face of Tea Party rallies displaying racially derogatory images of Obama and speakers at those rallies decrying him as “not one of us,” media and social media conservatives deny that the color of Mr. Obama’s skin has no bearing on their obsessive opposition, even after his election wrought a record number of death threats against him, paranoid pronouncements of a coming race war, and a record number of gun sales.
Even after President Obama has approved two extensions of the Bush era tax cuts, abandoned the Democrat preferred single payer and/or public option healthcare bill in favor of the market-based conservative Affordable Care Act, and, to the consternation of many Democrats, approved a massive troop surge into Afghanistan, conservative media still continues to label him a Marxist and a socialist.
States all over these purple mountains majesty have become tireless in their efforts to destroy the historic Republican support of civil and voting rights. That those legislative efforts are aimed specifically at non-white Americans after the election and reelection of the first non-white president is not a coincidence. There are those Democrats, leftists and centrists who believe that this right wing behavior that seems willing to inflict a great deal of collateral damage on the country, is simply because Barack Obama is black. I disagree.
This unprecedented opposition, irrational intransigence and overt hatred is because the President of the United States is black. And they are totally willing to punish the whole of the United States, our allies and the world economy to see that this never happens again.