Never has a sitting president been so demonized by the other party. The Republican candidates need no platform except to defeat President Obama in the next election. None of them have stated a plan to bring the nation out of the great recession, nor do they need to in order to win their party’s nomination. All sorts of absurd and demonstrable false accusation have been thrown at him. This election will be the biggest smear campaign that the world has ever seen. One fueled by millions of dollars from the wealthy and from corporations eager to control the government and increase their wealth while making the rest of the country poorer.
Here are some aticles:
In the GOP’s hatred of the president, the rote ravings of True Believers
By Gary Kamiya
On Wednesday morning, I opened the New York Times to read that president Hu Jin-Tao had denounced the West for launching a culture war against China. “We must clearly see that international hostile forces are intensifying the strategic plot of westernizing and dividing China, and ideological and cultural fields are the focal areas of their long-term infiltration,” Hu pronounced in “Seeking Truth,” a Communist Party magazine. “We should deeply understand the seriousness and complexity of the ideological struggle, always sound the alarms and remain vigilant, and take forceful measures to be on guard and respond.”
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Was it really possible that such wooden slogans were still being used by the leaders of the country with the most dynamic economy on earth? “We should deeply understand”? “Always sound the alarms”? Those antique phrases sounded like they’d been torn from a poster that had been pasted up during the Cultural Revolution and somehow never taken down. It seemed that not that much had changed since soon-to-be-Chairman Mao was writing tomes rejoicing in titles like “To Be Attacked by the Enemy Is Not a Bad Thing but a Good Thing” and urging the members of the party to cut off the head of imperialist snakes. A belief system as nutty as Maoism took a long time to get out of a nation’s system. I pitied the poor 1.3 billion Chinese, living in a country so insecure, so adolescent, so in thrall to authoritarian nationalism, that its politicians felt impelled to keep the cult alive. Thank God I’m an American, I told myself. We have plenty of cults, but at least they don’t get involved with our national politics.
Then I watched Michele Bachmann’s withdrawal speech.
Since President Obama took the oath of office in January 2009, Republicans have reversed their stances on many different policies and beliefs. Here are 24 of them.
1. Health Care Mandates) Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act by Democrats, Republicans widely supported the idea of an individual health care insurance mandate, Newt Gingrich being perhaps the chief supporter. Republicans have always preached about how people need to take responsibility for themselves, and now that a law exists that makes people take responsibility, the GOP is rejecting it simply on the grounds that President Obama and the Democrats passed it.
2. The Nuclear START Treaty) Republicans shamelessly filibustered the ratification of the Obama START Treaty for quite a period of time and criticized it tremendously and continue to try and find ways to circumvent the treaty today. What Republicans conveniently forget is that Ronald Reagan, the man that Republicans worship like a God, negotiated the very first START Treaty which was signed by yet another Republican, George H. W. Bush in 1991. That treaty expired in 2009 so President Obama negotiated a new one to continue the Reagan legacy. But since President Obama negotiated this treaty, Republicans retreated from Reagan’s policy faster than the decade it took to create the START Treaty in the first place.
3. Dream Act) Immigration reform has been touted by Republicans for decades now. Reagan granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in the 1980′s. Most recently, Republicans worked on immigration reform under the Bush Administration and failed. President Bush and Senator John McCain both supported immigration reform and were willing to cross the aisle to work with Democrats, most notably Edward Kennedy. All of that work and bipartisanship ceased after the 2008 Election. Staunchly opposed to President Obama and anything his administration supports, Republicans turned their backs on immigration reform in favor of militarizing the border and laws that violate the civil rights of Hispanics. Obama’s Dream Act would do much that Reagan would approve of, but Republicans refuse hear anything of it.
In military vernacular, collateral damage is damage to people or property that is unintended or incidental to the intended outcome. In politics there is collateral damage and the difference is that when Republicans are involved, it is highly questionable whether or not damage to people and America’s economy is really unintended or incidental to their desired outcome. Since Barack Obama has been president, the GOP has worked for two specific outcomes and along the way have caused collateral damage that appears to be unintended, but with myriad data available to the public and Republicans, it becomes obvious that the damage they cause is intended and essential to their intended outcome.
Republicans make no secret that one of their primary goals is to deny President Obama a second term as president, and it is painfully obvious that they intend to give all the wealth in America to the wealthy and their corporations. They have given preferential treatment to the wealthy for years and justify their largesse, using taxpayer dollars, with the insane and failed theory that, as the wealthy prosper, wealth will “trickle down” to the peasant class. The resulting loss of revenue for the government has engendered cuts and services to social programs and nearly every sector of the economy. Despite the country coming precariously close to defaulting on its debt, Republicans still refused to follow a balanced approach of spending cuts and increased revenue and the result was America’s stellar credit rating being downgraded and social safety nets being slashed to the detriment of nearly every American who was not the wealthy elite class. The GOP’s stubborn adherence to conservative ideology of never raising taxes on the wealthy caused intended damage to the poor, middle class, and America’s credit rating.
The fact that Republican hatred for President Obama has caused untold damage to the country’s economy is fairly well known at this point in time, but the devastation to tens-of-millions of Americans who are living in poverty or near-poverty is often ignored by the media and the public in general. Officially, there are 49.1 million Americans living in poverty in the richest country in the history of the world, but a recent Census Bureau report that measures poverty by counting disposable income found that there are 51 million Americans with incomes less than 50% over the federal poverty level. That means there are 100 million Americans living at or barely above the poverty line. The number of Americans living in poverty should be sufficient to encourage even the most contemptible Republican to work with Democrats to pass President Obama’s jobs plan to put Americans back to work and raise millions out of poverty, but their abject hatred for anything the President proposes supersedes the most basic level of humanity and prevents them from helping the American people.
The money stakes in the 2012 presidential election got even bigger as conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch and about 250 to 300 other individuals pledged approximately $100 million towards the effort to defeat President Obama.
The pledge happened at a private three-day retreat of wealthy donors, Republican politicians and conservative activists. This is the ninth straight year the Koch’s have hosted the conference which last year was the target of protests and arrests. But this year’s meeting went off without hardly a mention in the media, let alone challenge.
Now obviously these donors are governed by limits on how much they can individually donate to a political candidate, which means this money will undoubtedly be funneled into SuperPACS to avoid the contribution and disclosure requirements.
by Jessica Pieklo
In many ways this emerging split mirrors the current troubles of the conservative movement. Rove, seen by many as the more “establishment” presence, has made it his goal to keep Republicans in power, regardless of the cost while the Koch brothers funnel their billions into those causes that promote their free market zealotry, consequences to the American public be damned.