Republican recalcitrance, extreme rhetoric knows no boundariesBy Askia Muhammad -Senior Correspondent- | Last updated: Aug 30, 2012 - 11:00:44 AM
Publicly, the event’s first day’s theme was: “We Can Do Better,” featuring speakers “addressing the failures of the Obama economy,” organizers told reporters. But what the GOP has not said publicly is that from the very day President Barack Obama took office, they have conspired to ruin every single initiative proposed by the president which might have actually made things better during Mr. Obama’s term.
On Jan. 20, 2009, the night of the presidential inauguration, top Republican lawmakers and strategists met in Washington over dinner for four hours, devising plans not to advance their own agenda, but to undermine every single proposal the new president might offer, this according to author Robert Draper’s new book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives.”
According to Mr. Draper, guests included Reps. Eric Cantor (R-Va., now the House Majority Leader), Paul Ryan (R-Wis., now Budget Committee Chairman and vice presidential nominee), along with former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) along with a dozen others.
Their plan was to “show united and unyielding opposition to the president’s economic policies” and political appointees, and to openly “begin attacking vulnerable Democratic” members of Congress on the airwaves. Since then, the Republicans have done just that, bringing the government to a near standstill several times during the president’s term, over the national debt and other issues.
“You will remember this day,” Mr. Draper reports Newt Gingrich as saying on the way out. “You’ll remember this as the day the seeds of 2012 were sown.”
Since then, Mr. Obama has been the subject of almost every imaginable abuse at the hands of Republicans and their sympathizers. He was called a “liar” by a House member during a State of the Union address. His appointees to top jobs have been viciously attacked during confirmation hearings, and some—including current Massachusetts senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and former “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones—have been hounded from their jobs by unrelenting criticism after taking office.
The president’s major legislative accomplishments—most notably the Affordable Care Act (labeled “Obamacare”) and the economic Recovery Act—have been derided, even though there is ample evidence of their beneficial effects.
In another new book based on new documents and interviews with more than 400 sources on both sides of the political aisle, award-winning reporter Michael Grunwald reveals the story behind President Obama’s $800 billion stimulus bill, one of the most important and least understood pieces of legislation in the history of the country, according to one reviewer. Mr. Grunwald’s meticulous reporting shows how the stimulus, though reviled on the right and the left, “helped prevent a depression while jump-starting the president’s agenda for lasting change,” the blog “Books & Books” reported. “As ambitious and far-reaching as FDR’s New Deal, the Recovery Act is a down payment on the nation’s economic and environmental future,” according to the review.
But the calumnies have increased this election cycle, with increasing hostility. Again and again country-western singers Ted Nugent and Hank Williams Jr. have hurled vile insults at Mr. Obama, in one instance comparing the U.S. president to Nazi mass murderer Adolf Hitler.
“We’ve got a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military, hates the U.S. and we hate him!” Mr. Williams said at a concert this summer at the Iowa State Fair. The comments were apparently met with applause and loud cheers.
For his part, Mr. Nugent said the president “represents everything bad about humanity.” He was investigated by the Secret Service after he made the bizarre claim that a second Obama victory would result in the singer either being “dead or in jail.”
Mr. Romney himself has even engaged in “stoop down” politics. “I love being home, in this place where Ann and I were raised, where the both of us were born,” Mr. Romney said after introducing his wife, fellow Michigan native Ann Romney at a campaign rally in his home state Aug. 24. “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place where we were born and raised.”
The Obama campaign condemned that joke saying Mr. Romney made the “decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement.” Mr. Obama’s natural-born citizenship has been affirmed emphatically by officials in Hawaii where he was born and his eligibility for the presidency has been affirmed all the way to the Supreme Court.
The most sinister attacks have come recently—without formal rebuke from the Republican Party—from elected officials. Lubbock, Texas Judge Tom Head was on a local TV news show making his case for a tax increase, when he said hiring extra sheriff’s deputies would especially be needed if Mr. Obama wins in November because “civil war” may be the outcome.
“He’s going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N., and what is going to happen when that happens?” Judge Head asked during an appearance on Lubbock’s Fox 34 News. “I’m thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.”
In a recent edition of the Virginia Republican Committee newsletter, President Obama, is proclaimed to be a “political socialist ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized” and that the only option is “armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November.”
The newsletter insists the president of the United States “shuns biblical praise, handicaps economic ability, disrespects the honor of earned military might,” and that under Mr. Obama, “the government is out of control, and this opportunity, must not be forsaken for we shall not have any coarse (sic) but armed revolution.”
A billboard advertisement was posted in the state, called “A Citizen’s Guide to Revolution of a Corrupt Government: 1. Starve the beast. Keep your money. 2. Vote out incumbents. 3. If steps 1 & 2 fail? Prepare for war—Live Free or Die,” the Virginia billboard proclaims.
Ironically, Republicans calling for armed insurrection against the government is nothing new. Onetime 2012 presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) once said, “I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. We the people are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country,” and encouraged Americans “to do everything we can to thwart the Democrats at every turn,” and apparently that includes armed rebellion.
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