President Obama was on NBC’s Today show this morning and although he was there to discuss education he took the GOP to task for their Pledge to America, “What I’m seeing out of the Republican leadership over the last several years has been a set of policies that are just irresponsible.”
Obama said, “Well, I think that you have heard me speak around the country over the last several months, I think that it’s clear, I have got a very sharp difference on a lot of issues. when I say Republicans, I really should say Republican leadership, I think there’s a lot of wonderful people out there who consider themselves Republicans or Independents who have maybe some criticisms of my administration, but basically recognize we have got to solve some big problems, we have got to be serious, we have got to base our decisions on facts.What I’m seeing out of the Republican leadership over the last several years has been a set of policies that are just irresponsible. And we saw in their ‘Pledge to America’ a similar set of irresponsible policies. They say they want to balance the budget. They proposed $4 trillion of tax cuts and $16 billion in spending cuts, and then they say we are going to somehow magically balance the budget. That’s not a serious approach. So the question for voters over the next five weeks is, who is putting forward policies that have a chance to move our country forward so that our schools have improved, so that we have a world class infrastructure, so that we’re serious about helping small business, we’re serious about getting a handle on our spending and who’s just engaging in rhetoric. And I think that if that debate is taking place over the next 5 weeks, we are going to do just fine.”
The first question that comes to mind is why is President Obama doing more campaigning against congressional Republicans than the Democrats that are running against them? When Democrats on the Hill gave up on passing the Obama tax cuts before the election, this was the biggest sign yet that not only are Democrats running scared, but they are conceding defeat. Sure, they may pass the tax cut after the election, but why wait? Inaction is definitely not the way to save their majority. In fact, it reinforces the notion that they should not be trusted to fix the economy.
All of the points that President Obama made were correct. If voters hand Republicans the majority in the House, they should expect things to get worse not better. As the GOP has shown with 2010 strategy, gridlock is their plan, not just for 2010, but for 2012 as well. The goal has always been to give Obama nothing, so that come reelection time, he looks like a failure to the voters. The Republican mission has been to grind our government to a halt in order to punish the American people and give them a case of Obama buyer’s remorse.
If Republicans were to get their way, the deficit would skyrocket under the burden of tax cuts and increased military budget. All aid for the economy would stop, the unemployed would not see another extension of benefits, and veterans, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will all come under attack. Republicans want to keep this recession going, because the political climate favors them. Pained and angry voters in 2010 will be pained and angry voters in 2012. The flaw in this strategy is that once voters elect Republicans in 2010, if things don’t improve or get worse, it will be the incumbent Republicans who will be held responsible in 2012.
As Obama pointed out today, and Mitch McConnell’s magic budget deficit reduction plan revealed yesterday, Republicans have no intention of acting responsibly if elected. Responsibility does not appeal to a party that is guided by ideology. The GOP will try to solve the nation’s problems, not through practicality, but with ideologically pure answers.
It is mystifying and emblematic of the Democrats congressional incompetence that their most effective campaigners are former President Clinton and President Obama, who are each trying to alert voters about the dangers ahead, but if they insist on voting Republican, voters should not be surprised with results. After all, Obama tried to warn you, but you chose not to listen.