In any country with a democratic-like government, there will always be partisanship despite the need for a unified approach to accomplish anything. It is human nature to have opposing viewpoints and it is beneficial to always consider different approaches to solve a problem because no one side or person can possibly anticipate every eventuality in reaching a goal. American politics are mired in partisanship and voters want both sides to work together to solve problems and move the country forward, but their pleas have been disregarded by Republicans who are not willing to compromise on anything. Indeed, Democrats have given up more to the GOP than their supporters like and despite making difficult concessions, the Republicans refused to budge and nearly sent the economy into a major depression.
During the debt ceiling negotiations, Republicans came in saying that any revenue was off the table and particularly said closing tax loopholes and increases on the wealthy were a non-starter. Their idea of a compromise was to increase the debt limit in exchange for the Draconian cuts Americans are getting used to seeing from Republicans. By limiting the government’s ability to bring in more revenue and only making spending cuts, the GOP essentially stalled the economy at best, and eliminated millions of jobs at worse. Democrats on the other hand, were terrified at the thought of the country’s economy being pushed off a cliff and conceded nearly every demand Republicans made.
A right-wing pundit, Victor David Hansen, has written an editorial that lampooned President Obama for using inflammatory language after calling for civility and bipartisanship from both sides. Hansen said that the president accused opponents of pushing balanced budgets that were tantamount to “abandoning children” and that he called his political adversaries on taxes and the debt “hostage takers.” If the president said those things, and hopefully he did, he would have been speaking the truth and there was nothing partisan about those comments. Therein lies the problem that the neo-conservatives and their pundits always revert to; if a politician speaks the truth, they are engaging in uncivil rhetoric and using inflammatory language.
In the spending cuts Republicans passed earlier this year, they did cut programs that assisted poor mothers and children and they did it unilaterally. There was no compromise, and in cutting those type of programs, killed nearly one million jobs. Partisan rhetoric or truth? As far as the president calling Republicans and teabaggers hostage takers, not only was he correct, Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell proudly admitted that Republicans held the economy hostage to get the cuts they wanted. If there is any side that is unwilling to engage in compromise it is Republicans. They also are guilty of lying to justify their destruction of jobs and economic growth and they are using the same old canard that worked for them since Ronald Reagan was president.
During the debt negotiations, John Boehner was on news programs saying that President Obama wanted to raise taxes on the “job creators” and that the economy could not grow if the wealthy lost the tax loopholes that allowed them to have corporate jets. It is so tiring to repeat, but there is no such thing as trickle down. The wealthy have had their tax cuts for ten years and the only job growth came from the stimulus that Democrats and President Obama passed. When Bill Clinton was president the tax rate for the wealthy was 3% higher than it is now and more jobs were created than any other time in recent memory. Republicans could have compromised and closed tax loopholes, but they have no intention of ever compromising regardless that the American people demanded it of both parties.
The right can claim that President Obama engages in partisanship and inflammatory rhetoric all they want, but the American people are beginning to realize that only one party is so rigid that bipartisanship is not within their realm of thinking. The most disturbing part of the right’s lack of compromise is that their positions do nothing for the American people. Reducing the nation’s debt is a noble cause and necessary, but Draconian spending cuts will not create jobs and help the economy because whatever savings come from the cuts, Republicans are handing over to the oil industry, corporations in the form of tax breaks, and the wealthy’s perpetual tax cuts. In fact, even if the Republicans were not handing out corporate entitlements, cuts alone do not create jobs, and without jobs, the economy will continue to stagnate.
In this political climate, polarizing talk is necessary because Democrats must distance themselves from the terrorists who nearly caused a depression. Americans now understand that President Obama and Democrats compromised and gave all the concessions in the spirit of bipartisanship and survival of America. The difference between the two parties is more than just who compromised and engaged in bipartisanship to save America’s economy; it is about who was working for the American people. Democrats sought a balanced approach that created jobs and reduced the deficit. Republicans sought a dictatorial, hostage taking approach that kills jobs and adds to the deficit as well as eventually kill people who are left without the programs they paid for their entire working lives. Democrats gave every concession Republicans demanded and Republicans, in turn, gave absolutely nothing. The only thing they could have given they left off the table; that is their idea of bipartisanship. So here is some partisan and very inflammatory rhetoric couched with the president’s call for civility; Republicans are job, senior, and child killers and they are liars, and to parrot Mitch McConnell, they are also hostage takers.