In every country’s history there are ignominious periods that invoke feelings of remorse that decent citizens look back on with shame and regret, and if it were possible, they would erase those eras from their memory. There is little doubt that most Germans would love to go back in time and prevent Adolf Hitler from rising to power, and Americans would no doubt want to revisit events that led to two senseless wars and global economic crisis that cost this country trillions of dollars and thousands of needless deaths. Central to these periods were leaders that were contemptibly low in worth, repulsive, or disgusting, and mere mention of their name often evokes remorse. Despite the Bush administration’s economic and foreign policy malfeasance, it never felt like Republicans had contempt for the population or the government, but for the past three years and eight months, they have shown that indeed, they do hate America.
Two days ago, when forty Senate Republicans blocked a bill to help Veterans find work, it was a stark reminder that the GOP has deliberately, and with malice aforethought, attempted to derail economic recovery at all costs and punish the American people because they were angry at the results of an election. What is stunning however, is the cavalier attitude of leading Republicans who take pride in their anti-American agenda and openly wish they had more success making governing nearly impossible and protecting domestic terrorists abusing the American people. It is a sad commentary on the Republican Party who made one last assault on Americans proving there is no limit to their contempt for the American people who are not in the wealthy elite class.
There has been no small amount of outrage at Willard Romney’s portrayal of 47% of Americans as parasites, but mysteriously, Republicans in Congress and state legislatures have avoided criticism for their despicable treatment of all Americans. As bad as Romney’s comments were, they are no worse than Republican attempts to keep America in a holding pattern of massive job losses, severe recession, and allowing banks and corporations free rein to molest Americans for profit. What is truly outrageous, is Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s apparent glee at obstructing President Obama and Democratic attempts to help the American people, stimulate economic growth, and protect consumers from predatory banks and corporate malfeasance. His regret is that he was unable to thoroughly obstruct progress beginning in January 2009 that puts him and his Republican cohort in the same class as any despot, and they promise if they are victorious in November, they will undo all of the President’s achievements.
During the 111th Congress, Democrats passed historic legislation that Americans will benefit from for generations in the same manner as Social Security and Medicare helped millions of Americans have a secure retirement. The litany of legislation President Obama signed into law in the first two years of his term is truly amazing considering the unyielding obstruction from Republicans opposing the $787 billion stimulus package, discrimination laws, consumer protections, the health care law, Wall Street regulations, tax cuts, and many, many more. In reality, except for a climate change bill, Democrats succeeded in following through on the agenda they laid out at the beginning of the 111th Congress in January 2009 in spite of ferocious Republican opposition. The scope and breadth of Democrats’ accomplishments did not go unnoticed by Republicans and their goal is erasing them all.
In August 2010, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said, “This is big stuff. They would probably say it was great for America. I would say it was bad for America.” Session’s assertion is typically Republican to claim the stimulus that added over 4 million jobs, financial reform to prevent another economic meltdown, consumer credit card protection, and a health law giving 30 million Americans access to affordable health insurance were bad for America. Republicans attempted to block each of those laws that help the American people, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said “I am amused with their comments about obstructionism. I wish we had been able to obstruct more. They were able to get the health care bill through. They were able to get the stimulus through. They were able to get the financial reform through. These were all major pieces of legislation, and if I would have had enough votes to stop them, I would have.”
Now that Americans have endured another year-and-a-half of Republican obstruction and control of the House, it is obvious the GOP intended keeping unemployment high and obstructing economic progress from the start. President Obama has sent jobs bills to Congress that languish on John Boehner’s desk, and despite the Democratically-controlled Senate passing a farm bill, House Republicans took a two-month vacation and put it on hold. After a bi-partisan Senate effort passed a transportation bill in March, Boehner sat on his hands until June over student loan interest hikes that were finally resolved and signed into law in July. The President’s American Jobs Act, submitted over a year ago, was opposed by Republicans as “another failed stimulus” in spite of Moody’s Analytics estimation it would create 1.9 million jobs and add two percent to gross domestic product, Economic Policy Institute estimated it would create 2.6 million jobs and protect an addition 1.6 million existing jobs, and Macroeconomic Advisers predicted it would create 2.1 million jobs and boost GDP by 1.5 percent.
Republican assertions that stimulus spending is a failure is contrary to Paul Ryan’s impassioned appeal to support a Bush stimulus in 2002 when he said it would “spur economic growth and create jobs.” Last year Republicans held the debt ceiling increase hostage for cuts to social programs that caused S&P to downgrade America’s credit, and yet current GOP leadership team voted 19 times to raise the ceiling during the Bush’s presidency. Remember, McConnell gloated after Republicans held the debt limit hostage and he promised they would repeat their performance despite the damage to the America’s credit rating.
Speaking of the deficit, when President Obama proposed $4.2 trillion in deficit reduction, the GOP blocked it and settled for approximately $1.2 trillion that led to sequestration and automatic cuts in 2013. The sudden rush to deficit reduction is in stark contrast to the Bush-Republicans whose mantra was “deficits don’t matter” on the way to running up debt for two unnecessary wars, massive tax cuts for the rich, and an ill-advised drug prescription plan. It is important to remember too, that Republicans immediately squandered the budget surplus in 2001, and their two wars have exceeded the $4 trillion mark; Romney promises a new war with Iran and increasing the size of the military despite Republican claims that “America is broke” and cannot afford to spend $1 billion over 5 years on Veterans.
One would think that going into a general election, Republicans would abandon obstructionism and hate for the American people to garner electoral favor, but they have remained consistent to the end. America has made progress and the economy is improving, but it is because President Obama and Democrats accomplished great things for the American people in the face of Republican obstruction in the 111th Congress. The last decade will go down as an incredibly difficult era for Americans, and it is all down to Republican economic malfeasance, warmongering, and for the past three years, obstruction. Willard Romney’s revelation that he hates 47% of Americans is a ruse, because he is the standard bearer for Republicans who have shown time and time again that they hate all Americans; except the wealthy.