Monday, September 19, 2011

Hating Obama and Raising Money

There are two messages being sent to us by the House of Representatives. "Hate Obama. Vote Republican." The other message is, "Save the Rich. GOP Now." But, the question the American people want answered is, "How are you going to guide the country?" Pending focus groups, we’ll have to wait for an answer. Meanwhile, House Republicans showed the country that they do not think that trust is an issue. They did two things last week to prove that. First, they voted for the country to default, which would increase the deficit they oppose. Second, they voted to help send jobs overseas, which they excoriate. They also seek reelection at the time when their approval rating is less than 13% and expect the country to reward such delusional behavior.

That will work if the country is delusional, too.

On September 13 the House passed a resolution of disapproval of the debt ceiling deal that they passed in August. They had also granted themselves the right to pass a resolution saying they disapproved of it. They passed such a resolution. I did not make that up. Never mind that the Senate has already rejected their attempt to put the country into default and that House Republicans do not have enough votes to overcome a presidential veto. They passed it anyway.

HJR 77 says, “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves of the President’s exercise of authority to increase the debt limit, as exercised pursuant to the certification under section 3101A(a) of title 31, United States Code.”

To put this in context, the Republican House also passed the "Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act" just two days later. According to the GOP, HR 2587 essentially prevents the National Labor Relations Board from doing its job, which is what “government interference" means to them. They do not say that, naturally, but that is what the bill does. The other thing it does is to pander to the corporations that fund the Republican Party.

“This bill dismantles key functions of the National Labor Relations Board and guts more than 70 years of established labor law in our country,” said Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA) in opposition. “If this legislation becomes law, it would eliminate nearly all worker protections when companies illegally fire workers and close or move plants in retaliation for union activities.”

Remember the GOP “Pledge to America?” It promised a “government more transparent in its actions” and “honest in its dealings.” They lied or forgot about it.

Today’s consumer confidence rating is the fourth lowest since 1952, according to GOP pollster Bill McInturff. “The collapse of confidence in government has substantially eroded already weak consumer confidence.” The debt ceiling negotiation profoundly reshaped our view of the economy and the federal government that has yet to be realized in full measure. “It has led to a scary erosion in confidence . . . at a time when this steep drop in confidence can be least afforded.”

When the GOP’s McInturff says, “We are entering a new phase of the American political dialogue that has been irrevocably shifted in a way that will prove difficult to predict,” he is not kidding. Why would he? By its actions however, the GOP does not seem to care about such cause and effect. It seems to think that default is an option. It seems to care more about the party itself and raising money than it cares about the best interests of American people and real governance.

Hating Obama is a posture, not a policy. The resuscitation of Republican party that brought enough new members to the 112th Congress to create a majority succeeded by rallying contempt for the new Democratic administration, personified by the president. HJR 77 and HR 2587 are more posturing. Neither bill advances a course of action to address chronic U.S. unemployment or to improve our anemic economy. Neither bill demonstrates smart opposition. Instead they lend credence to the cynical observation that the GOP agenda is to maintain the recession in order to win a national election.

Hating Obama and raising enough money to mount a successful campaign may not be as mutually sustainable as the GOP seems to believe.

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Article first published as Hating Obama and Raising Money on Blogcritics.

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