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What are the Republicans doing with their incessant bitching about Obama's stimulus bill? What is the real point of Republican attempts to obstruct and block the passage of this legislation?
Yes, we can kick around the endless arguments about tax cuts versus government spending, what fiscal responsibility should look like, how money should be spent, if, indeed, we spend it, etc. But what's the larger picture here? What's really going on with this stimulus/recovery dispute?
To Republicans, the very popular president Obama is the enemy. The de facto leader of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh, said so explicitly. Republican party leaders are misguided along policy lines, but they're not completely stupid, especially about perception politics. The Republican party hasn't been this unpopular for quite a long time and Republicans are keenly aware of that.
In light of this unpopularity, the central thrust of Republican response to Obama's popularity, is to bring him down.....to discredit him, to make him less popular.....no matter how they have to do it. Everything is "on the table", as it were.
Republicans, though they come across as completely oblivious to history, know the history of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. Roosevelt, ask most any WW2 generation member, was beloved by Americans. His presidency brought systemic changes to America that have held up for over 60 years. Roosevelt was a Democratic giant and an American hero.
Today, Republicans fear most another Democratic giant. The GOP knows that if Obama is allowed to implement his agenda, beginning with the stimulus/recovery legislation, following through on structural financial industry reform, health care reform, foreign policy reforms, labor reforms, etc......chances are good that President Obama will become a giant, much like Franklin Roosevelt.
If Obama is successful in bringing about change, an already downward spiraling GOP, will become totally irrelevant.
That's what Republicans are faced with. And despite the illusion of calls for bipartisanship, despite pointless and often dishonest discussion about policy distinctions, what the GOP is working towards harder than anything else is to cripple Obama's presidency. The GOP is operating under a premise that goes like this: If Obama is successful, the country may very well get turned back from it's disastrous course, and Obama and the Democrats will get all the credit, insuring an even bigger Democratic majority in the future.
The problem here is that in our unique economic precariousness, if Obama fails, America will fail, disastrously. Apparently, the Republican Party is willing to take that chance with the nation their representatives take oaths to protect. Take a look at this new chart tracking job losses over the course of three recessions, 1990, 2001, and today.....
Looking at that chart and then comparing it to what the Republicans have been doing to stop, or water down until ineffective, Obama's plan, leads me to only one conclusion. The GOP would rather our American standard of living be irreparably harmed, bringing huge swaths of our population down to near third world conditions.....RATHER THAN TAKE THE CHANCE OF ENDURING A SUCCESSFUL OBAMA PRESIDENCY.
As witnessed over the last eight years with the Republican Party....EVERYTHING....is always about them. Country be damned.