Tuesday, February 2, 2010

An Easy Expose Of GOP Strategy

The Republicans in Congress must think American voters are really stupid.

During the Bush administration they supported trials in federal court for Richard Reed and dozens of other accused terrorists.

Now they don't.

They supported the TARP bailout of banks.

Now they don't.

They supported a bipartisan commission to address deficit reduction.
Now they don't.

They supported a pay-as-you-go spending plan in which any increases in spending must be offset by an equal reduction someplace else in the budget.

Now they don't. 

The list is endless.

The only common denominator linking the Republicans from changing their position is -- trumpet fanfare here -- Democratic President Barack Obama.

He endorses all these programs formerly supported by Republicans.

What changed Republican minds?
For terrorists to be tried in federal court, the answer is -- more trumpets please:

"We now know that was a mistake," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

This case of Republicans saying no to anything Obama endorses was brought home magnificently by Rachael Maddow Monday night on her MSNBC show. I've provided a transcript of the show so you can decide for yourself.

One observation from Maddow I think was apropos of Republican strategy:

A health reform still simmers in the background, the next item on the president‘s agenda is, of course, financial reform.  Thanks to Sam Stein at “Huffington Post,” we‘ve got the Republican strategy memo for trying to defeat that.  Included in the “words that work” section of the memo, quote, “We don‘t need another federal government agency.”  Frank Luntz, the Republican strategist, notes, quote, “The single best way to kill any legislation is to link it to the big bank bailout.” 

The show was not without its flaws. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass, now chairman of the House Finance Committee, went unchallenged for selective memory. He argued he was in favor of assisting renters in cases they could not afford to buy homes. Yet, it was Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn) as minority chairmen of financial committees that aided in relaxing borrowing standards of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that contributed to the housing market collapse.

Of course, one would not expect a liberal of the stripes of Maddow to challenge a fellow liberal the likes of Frank. Maddow seems to save those salvos for the few conservatives brave enough to appear on her show even though she treats all her guests respectfully. Imagine her "get" by nabbing House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ill) for an interview.

It's all part of the blame game in Washington, a practice Obama preaches but is equally guilty in pinning much of his problems inherited from the Bush administration.

But this strategy by the GOP to oppose anything Obama endorses is not only hypercritical but a governing sham that insults the intelligence of voters.

It is shirking responsibility at a time millions are unemployed, hundreds of thousands homes are in foreclosure and 43,000 people die annually from diseases and suicides because they cannot afford health insurance.

Let it be known that as a majority or minority party, the Democrats historically have not been much better. And definitely not worse.

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