The perception of things as they actually exist, rather than as they might be imagined or hoped for, can be disappointing for those stuck in ideological dogmata once reality sinks in. For many Americans, the reality is sinking in that Republicans have no answers to grow the economy and create jobs as they promised during the lead up to the 2010 elections, and they are paying the consequences for doubting that President Obama and Democrats were working for the people. The reality is also sinking in to Republicans that they squandered an opportunity to work with the President to improve the economy and yesterday Speaker of the House John Boehner admitted that Republicans have a “big challenge” in winning the House again this year.
The reality that the American people are not apt to fall for the Republican’s lies again after a year-and-a-half of legislative obstruction, repeal frenzy, and the war on women cannot be surprising to Boehner. Instead of focusing solely on “jobs, jobs, jobs,” Republicans began an assault on the American people that stunned decent Americans who either sat out the 2010 elections or fell for the Republicans’ lies about the President’s agenda that had not yet borne fruit. Despite Republican assertions that President Obama’s economic agenda was a failure, jobs are returning and the economy is growing while every modern industrial nation on Earth that began harsh austerity measures are wallowing in stagnation or declining growth. Indeed, America is the only country to post economic growth since the worldwide recession and the reason is the stimulus and investment the government made to spur jobs. Despite the evidence and opinions by prominent economists that cutting government and spending during a recession is a recipe for economic ruin, Republicans have offered two Draconian budgets and went on a slash and burn campaign immediately after taking control of the House. However, regardless the Republican’s economic incompetence at the federal level, it is the harsh legislative assault on women, immigrants, children, seniors, and worker’s rights in the states that may spell doom for GOP hopes of holding the House.
In every state that elected Republican majorities and governors, severe austerity measures have decimated jobs for teachers, fire and police, and most other government workers, and yet, corporations and the wealthy received tax breaks that belie austerity. In dozens of states, ALEC-inspired voter suppression laws targeting students, seniors, and minorities have not gone unnoticed by voters and they will not forget it was newly elected Republicans who are subverting democracy. Voters will also not forget that Republicans launched a campaign against women’s rights with Dark Ages anti-contraception laws and obscene personhood amendments that may satisfy religious fanatics, but repulsed a majority of residents who voted for more jobs, not theocracy. Although it is a preponderance of evidence of economic malfeasance, restrictions on democracy, corporate entitlements, and religious interference with women’s health that inflicted damage on Republicans, their non-stop propaganda demeaning President Obama has damaged their credibility.
On Tuesday, Speaker Boehner gave a stark warning that President Obama’s economic policies have failed to produce any positive results, and although the Republican base may fall for that fallacy, semi-intelligent Americans will not. Boehner said on Fox News that, “The president’s economic policies have failed – I would argue they actually made things worse. And as a result, the president has turned to the politics of envy and division. His policies will turn America in a direction that we may never recover from.” Now, it is understandable that during an election year Republicans would ramp up fallacious rhetoric, but Boehner obviously has not learned much since they took control of the House and several state legislatures in 2011. Americans know that the economy is certainly not worse than when the President took office, and they know it is Republicans who have promoted divisive policies pitting the filthy rich 1% against the rest of the country, and the presumptive presidential candidate, Willard Romney is going around the country parroting Boehner’s assertion that the President’s economic policies made the economy worse. But Romney has taken it a step farther and for months has accused the President of not understanding what it means to be an American and worse, that he is “not one of us” good Americans. After three years, Americans know that the President is not only “one of us,” but that he is looking out for all of us.
Boehner should be concerned that holding the House is going to be a challenge because the American people, although ignorant at times, certainly understand the reality that the country is better today than it was when the President took office. They also understand Republicans have spent three years obstructing economic and job growth just to ensure that “Obama is a one-term president,” and that the GOP spent the past year attempting to impose harsh austerity measures that adversely affect tens-of-millions of Americans while fighting to give more to the wealthy. Boehner’s biggest concern, though, should be the real self-inflicted damage from Republicans’ war on women that shows no signs of ending anytime soon, and when women vote against state legislators, they will also vote against Republicans in Congress.
It is possible that Republicans imagined they could assault the American people without any real consequences, and based on their continued battering of the poor, women, seniors, and children, it appears they don’t have a grip on reality. The reality is Americans are not falling for the GOP’s false portrayal of President Obama any more than they think austerity and more entitlements for the wealthy are the path to prosperity and if Republicans cannot accept that simple truth, it will be more than a challenge to hold the House, it will be an impossibility.