The mischief begins. House Speaker John Boehner is already getting snarky in sabotaging the president’s naïve effort to “bring the two sides together.” That approach has never worked and with the new radicalism of the right, it never will.
The Friday hug-it-out lunch turned out to be more of the same animus, except this time the Republicans adopted a threatening posture of warning the president not to act on his own without congress. The President asked the Republican legislators to bring him legislation he could sign. As has already been chronicled on this site, the right is blaming Obama for not reacting to an alleged “referendum” on his policies, with the strong Republican showing on November 4th.
Let’s put this thing into perspective. Every one of “his policies” were turned back at the gate of the House. All of them. That’s because Obama policies didn’t fit the hateful imperative of keeping the poor struggling to feed their families on poverty wages, voting to repeal “Obamacare” every other day, treating African Americans like a Civil War redux, bowing to the House proxy of filthy rich guys and multi-nationals, ignoring women, except to take away equality in wages and reproductive rights and per immigration, treating Hispanics hatefully and shamefully, never seeking a solution that would give this group that loves America far more than the typical radical right-winger, full citizenship. That would mean a Democratic vote, don’t you know.
So, Republicans blame Obama for not putting policies into effect that either (A) belonged in a fun house or (B) that the House wouldn’t pass, all while cloaked in the garb of wanting the best for their constituents. As so accurately illustrated in Hans Christian Anderson’s, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, the Republican House is a sham of lies and slight of hand.
The Emperor (House of Representatives) indeed has no clothes. As in the Anderson accounting, two sleazeballs (right-wing foundations and ALEC) are hired to piece together a fine new suit and other fancy duds that will be invisible to the hopelessly stupid. For the moment, let’s pretend that’s the far-right of the Republican Party fits that description. Of course, the Emperor’s ministers (legislators hoping to retire to million dollar lobbying jobs) continued the pretense that the House, ‘er Emperor, was clothed in beautiful rich threads befitting his position. They knew otherwise, but feared for their positions. There you have the modern-day short story of the U.S. House of Representatives, soon to be joined by the new Republican-controlled Senate.
So, we’ve got a bunch of naked Republicans running around, pretending that their initiatives are spun of whole cloth, when in fact they’re simply the political version of Civil War reenactors at the beck and call of the real power base – MONEY!
As I’ve said before, this is indeed a civil war without the swords and muskets. These have been replaced by radical right-wing state and national office-holders and a compliant extremist, propaganda-driven media, mischaracterized as “liberal”, when every serious study shows exactly the opposite to be true. For Southerners, the GOP symbol of an elephant is perfect. Because the Southern voter never forgets and never stops wanting to marginalize black people. The Civil War ended nearly 150 years ago and yet, it’s as if it was 150 days ago for most Tea Party types.
The president represented the worst of fears realized for a large bloc of the white Southern population. Nothing demonstrates an equal footing more than the ascension of a black man or women to the presidency. And that’s what happened with the 2008 election of Barack Obama. It’s not enough that Obama possessed a sterling CV and a penchant for helping those less fortunate. It’s not enough that there’s been no Clintonesque scandals. Bill was from Arkansas and that’s close enough.
From the moment this black man entered the White House, he has been the object of insidious and deep-seated scorn, hate and ridicule, highlighted by the ridiculous “birther” movement. No sooner was he elected, than top Republican legislative power brokers pledged to destroy his administration. Their version of partisanship meant “My way or the highway.”
His every initiative and policy was challenged. Nothing he did was accepted by the right, even though ACA is of tremendous benefit to poor white Southerners. Everything to do with equality for women is of tremendous benefit for poor white Southern women. You could find endless advantages for virtually all Southern whites prominent in the content of White House Executive orders and Obama’s legislative wish list. So, what else could it be but racism?
It’s clear that Obama had coattails in this last election. But they were coattails that by definition were antithetical to the normal definition of the word. Politically, coattails are supposed to be a positive. A popular president you could latch onto and he would drag you to victory. Not in 2014 as most Democrats ran and hid from Obama. And lost!
Don’t get me wrong, there were a great number of appealing Democratic candidates, some of whom were comfortable with their president. But most of them lost as well. That brings me to my last point. In many cases, there’s something haywire with the vote. Often, legitimate and objective polls would have the Democrat and Republican knotted up in a tie or a one or two percentage point margin just before November 4th. Then, after the votes were counted, the Republican surprisingly wins by double digits. A case in point is the victory of Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder, a man of few accomplishments who barely recognized a huge Detroit water problem, largely impacting poor black people.
The Snyder race with Democratic challenger, Mark Schauer was another example of a contest being polled as too close to call. Excluding Independents and third party candidates, the total was Snyder 57%, Schauer 40%. Snyder was supposedly ‘closing’ at the end, but closing means you’re behind. A very dramatic voter switch. Even more dramatic given that Detroit voters chose Schauer by an incredible 93-7 margin. The Detroit turnout was supposedly a miniscule 31%. Sounds highly unlikely given the passionate feelings about the water issue. In Oakland County, once a Democratic hotbed, pre-election polls showed a dead heat. Snyder won by 12 points.
Moving to the Kansas U.S Senate race, incumbent Pat Roberts, a 78-year-old veteran Congressman, was supposed to be in a close race with his Democratic businessman challenger, Greg Orman, 43 years his junior. Several polls showed Orman slightly ahead. Final tally: Roberts 53%, Orman 43%. Another questionable swing in a matter of a day or two. And there are plenty of other examples.
Election Systems & Software (ES & S) is the power player in the voting machine business with their iVotronic DRE Touch Screen Voting Device. In my area, the memory card comes from Omaha. I would strongly recommend that this election be intensely investigated for such turnarounds as I’ve just mentioned. Greg Palast would seem the obvious choice for the job. The only investigative reporter who anybody has heard about, Palast is not welcome by the American “liberal” press. He freelances for the BBC and reports for the British newspaper, “The Guardian.”