When Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) complained Tuesday on Red State that the federal government “no longer has the consent of the governed,” what he really means is that Obama no longer has the consent of the governed, and what he means by “the governed” is “angry white people” like himself who have sold their souls to the ravenous corporations and special interest groups seeking to replace the federal government.
Central to this theme of betrayal is a set of made-up facts. It doesn’t matter the specifics of the topic at hand, whether its Obamacare or Benghazi: a fake set of facts have been constructed to more closely align the event and its consequences with Tea Party ideology: this is how the world works, therefore this is what must have happened and these must be the consequences.
It’s a neat system. A closed system onto which no trace of reality can intrude. It must be very comforting to have your every fear confirmed for you by your corporate masters. And Price is playing his part. “Well, it’s because they’ve been deceived,” he complains.
The American people have been deceived by this administration and by what their policies were. And it all started with the stimulus bill, that was a non-stimulus bill that took hundreds of billions of dollars, nearly a trillion dollars, and spent it on things that didn’t improve the economy, that didn’t turn things around, that didn’t decrease unemployment, in spite of the testimonials of the president and those in his administration. So that was the first part.
The stimulus, or to be more precise, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Pub.L. 111-5), was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009. The stimulus pumped money into the economy with the purpose of creating jobs, $787 billion, later revised upward to $831 billion. And no, the stimulus didn’t “fix” the economy, if by fixing it what is meant is putting it back to where it was before the Great Recession. It was, as Paul Krugman pointed out, too small to affect the desired change. But it did turn things around, as the New York Times reported in 2012: “On the most basic level, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is responsible for saving and creating 2.5 million jobs. The majority of economists agree that it helped the economy grow by as much as 3.8 percent, and kept the unemployment rate from reaching 12 percent.”
But Price doesn’t want to talk about actual facts and the people doing the deceiving are not from the Obama administration but from Price’s own Republican Party. His fake facts are far more congenial to his ideological purpose, which is to paint Obama as a tyrant.
And if Price really wants to be angry about something, why isn’t he angry at the private sector, which is responsible, after all, for causing the economic crisis? Obama can hardly be held to blame for the actions of a bunch of rich bankers, who, incidentally, have been busy passing off their sins on the federal government, and by extension, the American people.
Casting blame on Obama and the stimulus is pure dishonesty. As US News & World Report reported last summer, “Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf told Congress recently, ‘Our position is that the  Recovery Act was not a failed program. Our position is that it created higher output and employment than would have occurred without it.'”
And what is a Tea Party rant without outraged reference Obamacare?
And then came all of the healthcare debate over a year and a half, culminating in Congress passing a bill that the American people didn’t want at that time and still don’t want. It has led to what many people have called a government that no longer has the consent of the governed, and it’s that trust that’s so absolutely vital between the people and their government that allows a democracy to stand. And so, it needs to be recovered, and that’s why I call on the president immediately to get out in front on these issues, come clean, admit where the errors were made and the mistakes were made.
In other words, Price is calling upon President Obama to share in his lie, to buy into the false reality created by the Tea Party to satisfy the demands of their ideology. Price’s words are echoed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who told Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday, ”We want truth. We want to have the president do what he has said he would always do, and that is, be open and transparent. Thus far, the White House has not done that.”
Price says the same thing, saying “now the mainstream media is brought into the fray, and they realize that this administration is wayward and, as somebody has described, drunk with power. And that we will now see a much more critical view of the administration from the press.”
Sadly, these men can be assured of getting their deceitful message out. The truth is the last thing either Price or Chaffetz want and true to form it is the last thing the mainstream media is giving the American people. Price and Chaffetz want spin and they want a mainstream media complicit in the Republican plot to foist a false set of facts on the American people. They are getting both.
The only people not consenting to our government are the very people who had such a vested interest in the Bush administration. It is not the government their complaint is with; they love government just fine as long as they’re in control of it. What they object to is our first black president and Democrats in position to object to and put the brakes on a program of social engineering that will recreate the Gilded Age.
The American people are facing a bleak, ugly future. One of our two major political parties is controlled by an unholy trinity of religious, political, and corporate extremists whose sole purpose is to advance a repressive agenda at the expense of the American people. Whether this acts out through an attack on our voting rights, on our religious liberties, or on our pocketbooks, the result is the same. An extremist minority will have imposed its will on the liberal and moderate majority. We will have the result the Founding Fathers most feared; the one which the Constitution was designed to prevent.
That isn’t all: this unholy trinity wields influence far out of proportion to the numbers actually espousing its doctrines. Given the imbalances in the American economy, they also have most of the money, which explains their bloated influence. Oh, and there is the little matter that, on balance, they control the mainstream media, have their own propaganda network (FOX) and therefore pretty much get ignored when they say or do something colossally evil or stupid, which is quite a bit more often than most people know for the reasons given above.
They want to impeach President Obama not because of anything he has done, but because they have and have always had an ideological objection to his election. If Chaffetz and Price cared at all about the truth, they would at the very least admit to their real motivations and those of the Republican Party.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.