When explaining why the 113th Congress is an absolute historic fail legislatively, NBC first quoted the very conservative John Samples saying the fail comes from how divided we are, and then proceeded to blame the re-election of the first African-American President for the “divided country”, among other social changes.
This narrative sounds very Republican, seeing as it lets Republicans off of the hook for doing their job. So, somehow Obama’s skin color is partly responsible for turning Republican lawmakers into inept clowns who might be funny if only they weren’t so dangerously extreme.
Instead of admitting the reality that Republicans are focusing on investigating Obama for fictional scandals rather than legislating — as they were directed to do by the conservatives at Heritage Action, Republicans blame the lack of action on the “divided country”.
John Samples of the libertarian Cato Institute instructed NBC, “The country is pretty divided in a lot of different ways, and [Congress] not doing things reflects those divisions.”
Consider these developments over the past four-plus years:
The nation has its first African-American president who won re-election a year ago;
The country is on track to be a majority-minority nation 30 years from now;
Congress overhauled the country’s health-care system in 2010;
And the U.S. Supreme Court just ruled that married same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits at a time when a majority of Americans now support gay marriage, according to national polls.
Wait, okay, how does Obama’s skin color play into House Republicans’ refusal to engage in the budget reconciliation process? How did the SCOTUS decision regarding gay marriage, which just happened last week, keep Republicans from passing a jobs bill? How are minorities’ growing numbers keeping Republicans from addressing our crumbling infrastructure? Are jobs and the economy only Democratic, liberal concerns now? Or is NBC admitting that if Republicans can’t impose their cultural problems on the rest of the country, they will refuse to legislate?
It’s fine to suggest that the “divide” is responsible for a failure on social issues, but in fact, Republicans in the House have excelled in jamming through extreme social issue legislation. The fact that this legislation is so extreme due to the gerrymandering of House districts as to never get passed by the Senate is not the fault of a “divided” nation, but rather, the fault of a party chock full of fringe extremists who are out of touch with the rest of the country.
No, Congress’ failure can’t reasonably be blamed on the color of Obama’s skin, or minorities, or gay marriage.
The Republican narrative of a “divided country” is one of their own making. It is Republicans who stirred up racial animosity on purpose as a get out the vote tactic, along with ginning up hatred against gays and immigrants with brown skin. It is Republicans who proposed a record number of bills to steal liberty from women and put a concerted effort into keeping minorities from voting. These actions created a divide; the divide was not inevitable. Republicans are furthering the divide with fake scandals that deliberately and desperately feed into the narrative they need in order to get anyone to vote for them.
Because you see, the Republican record sucks. If people knew what they were getting when they voted R (15 laws in 6 months, not one of them a jobs bill), they would never do it. But they will vote against the black guy, the gays, etc. They will vote for white supremacy and resentment.
Republicans have been relying on the “Southern Strategy” for far too long for the press to pretend this divide and partisanship is the equal responsibility of both parties. To metaphorically kick the gays, blacks, and other growing minority numbers in order to excuse the epic failure of Republican lawmakers is laughable.
Inside of the beltway, both sides must be equally at fault no matter what the reality is. Outside of the beltway, guess what. Most Americans don’t give a crap what color Obama’s skin is. A majority voted for him again, hence they are fine with an “African-American” being “re-elected this year”. Even the minority who do care about the color of his skin (and per this argument, we have to assume this is the Republican party or else why would it matter regarding legislation), they have bigger legislative concerns. Most Americans don’t give a crap about “traditional marriage” and hence, gay marriage is not an earth quake that prohibits all legislation from moving forward — that is, unless one party is using it as cover for their refusal to legislate under a Democratic President.
No, most Americans care about JOBS and the ECONOMY. You know, the two things Republicans most refuse to legislate, and the two things that Democrats support and therefore could pass both chambers easily if only Republicans were willing to leave abortion amendments off of jobs/economy bills or even allow them to be put up for a vote.
If Republicans left their culture war games at home for a day, we might actually get something done. I suppose that’s Obama’s fault too, because hey, blame the black guy. It works for Republicans.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.