President Obama drilled Republicans during his speech at Northwestern for lacking the courage to lay out their real ideas to the American people.
The president said,
I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them. This isn’t a political speech, and I’m not going to tell you who to vote for – even though I suppose it is kind of implied.
But I have laid out my ideas to create more jobs and grow more wages. A true opposition party should have the courage to lay out theirs. There’s a reason fewer Republicans are preaching doom on deficits – because they’re now manageable. There’s a reason fewer are running against Obamacare – because while good, affordable health care might still be a fanged threat to freedom on Fox News, it’s working pretty well in the real world.
But when push came to shove this year, and Republicans in Congress actually had to take a stand on policies that would help the middle class and working Americans – raising the minimum wage, enacting fair pay, refinancing student loans, extending insurance for the unemployed – the answer was “no.” One thing they did vote “yes” on was another massive tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. In fact, just last month, at least one top Republican in Congress said that tax cuts for those at the top are – and I quote – “even more pressing now” than they were 30 years ago. When nearly all the gains of the recovery have gone to the top 1%, I find that a little hard to swallow. If there were any credibility to the argument that says when those at the top do well, eventually everyone else will do well, it would have borne itself out by now.
America’s economic greatness has never trickled from the top down – it grows from a rising, thriving middle class. Those are the two starkly different visions for this country. And I believe, with every bone in my body, that there’s one distinct choice.
This is the kind of speech that the president’s supporters and Democrats have been waiting for. Obama came with the facts, and he used his bully pulpit to draw attention to the big picture. Republicans won’t tell the American people what their ideas are. The GOP refuses to discuss their agenda in detail with the American people.
It is easy to understand why they won’t talk about it. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why Republicans hide their intentions from the American people. The Republican agenda is very unpopular. When Republicans carryout their Koch funded agenda of lowering taxes on the wealthy, cutting social programs that are cherished, and telling the American people that they are on their own, voters react negatively.
The majority of Americans disagree with the Republican agenda. This is why they have to hide the fact that Republicans want to take away health care from millions of Americans. Republicans have to disguise tax cuts and dangerous regulatory rollbacks as job creation. Republicans have to hide what they are up to because if people knew the truth, Republicans would lose.
A real opposition party doesn’t hide their intentions behind focus group tested talking points. A party with integrity runs on their ideas. The Republican Party has no spine. It is a jellyfish that’s for sale to the biggest billionaire contributors. President Obama called out Republicans for their lack of courage and in the process gave the Democrats the leadership that they need from their president.
The 2014 election isn’t about Obama, but the president is about to let Republicans leave voters in the dark the GOP’s intentions.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association