The NObama Impulse

NOBAMA - photo by John Kannenberg

The list of items that Republicans were for before they were against is staggering. For the past 3 years the catalyst driving these changes in position is always the same – President Obama. Republicans have made it their number one goal to defeat Obama in 2012 even if it means jobs, the economy – and anything else that gets in the way – are collateral damage.

I heard the phrase “The NObama Impulse” a few weeks ago. It’s brilliant in its simplicity to describe an impulse many on the Right have when it comes to President Obama. The impulse is to immediately oppose any position that Obama takes even if it was originally a Republican position. I wish I could remember who said it but alas it eludes me. Google searches have not turned up the original source. If anybody knows who said it please comment below.

Need a few examples of The NObama Impulse?

  1. Cap and Trade – It was free market Republicans and environmentalists (yeah, an unlikely bunch) that hatched this idea decades ago when it was referred to as emissions trading. When the Obama administration proposed cap and trade in 2009 suddenly Republicans were against the idea.
  2. Individual Mandate – One might make the argument that Republicans aren’t really for health care reform no matter what form it takes. However, the idea of an individual mandate as part of health care reform is definitely a Republican idea. Before the most recent health care reform debate there was the mid-90s Clinton health care reform debate. Back then Republicans, like speaker Newt Gingrich, supported the idea of an individual mandate as a way of ensuring personal responsibility by each citizen. When health care reform passed in 2010 with the individual mandate, Republicans in various states immediately began filing lawsuits contesting the reform act on the grounds that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
  3. TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) – This one is interesting in that it happened before Obama became president but many on the Right would like you to ignore that minor detail. Many Republicans supported TARP (the bank bailout) in 2008. In fact, John Boehner (now Speaker of the House) made a teary-eyed plea on the House floor that TARP needed to be passed to save our economy. Current Republican majority leader Eric Cantor also supported TARP. And yes, then Senator Obama supported TARP as well. But now that a few years have passed, Republicans like to lump TARP into all the so-called “failed government spending” by the Obama administration even though TARP was signed by then President Bush. As I said, a minor detail.
  4. Deficits – Yes, Republicans love deficit spending…when they are in charge. Two wars, two massive tax cuts favoring the rich and an unfunded Medicare prescription drug program are responsible for most of the current budget deficit and much of the long-term debt accumulated in the past 8 years. But Republicans would like you to believe that the biggest contributor to our $1.5 trillion budget deficit is President Obama. I’m not a CPA but I do realize that budgets largely role from year to year. Therefore, if you still have tax cuts on the books, still have wars being conducted and still offer granny her prescription drug benefit then each budget from now to the end of time will reflect those spending items. Obama didn’t magically create a $1.5 trillion deficit from the ground up in less than 3 years. Again, details Republicans would like you to ignore.

This concludes today’s object lesson on how a political party forms a narrative through hypocrisy.


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