GOP Strategy: Defeat Obama At All Costs, Including The Economy

Whirlpool - photo by Boris Rasin

On CNN’s State of the Union, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels attempted to fine tune the Republican talking points on the economy. From all indications the economy is improving and there has been solid private sector job growth for the past year and a half, so Republicans know they need a new message on the economy. Daniels, referred to the economy as “pathetically weak”. He says a sharp downturn should have produced a sharp upturn. I don’t agree that the economy is pathetically weak, but Daniels does have a point about the pace of recovery. If we are to judge from history, the economy should be recovering faster than it has.

For this I do criticize Obama but the blame falls on the Republicans party.

I criticize Obama because of his insistence on bridging the gap after he’s already been dragged into the ravine by an uncooperative Republican party. I like that Obama was optimistic about the prospects of fixing Washington but he should have worried more about the economy instead of winning Republican support. This was critical during the window of opportunity that existed when congress was under Democratic control. Yes, the stimulus passed and that was a good thing, but hindsight tells us it should have been much larger or followed by a second stimulus.

I blame Republicans because they have done nothing but obstruct. They may not control both houses technically, but because of the filibuster they essentially control the legislative process in this country. Even before the November 2010 elections, Republicans along with conservative Democrats were able to obstruct the legislative process at a time when millions were suffering and out of work.

Republicans, including Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have promised to make sure Obama is a one-term president. It used to be a cynical idea that Republicans were purposely trying to slow or even stall the economic recovery to fulfill that promise, but it can no longer be denied. As I stated, the only serious stimulus spending was in the early months of Obama’s presidency in 2009 with both houses of congress controlled by Democrats. Since then the only serious effort to keep the recovery going has been tax breaks, which are not nearly as stimulative as targeted government spending.

Government spending gets us more teachers and police officers as well as improvements to roads and bridges for the cost of stimulating the economy. It’s a no brainer to spend money to improve the infrastructure during a bad economy. It creates jobs and the results of these improvements will benefit the country for many decades, creating more jobs along the way.

But Republicans have been against any increased government spending. I realize this gets framed as an ideological argument of left vs. right but today’s Republicans are simply wrong on this. To be sure, I’m not picking on all Republicans. There was a time in this country when Republicans in congress understood the formula for fixing the economy, and maintaining a robust middle class. Those Republicans still exist, but they aren’t in congress anymore.

I posit that many modern-day Republicans in congress can no longer be called conservatives. They would like to radically change the country and take it back to the pre-Depression era, a time of massive wealth inequality, no robust middle class and both women and minorities relegated to second-class citizen status. They’ve succeeded in re-creating the massive wealth inequality and now they are chipping away at the middle class and civil rights.

No, these Republicans are definitely not conservatives, they are right-wing radicals.


photo by Boris Rasin via Flickr

EconomyElection 2012

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