View from the couch: Reality-based shooters


Though this time around

Republicans in Congress have been termed the "party of no," it is eerie how

much they are playing the same sort of game they successfully played in the

Clinton years. After George H.W. Bush

was denied his second term, thanks to Ross Perot, the Republican right set out

to de-legitimize Bill Clinton as president. The thin reed of the Whitewater scandal was bent in many

directions and led to the exertions of Monica Lewinsky and, finally,

impeachment in Clinton's second term.

Not much good happened in Clinton's

second term. The Republicans were

successful in their efforts to cripple the Clinton presidency and they carried

that determination into the election and their victory over the popular vote by

putting George W. Bush in the throne and sending Al Gore off to his various

other enthusiasms.

So, all this "party of no"

business is not new. Collectively,

Republicans are out to cripple the Obama administration, their minions funding

aspects of the Tea Party, voting no on anything the Democratic Congress does,

trying to undo the electorate's mandate, while supporting the crazies, the

birthers, etc.

Not that the Obama

administration hasn't leant them a helping hand, just as Bill Clinton served

them up a tasty dish of Oval Office moral turpitude. The chief sin of the Obama

administration is that it too went contrary to the voters' mandate. We are still in Afghanistan, Iraq; Wall

Street still has Washington DC in its pocket. The health care bill looks out for the private health

industry first, the patients second. And on and on. And the

administration bites the hand that fed it, criticizing "the professional left"

whilst avidly courting independents and liberal Republicans.

Of course, those folk are a

mirage when it comes to future elections.Though Obama's team aims its policies and public persona at them, they

are not there for the picking. It's a tragic misreading of the 2008 election.Those people were just jumping on the bandwagon that the

base of the Democratic party had provided Obama. The real election had been the primary between Obama and

Hillary Clinton. Before November

it was clear John McCain was going down to defeat (Sarah Palin helping his

demise) and independents and so-called liberal Republicans just went with the

winner.There is a tremendous

satisfaction that comes with going with the winner. Obama got his historic


But his administration acts

as if the independents and the liberal Republicans handed it to him. It was his base that whipped up the

excitement, the pull that dragged those people along. So, it is doubly depressing to see Obama aiming so many of

his policies at them.

Yet, by now, much of this is

crying over spilt milk. It's hard

to walk all these months backward. The economy still stinks to high

heaven. The Aug. 12 video showing

people in Atlanta fighting for applications of government housing (the

dispenser atop a car) looked a bit too much like relief trucks throwing out

handfuls of rice to African famine victims.

And, the "help" the job

market needs, unfortunately, is a new bubble. Because for decades we have lived off of economic

bubbles.The economy, as some

economists have admitted, is restructuring. Some jobs have permanently


Republicans just want to destroy Obama, even if it takes two terms, labeling

him a "socialist," though he is a centrist through and through. Two terms might

be long enough that Jeb Bush could be installed in the job. Stranger things have happened. But, the strangest would be Obama's

people supporting his base, rather than denigrating it.


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