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
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
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.