Sabotage, Treason, or Something in Between?
Gridlock — that’s how the corporate media describes the dysfunctional Congress and the paralysis of government. The word implies complicity from both Democrats and Republicans, which distorts the truth (something at which the media excels). This was all planned from the beginning of Obama’s presidency, in fact from the very night of his inauguration. Maybe you haven’t heard of the Caucus Room conspiracy. Robert Draper writes of it in his book, Do Not Ask What Good We Do.
On the evening of January 20, 2009, while President Obama and the First Lady were dancing at one of the inaugural balls, Beyonce was singing the Etta James classic, “At Last.” While most of America was enchanted by the hope of change, there were dark doings at an upscale Washington, D.C. restaurant and lounge, The Caucus Room. As the Obamas danced across town, a small group of the Republican leadership was conspiring to destroy Obama’s presidency. From the House were Jeb Hensarling, Dan Lundgren, Pete Sessions, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Pete Hoekstra, and Kevin McCarthy. From the Senate: John Ensign, Bob Corker, John Kyl, Jim DeMint, and Tom Coburn (known as Doctor No for his numerous blocks on Senate bills). Also in attendance were Newt Gingrich and Republican strategist and wordsmith, Frank Luntz —
During a four hour meeting, they swore a pact to obstruct and impede everything this president tried to do, in any way they could. Kevin McCarthy is quoted as saying “We’ve gotta challenge them on every piece of legislation . . . show united and unyielding opposition to the President’s economic policies.” He went on to say that included legislation they’d either previously sponsored or supported. McCarthy is currently House Majority Leader, second in power only to Speaker Boehner. In a March 2009 interview in The Wall Street Journal, Pete Sessions talked of adopting “a Taliban-like insurgency . . . to disrupt and change a person’s entire process.” After the meeting was over, Gingrich said, and I’m paraphrasing, this night would sow the seeds for 2012. Okay, he was off by two years. Three years ago he was on the Thom Hartmann radio show, and Thom asked him if all that was true. He almost seemed to brag, “Of course. We’re the opposition, that’s what we do: we oppose.”
When the Senate session began, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that their first priority was to ensure that Obama would be a one term president. Not programs to get people working, or repairing the nation’s infrastructure, or anything else useful. And if there’s one thing Republicans are good at, it’s falling in line. For six years, the Democrats have held the majority in the Senate, yet they can’t even introduce a bill before someone filibusters it, which requires 60 votes to override. By the way, the Constitution says that a bare majority of votes is sufficient to pass a bill; the filibuster is a Senate rule.
Last December and in the following weeks, long-term unemployment benefits ran out for millions of Americans. In the House is a bipartisan Senate bill to extend them, but John Boehner refuses to bring it to the floor for a vote. Another bipartisan Senate bill on immigration reform has met the same fate from the “Hell, no!” Party. They can’t let anything happen that would reflect favorably on Obama. If that means tanking the economy, so much the better. They don’t care how many Americans are hurting, they must ruin this man and his presidency at any cost. I think Obama doesn’t really need their help. He’s already doing more than enough to tarnish his legacy, specifically in regards to civil liberties, but that’s a subject for a future column. Could any of this rank obstructionism possibly be due to his skin color? Gee, I don’t know, does the Pope wear a funny hat? I’d never say that all Republicans are racists, but there’s a heavy residue of it flowing through the conservative bloodstream, and even talking in coded dog-whistles cannot hide it. I mean, it’s bad enough that he’s a Democrat. Look how they kept going after Clinton, and he was as Republican as they are!
The Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, will be the signature accomplishment of this president, if it’s allowed to work. So it has been #1 on the hit list, because it must not succeed. The House has passed over 40 bills to repeal it, even knowing each one would die in the Senate. But Obamacare was administered a poison pill. While the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, it also stripped out an important provision that it needs to work. It said states could choose not to participate in the Medicaid expansion (fully funded by the federal government for the first three years). About twenty Republican controlled states have refused the expansion. In Texas alone, that leaves 6.4 million people uninsured who could have had health care. A Harvard University study says that approximately 17,000 people will die each year in those states refusing the Medicaid expansion, but these people couldn’t care less. I really think they’d love to find a way to extract the milk from nursing mothers before it went into the mouths of hungry infants. Maybe they could sneak into bedrooms late at night, like other vampires.
What would you call this behavior of actively trying the destroy the economy? Isn’t that some form of treason? No, because they’re not trying to overthrow the government, just bring it to a complete halt. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be a criminal offense, although it’s certainly a moral one What kind of people would callously allow Americans to suffer from unemployment, hunger, maybe losing their homes? And how can anyone be so obsessed by their ideology that they would allow their own constituents to die? Only sociopaths could do that, people who lack empathy for other human beings or life of any kind. They simply don’t have that special neural wiring that makes the rest of us human. I supposed they are to be pitied, but they’ll get none from me, only disgust. These people aren’t ideologues, they’re not merely misled, they are flat out evil, and an offense to God. That they can even be elected to positions of public service is a travesty. They are a danger to society and should be shunned. Lest I be accused of demonizing them, I don’t have to: they come already infested with demons of their own. They are anti-democracy, making them anti-American, and essentially anti-life. Well, they say they’re pro-fetus, but the fetus is merely a legal cudgel with which to beat women. I wonder when the real Republicans will rise up and take back their party. Oh, I forgot. They’ve either been purged from the party, or now call themselves independents, too embarrassed to be associated with the name Republican. So don’t call it gridlock, it’s pure sabotage, nothing less.