Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The ABCs of the GOP: B is for...


As the American people, we vote for our government officials, and we elect them to go to Washington to work on our behalf. The primary responsibility of of Congress is to make the nation's laws. But from the current philosophy of the GOP, you wouldn't know this. Their primary objective in Washington is to defeat President Obama at all costs.

Since the day President Obama was elected, Republican lawmakers have decided to use tactics of belligerence to get what they want. Eventhough the 2008 election came with sweeping majorities in the House and Senate, the GOP already had a plan to shut down the government in place using the Senate Filibuster, and you better believe it worked. With Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress, the Senate became a place of ultimate gridlock. Billions of dollars of government assistance that could have kept people in their jobs, helped states at a time of their most dire need, and spurred further economic development were kept from the American people because of a greedy few in the Senate GOP. Bills such as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Credit Card Holder's Bill of Rights Act, the National Defense Authorization Act, and even the DREAM Act were all passed by the House of Representatives under Nancy Pelosi.

Yes, the United States of America came within one breath of passing the DREAM Act. On December 8th, 2010 the US House passed the bill on a 216-198 vote. But thanks to Senate Republicans, it DIED.

It's one thing to vote against a bill on principle... if you disagree strongly with something becoming a law, that is what the Filibuster is for. But bullying is entirely different. Take the 2010 Filibuster of Barbara Milano Keenan... an Obama nominee to the Federal Court in Virginia. GOP members of the Senate filibustered her nomination for 5 months, and what was their objection? Absolutely nothing. No one spoke against her qualifications, no one gave any reason why they couldn't vote for her. She was unanimously confirmed by the Senate after their cry-baby move. 99-0 confirmation vote. This is more than typical bullying, but was a complete WASTE of taxpayer money.

Basically, the tactic back then was to obstruct government (and the President) from being able to accomplish anything. This slowed our pace of recovery sharply and resulted in millions of public sector job losses, just to make President Obama and Democrats look bad. We're still feeling the effects of this today. Here's a graph showing the history of the filibuster. Notice how its use doubles right after Obama is elected...

But the bullying and belligerence hasn't stopped yet.

Remember Richard Grenell, Mitt Romney's openly gay Foriegn Policy Spokesman who resigned after mounting pressure from the Far Right? No doubt that he was forced from his position solely because he was gay. But here's the question... Mr. Grenell didn't appear out of thin air to the GOP. He comes with a long list of foriegn policy accomplishments, and was appointed by President George W. Bush to a United Nations advisory role. He served as a spokesperson to four U.N. Ambassadors. This man was a real asset to the Romney campaign, and has been a faithful member of the GOP, but he was bullied from his position. Funny how Grenell was a Bush appointment, yet no one staged a hell-fire protest against him at the time. Maybe because they didn't care if W supported gay people? But for some reason, if Mitt Romney does anything outside of their comfort zone, it's unacceptable.

I have no personal dislike of Mitt Romney. Truthfully, I don't think he would be a bad President. But it's not Romney we should fear, it's all the bullies that get elected with him, and his inability to stand up to them. He is now the leader of the Republican Party, yet he shows no courage to combat the wild extreme hate and rage within it. Bryan Fischer... leader of the American Family Association and a legendary bigot... says it best:

“If Mitt Romney can be pushed around, intimidated, coerced, co-opted by a conservative radio talk show host in Middle America, then how is he going to stand up to the Chinese? How is he going to stand up to Putin? How is he going to stand up to North Korea if he can be pushed around by a yokel like me? I don’t think Romney is realizing the doubts that this begins to raise about his leadership.”

The Rick Grenell scenario should tell us all we need to know about the current GOP. The party continues to put their own self interests ahead of the American People, and will stop at nothing to bully their way into total control.

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