Politics: We Don’t Care Mr. President
As the first month of President Obama’s administration draws to a close there have been numerous political developments that have reached center stage in the media. All of these matters, administration appointments and confirmations, Guantanamo Bay and the associated program of torture, equal pay for women, the auto industry, the banking industry and probably most importantly the now infamous recovery package. Throughout the course of the last several weeks we have repeatedly seen our new President make welcoming overtures to the Congressional Republican Leadership in an effort to achieve some measure of bipartisanship. These overtures which have been largely ignored and are often met with overt disdain.
President Obama is taking the proper move in an effort to bring the leadership of our political parties in Washington together. Not only would this be beneficial in the near term in seeking to solve the numerous massive problems this nation faces, but in time the deep-seeded political gamesmanship that has crippled government for decades must be addressed and ultimately halted. Clearly this is the desire of the President for he has commenced these efforts early and often and no doubt he will continue in these endeavors. Good for him. Again, it is most certainly the right thing to do even though it is such a foreign concept to our Washington political apparatus.
The media has been having a field day with the bits and pieces of news that indicate a strong and possibly growing lack of support for the President’s endeavors and initiatives within the GOP. The Republican Leadership seems to seize every opportunity to stand before the cameras and criticize the new administration. But when you consider their options and their institutionalized mindset, this is probably the only thing that Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate are capable of. To their credit, the Washington Republicans, in banding together, are about the only ones in the nation who have a common or collective clue as to what they seek to do. They are committed to opposing anything and everything the new President proposes. They may not have good reasons for doing so, but they clearly are doing this for political reasons rather than pausing to consider the will of the people or the good of the nation.
This dichotomy is consistent with why we are facing the massive problems which exist today in the country. After all, it was just the sort of unwavering partisanship that we are witnessing from them today that orchestrated the multifaceted disaster that now confronts America. Eight years of Republican control at the executive and legislative levels have done massive and widespread damage. In spite of that, there remains unwillingness among Republican politicians to make even the smallest effort at changing course or contributing to the reversal of the current negative trends.
Clearly our recent election was an undeniable indicator that the nation was rejecting that which we have suffered through for the past eight years. A large majority of Americans voiced their desire to see the nation move in a different direction. The Republican Party was defeated and left in near ruins strategically and ideologically. The fractured GOP has a small but thriving ‘Lunatic Fringe,’ aptly described by the Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post. This fringe leadership includes names like: Limbaugh, O’Riley, Palin and their clueless, toothless, geriatric coven of supporters, thoroughly toxic to their stated efforts at broad political appeal.
Most people of sound mind, both Republicans and Democrats, recognize that the ‘Right Wing Lunatic Fringe‘ is a dwindling faction that is extremely damaging to the GOP brand. Not only is this faction well known for ideologies and rhetoric that is despicable and myopic, it is generally seen as an embarrassment because it is visibly represented in large part by those clinging blindly to the bottom rung of social and political American existence. These political brethren are lacking information, education, economic clout and culture. They have become an albatross around the neck of the GOP and unfortunately, the primary image of the party. The majority of reasonable, intelligent and responsible Republicans in the nation are being seen as those of the same intellectual station because their leadership is handcuffed. The Washington Republican leadership is frustrated by their minority position and the veritable vacuum of legislative power with which they must now contend.
Rather than recognize and acknowledge the devastating image problem that the GOP has, they are continuing to welcome in the lunatics and along with remaining powerless, they are appearing to the nation as if severally lacking in judgment. It’s as if they don’t understand that going out on a date with O.J. Simpson or Scott Peterson might not be a good idea if only because… it looks bad. But sadly, many Republicans are so desperate, that they have to welcome in anyone that they can. More importantly, they have to also welcome and pander to the ‘Lunatic Fringe‘ because they need their representative numbers and whatever power they might render. What the GOP has yet to figure out is that people see them as keeping questionable company.
The Republican Party is a disaster on many fronts. The recent appointment of Michael Steele to the Chairmanship of the RNC is simply another bad judgment call, tantamount to smearing black face on Frankenstein, which is not going to fool anyone or solve the party’s current internal crisis.
So in understanding our new President’s efforts at bipartisanship, it is important to note that he is dealing with a severely wounded and emotionally traumatized entity in Washington. Having suffered such a sweeping and resounding defeat in November, coupled with being seen broadly as the failed leadership that has produced the nations’ insurmountable crises, along with having such a tainted membership image, it is no small wonder the Washington Republican community is fully bunkered in resentment. Should the President’s efforts continue, we may at some point see an easing of the strains between the parties and possibly achieve some measure of overt cooperation in the future.
Hopefully the GOP leadership in Washington will soon realize that given their current position, including any efforts to affect positives outcomes in undoing their past works, will only be beneficial in the way they are being viewed by the public. To continue to do nothing and create obstacles is simply another poor decision.
The good news is that the new President is immensely popular and that he has majority support in both houses of Congress. His beginning initiatives have not been without problems and challenges, but for the most part he is keeping eyes fixed on following through on the promises he made on the Campaign Trail. President Obama is fighting for his promises with fierce urgency. Even his promise to govern in a bipartisan fashion is of obvious importance and for that he deserves to be commended. But among all of the things that remain on the President’s plate, this plan for bipartisanship, is the least important area of immediate attention in the view of many Americans. The President knows this and is apportioning his attentions in that area appropriately.
America elected Barack Obama the President of the United States. He is the focus of our attention. We understand legislative matters, majorities and the full weight of the crises we face. As for the demise of the Republican Party and the Presidents’ challenges in reaching out to them: I speak for a good many Americans when I say, “We don’t care Mr. President”. We support you, but on that one, we just don’t care… ~ Leon Walker