President Obama’s most recent State of the Union address was an exercise in the normal and the paranormal. Normal in that since George Washington, every American president has addressed Congress at the beginning of the year to proclaim recent accomplishments and to articulate a vision for the future.
The paranormal aspect refers to the absolutely concrete nature of the opposition to President Obama. The opposition to this president and his very existence in the White House seems to transcend his policies and leads one to wonder what is the source and reason for this bitter disposition.
We all recollect that in January of 2009, within days of Barack Obama’s inauguration, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared his intention to make him a “one term president”. In that same timeframe, the fatuous and foul-mouthed radio fool Rush Limbaugh expressed his fervent wish that Barack Obama would “fail” as president clearly not caring that if the President of the United States “fails” the American people suffer.
It should be noted that these implacable statements of opposition were issued, along with many others, prior to President Obama doing anything more controversial than choosing a Cabinet and making his inaugural speech. He had just been elected with one of the largest pluralities in recent history. He really hadn’t had a chance to antagonize or disappoint anyone. Yet the opposition came to life fully matured and steeped in venom and disdain.
When Barack Obama was elected in November of 2008 this country’s economy was in free fall thanks to the profligate policies of the Bush Administration. These policies included two murderous wars that were financed with debt (the first time this had ever occurred in American history) as well as turning a blind eye to the misdeeds of the financial community.
By the time he was president, Barack Obama was faced with an economy that was now hurtling to a bottom that never appeared. Working with the TARP tools provided by Congress and the Bush Administration the free fall finally stopped and three years later we are actually seeing real growth in the economy. For this the Teapublicans call Barack Obama a “failed president”.
Soon after his inauguration General Motors and the entire American automobile industry teetered on the brink of virtual extinction. The country that gave birth to the automobile industry was about to witness its death within its own borders.
And that would have been the outcome but for the policies of the Obama Administration which rescued G.M. and Chrysler and provided Ford Motor Company with a healthy environment in which it could compete. Today General Motors is again the world’s largest automobile company and millions of American jobs and American families have been saved. For this the G.O.Tea Party calls Barack Obama a “failed president”.
During his entire presidency President Obama has been subject to unrelenting and incessant questions regarding his citizenship. These questions were never raised when he was admitted to the bar in the State of Illinois or when he was elected State Senator or United States Senator.
No other president or serious presidential candidate has ever been subject to this bizarre scrutiny even though several famous Republican candidates were actually born outside of the United States – Barry Goldwater, George Romney and John McCain all immediately come to mind.
The hunt for the proof that Barack Obama shouldn’t be president – that somehow the laws of the United States and of nature have been offended continues to this very day. As you read this column a court in the state of Georgia is demanding that President Obama appear personally to present his birth certificate otherwise he will not be on the ballot in November. This follows a similar attempt in Alabama within the past few weeks.
These threads of illogic, idiocy and extreme partisanship form a pattern that is familiar in the tapestry of American history. Can it really be a coincidence that the first black President of the United States is also the first president to be subject to these bizarre inquiries regarding his citizenship. Is it possible that a president who saved millions of jobs in a vital American industry could be a “failed” president?
How is it possible that the president who directed the elimination of Osama bin Laden and ended American military presence in Iraq be denied any credit or consideration? And how is it that the first American president to bring about fundamental change in the healthcare system in over a half a century is the target of such hate and vitriol?
The Teapublican Clown Cavalcade of Candidates has been united on one point – that Barack Obama should be replaced as president. Fair enough – that is the job of the opposition party. But the rationale for why he should be replaced is devoid of logic and purpose except for one thing – and it is that one thing that is the unfortunate elephant in the room.