When untruths are told for entertainment value we refer to them as “fables” or “tall tales”. When untruths are told for political purposes we sometimes call them “lies”. In the hope of promoting a kinder and gentler political discourse I am going to recount some Teapublican Tall Tales.
Tall Tale #1 – Although Barack Obama promised in his campaign to end partisanship in Washington and to bring this country together, President Obama has turned out to be the most divisive force in Washington.
The Truth: Immediately upon his inauguration leaders of the then-Republican (and now Teapublican) Party announced their determination to make Barack Obama a one-term president. The strategy that they have employed to achieve this goal is to oppose virtually every legislative proposal originated by the Obama White House. The G.O.Tea Party has been nearly unanimous in casting “no” votes against everything from health care to rescuing the American automobile industry.
Political commentators and historians agree that solid front of opposition by the Teapublicans in Congress is unprecedented. For these same Teapublicans to complain that President Obama is divisive is reminiscent of the criminal who kills his parents and then asks for mercy because he is an orphan.
Tall Tale #2 – The G.O.Tea Party Cavalcade of Clowns that is running for that party’s presidential nomination disagree on many issues but they are an atonal chorus in proclaiming that every policy advanced by President Obama to address this country’s economic crisis has failed. Additionally, the policy of paying people not to work has only exacerbated the crisis.
The Truth – During the past three weeks the American G.D.P. grew at fastest rate in over three years. Additionally the stock market closed last week at a four year high and unemployment continues its 5 month decline to its lowest level since 2008 (that would be before Barack Obama was elected). The combination of the stimulus plan, the bailout of the American automobile industry and numerous legislative and administrative measures have produced positive results.
Providing continued and extended assistance to unemployed Americans has given meaning to the safety net that the G.O.Tea Party barely recognizes. Referring to unemployment benefits as “paying people not to work” is using the rhetoric of the rich, the self-satisfied and the mean – that would be the Koch brothers and their billionaire buddies.
When we consider the catastrophic results of the Bush era financial policies, the recent recovery, in less than three years is nothing short of remarkable. But the Teapublican playbook calls for blaming President Obama for anything bad and never giving him credit for anything positive.
Mitt Romney went so far as to say for President Obama to credit for improvement in the economy is like the rooster taking credit for the sun rising. This would be the same Mitt Romney who is willing to heap truckloads of blame on President Obama for what most economists of any political hue would describe as major structural defects in the American economy. Mitt, Newt, Rick, Ron, Paul and the Teapublicans want to have their blame cake and eat it too.
Tall Tale #3 – During the presidency of Barack Obama America’s foreign policy has been an unmitigated disaster. By “apologizing” to the world President Obama has weakened this country’s standing on the global stage and he has emboldened our enemies, Iran being Exhibit A.
The Truth – During the presidency of Barack Obama America’s foreign policy has been a success by any reasonable standard. By striving for alliance and accommodation rather than confrontation there are more countries that are willing to stand with the United States than ever before. By resorting to military force as a last option (and then on a very limited and focused basis) the Obama Administration has seen positive results that have addressed major security concerns (the execution of Osama bin Laden comes to mind).
By keeping to an existing American commitment to remove troops from Iraq the misery suffered by the American people and the Iraqi people has diminished. By committing to remove American troops from the quagmire called Afghanistan we are on the threshold of an era where warfare is no longer the key tool of this country’s foreign policy.
And speaking of the truth, as the Teapublicans wail and holler about “taking the country back” perhaps they could be honest about who currently has the country. When Barack Obama was elected president there were some new members of Congress and the Senate, but certainly not in sufficient numbers to spark fears of a “takeover”.
In truth the Teapublicans want to “take this country back” from the Kenyan Muslim illegal alien who current resides in the White House. They should just tell the truth – confession is always good for the soul.