Point of View Columns

Unintelligent Design

On January 20, 2009, Senator Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader of the United States Senate and at that time the presumptive leader of the Republican Party stated that the number one goal of his party was to make certain that Barack Obama was a one-term president. Notice that he did not mention improving the lives of the American people or repairing an economy wrecked by eight years of Bush Administration wrongheaded policies. Insuring the defeat of Barack Obama was and still is the only goal of the Republican Party, even if it comes at the expense of the American people and the future of this country.

This country began with partisan politics always being a key element in the governmental process. It was not always polite; sometimes it was ugly and at one point partisanship even led to a civil war. Nevertheless, partisanship somehow made way for the transcontinental railroad, the industrial revolution and the progress of the United States to the status of a world power.

Since the election of Barack Obama, partisanship has taken a malevolent turn that is simply unprecedented in the history of this country. The 2009 stimulus bill was the last major bipartisan initiative that had as its goal improving the economy and providing jobs in the public and private sectors. Since then Republicans, now carrying the Teapublican banner have objected to and obstructed almost every legislative proposal that might address the lingering effects of the mismanagement of the national economy by the Bush Administration.

It is not news that the party that does not occupy the White House will regularly oppose the proposals of the president. What is unprecedented is that the Teapublicans have opposed all Obama Administration proposals in a time of grave crisis without offering serious alternative solutions.

For example, the so-called Ryan Budget Plan would eviscerate most federal programs while hollowing out the public sector at the state and local levels. This sham of a plan would also shred a social services safety net that has built up over the course of a century. The Ryan Budget Plan is not a serious alternative solution as it will never garner bipartisan support and could only be put into action if the Teapublicans assume the majority in both houses and the White House and then bludgeon the country into submission.

Employing this scorched earth legislative strategy, the Teapublicans are more than willing to engage in distortion and misrepresentation when it serves their purposes. For example, the bailout of the automobile industry clearly saved a major American industry from certain demise. Just as clearly, at least one million private sector jobs related to this industry were also saved.

The Teapublicans act as if the benefits of the automobile industry bailout are unimportant. In the alternative they will claim that the bailout was unnecessary and that market forces would have created a solution if they were allowed to prevail. Of course the shuttered steel and textile plants and the generally atrophied industrial sector of this country speak to the reality of market forces when they are allowed to prevail with no oversight.

Meanwhile, it what can only be described as a vicious strategic ploy, the Teapublicans have reduced revenues to state and local governments by reducing federal spending. The result has been firing of hundreds of thousands of public employees resulting in higher unemployment rates, stagnating economic conditions and reduced government services for the American people.

The general malaise of the American economy has been placed at the doorstep of President Obama as if the Teapublican DNA is not part of its parentage. Every negative occurrence in the economy has been blamed on the Obama policies even if the true causative factors were born in Teapublican back rooms.

Interestingly, when the economy shows signs of improvement President Obama has been termed irrelevant by the opposition party. On the Planet Teapublican, only blame can belong to Barack Obama.

And in the process millions of Americans remain out of work, millions of students have their financial ability to attend school jeopardized and the young and the old and the sick and the needy find themselves standing on shaky ground as they await the next Teapublican aftershock.

Planning to wreck the economy in order to defeat a president is wrong. It is shameful. And the reckless Teapublican strategy that is wrecking lives and destroying businesses has to be revealed for all to see.

Remember November 6th!