In celebration of Black History Month the Teapublican right wing caucus is doing its level best to make certain that the first black President of the United States presides over the collapse of the American economy thereby confirming every junglebunnyspearchuckersambo myth that fuels their hate for Barack Obama. As you are reading this column the United States is less than two weeks away from a self-imposed cataclysm that arises from the alarming willingness of some Americans to consider institutional suicide as a strategy.
A little background is in order – during the near disastrous debt ceiling negotiations of 2011, the furor and frenzy associated with Teapublican intransigence and illogic resulted in the downgrading of the credit status of the United States for the first time in history. In the rubble and debris left from the collision of the mindless with common sense a “sequestration” feature was devised for the end of 2012.
The idea was that impossibly draconian budget cuts and government service reductions would be imposed if a budget compromise could not be negotiated by the end of 2012. The thinking was that no one – Republican, Teapublican, Democrat or lunatic would want to see the government apparatus and the financial infrastructure come crashing down and that a deal would certainly be worked out, even if it had to be accomplished by self-imposed duress.
In December of 2012 the can was kicked down the road to the beginning of March 2013 and now the Teapublicans are taking the incredibly stone headed position that unless President Obama and the Democrats accede to their demand that no taxes are raised in the budget deal they are willing to allow the consequences of sequestration to flow over the head of every American man, woman and child.
Even though President Obama won the presidency by three million votes (more than the combined plurality of George W. Bush’s two elections), even though the Democrats continue to control the Senate, even though Democrats in the House of Representatives won one million more votes than the Teapublicans, the Teapublicans are acting as if they actually won on November 6, 2012 and that they are calling the shots.
But it is finally time to be very clear about the source of this near maniacal opposition to the Obama presidency. While President Obama is certainly progressive in some of his views and policies, he is certainly not anywhere near the left wing of American politics. The signature piece of his first term, the Affordable Care Act, was modeled after a proposal designed by a Republican think tank.
Government spending has actually decreased by six percent during the first term of the Obama Administration. The economy has improved by every reasonable indicia and major corporations are overflowing with cash as they see record profits quarter after quarter, year after year.
But looking for the logic in the opposition to President Obama is a fool’s errand. One must understand that the core of the Teapublican Party is in the South, the same states that were part of the only revolt against the United States. These are the states that were so enamored of slavery that they were willing to fight to the death to maintain that hellish institution.
The South is where black dreams have gone to die for centuries and the South is where black men and women were hung from trees within the lifetime of just about everyone reading these words. The South is so far from post-racial that it cannot even spell the word.
If this seems harsh keep in mind that it is in the South that the Confederate flag still flies – a flag that is as repugnant to black Americans and all people of good will as the Nazi Swastika is to Jews and all people of good will. The South is where the state of Mississippi ratified the thirteenth amendment to the United States Constitution (outlawing slavery) JUST LAST WEEK.
The shameful and despicable venom of racism still flows freely through the veins of Southern politics and their Teapublican avatars come to Washington with a very clear vision of an America where there will never be another black president. To them, Barack Obama is an accident of nature, an aberration that will never happen again. And they see their sole mission being to obstruct and destroy anything and everything that he proposes, even if it damages the entire country.
It is this kind of logic that led to the Confederate States of American fighting a suicidal war against the United States, a war that left the South in ashes and in shame. This time that logic is back in full force in Washington and the damage it brings will not be confined to the South.