We’ve watched the pathetic charade that is the “work” of the Republican rank and file for years now, and were a book to be made, the latest chapter would likely be called “Pointing Fingers and Doing Nothing”. Perhaps that’s what the whole book should be called, given the Republican history of scapegoating and stalemating. Ever since Barack Obama upset the conservative agenda by taking the White House in 2008 Republicans have done little more than fight to regain control. Once they have that control, even to the smallest extent, they have inevitably tipped their hand to reveal their true intentions.
We have seen time and time again that the conservative agenda is not in the interest of The People but that of Corporate America and Wall Street. They hit the campaign trail spouting everything their constituency wants to hear- that they care deeply about the American people, and that their actions are in the interest of the American people. But they don’t care, and their actions aren’t in anyone’s interest but their own. They have show us that time and time again.
They fought tooth and nail against The Affordable Care Act (which most of their constituents know only as “Obamacare”- try asking them to name the bill next time it comes up) despite the fact that its primary purpose was to allow Americans to receive health care that they desperately need.
They constantly resist worker unionization and collective bargaining, not because they think it is in the interest of the American people, but because it cuts into the bottom line of corporate profits.
They paint the teachers who educate our children as greedy socialists, while they support paying them a barely living wage and our rankings for education among the international community drop further and further behind the pack.
They preach jobs while supporting companies that ship them overseas.
They prioritize cutting taxes on the rich over spending money to feed our poor.
They ignore the fact that our society is less equal than Tunesia, while claiming that it’s “unfair” to allow earmarks that go towards scholarships and grants for college education.
I could go on and on, but the fact remains that Republicans have never once taken a stance on a major issue that was not in the interest of corporations or the wealthiest Americans (or a Christian religious agenda, but that’s a discussion for another day).
Soon, our nation will reach the debt ceiling. Republican leaders could actually do the responsible thing and reach a compromise with Democrats before the 11th hour in order to solve the problem and avoid a media frenzy, but instead we hear about them storming out of meetings like 5-year olds throwing tantrums. I think that the ceiling is going to be raised. No- I know that the ceiling is going to be raised, because it has to be. What we are seeing (yet again) is that which is of true importance to Republican leadership- political posturing and blame-laying. The fact that they will keep resisting until the last minute and then reach a compromise merely demonstrates that they care only about getting sensational news coverage that they can try to spin in their favor to further influence their largely misinformed, Fox News-watching constituency.
Obama is president. He is not in control of the debt ceiling. Congress is in control of the debt ceiling. This issue does, however, have the potential to significantly effect many Americans if an agreement is not reached. A delay beyond the default date could result in millions of deserving, taxpaying Americans not receiving services that they need. The Republicans realize that since so many Americans don’t know who their state’s representatives are, or understand how the government works, or realize how their little strategy undermines their comprehension of the reality of the situation, they will blame Obama. And the Republicans will blame him too. That’s all they really want- to make Obama look bad so they stand a chance at reclaiming the presidency and getting another corporate-favoring puppet back in the White House. They want yet another another reckless Reaganesque presidency, and they’ll cling to trickle-down, “commonsense” (read: oversimplified) theories and rhetoric until they either get it or become irrelevant.
I say we make them irrelevant. I say we call bullshit, as a nation. Over the coming weeks, pay attention to what’s really going on. Pay attention to who is actually offering compromise (and by the way, when conservatives offer a “compromise” which totally negates the democrats terms terms of the bargain, that is not a compromise, it’s just more political posturing to allow more finger-pointing to get under way). Pay attention not just to who SAYS they’re acting in the interests of the American people, but to who really DOES SOMETHING in the interest of the American people. Talk is cheap, learn the facts.
We should remember that the American people’s interests are not those of letting large, private corporations make record profits while shipping jobs overseas, they’re those of helping people who need it in the way they need to be helped so that they can stand a chance at attaining the American dream. Don’t we want that dream to be accessible to all? Won’t that make it more accessible to you? When did we start to empathize with those who have already made it instead of those who are struggling to do so?
The Republican party thinks you’re stupid, America. I think they’re wrong. I think that we can one day come to see through their deceptive tactics, and in the end we will see progress.
Painfully. Slow. Progress.