An understandably frustrated and angry President Obama stepped to the podium late Friday afternoon in the White House briefing room to discuss the breakdown in negotiations with House Republicans over a deficit deal. It was a remarkable moment, a Democratic President, prepared to make major concessions on federal spending to the dismay and dread of his political base, being ignored, dare we say “dissed,” by a Republican House Speaker unable to withstand the pressure of a maniacal faction in his caucus. With the world watching, and the country sliding to default, the right-wing of the Republican Party appears to be purposefully sabotaging negotiations with President Obama in a desperate attempt to undermine public support for him, and seize power in 2012.
It is clear this is no longer about spending and taxes; not that it ever was. The President had made concessions on spending that was costing him public support within his party. The so-called “Gang of Six” in the Senate had come up with a bipartisan compromise that Republicans in the upper house had been wise enough to get behind. The problem is in the House of Representatives, the chamber ironically known as the “People’s House,” where a faction of Tea Party zealots have surrendered to a silly “no taxes” pledge pushed by conservative activist Grover Norquist. Speaker John Boehner and Budget Committee Chair Eric Cantor have sacrificed common sense and relinquished leadership of their caucus to a group that has no interest in governing; their sole purpose is to cause chaos until the next presidential election.
So sinister is the behavior of House Republicans that the public should be suspicious of any incumbent or candidate professing to be an adherent to the “ideals” of the Tea Party. These people are disingenuous, dishonest and morally bankrupt. Their excessive flag waving is a sham. There is nothing patriotic about these people; they are opportunists, hell bent on having their way and prepared to take the country down to seize control of the federal government. See, the right expresses disdain for the government until they are in control. Once in power, so-called defining issues such as deficits and taxes give way to common sense, as evidenced by President Reagan’s tax increases and his raising the debt ceiling. Funny, the right really has no respect for Reagan, who they claim to revere, when his actions were truly right.
For the President, it is just another insult following a long line of slights since he has taken office. That the House Speaker would not return the phone call of the President of the United States is the ultimate insult heaped upon Mr. Obama. Blame it on partisanship, ideology, racism – any one is at work here – but the 44th President has been taking s@*t from Republican conservatives, politicians, talking heads, and citizen wackos, from the moment he took the oath of office. It is no wonder his jaw was clinched as he struggled to suppress his anger at the White House yesterday.
Despite running low on patience, the President has not given up hope in reaching a compromise with Republicans. Today, he has summoned leaders from both parties to the White House. We wish the meeting was webcast live so America could hear Republican leaders double-talk and see this pathetic lot in action. President Obama has actually been too gracious in his description of House Republicans and his treatment of them. They deserve no such cover. Their behavior is immature and sophomoric, and they pose a threat to millions of Americans – the poor, seniors, retirees and workers – who deserve better. If this is the war that the Tea Party wants, then it’s time to bring it to them. The Reagan-Bush-Bush era was an unmitigated disaster for America. At least now the right has no cover for its deceitfulness. It is up to the public to send the ultimate message – send them packing.