Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Those Darn Republicans...

At least some of us thought that Obama’s election would bring a respite in the culture wars and a degree of healing to the bitterly divided electorate.

We knew there would be intense opposition from Republicans but didn’t anticipate how that would escalate into this harsh and extreme rhetoric, behavior and imagery. Who really expected to see Barack’s photo decorated with swastikas, hammers and sickles?

We’ve adjusted; and now accept the fact that our opponents have chosen to go all out to disparage, undermine and destroy this president and his administration.

There are certainly enough glib explanations about why the Right is so adroit at mounting a united front: 
  1. They tap into genuine frustration
  2. They appeal to authoritarian temperaments
  3. They arouse anger and manipulate events
  4. They flummox liberals with incisive sound bites
  5. They trap Democrats mired in their (our) own contradictions 
Some Republicans will argue that their unified and strident antagonism toward Obama and the Democrats wasn’t predetermined, but was driven by the new President’s agenda. Others will insist that they’re not doing anything to Barack that the Democrats didn’t do (or at least tried to do) to bring down their guy, Bush. It’s pay-back time, I suppose. And then, of course, there’s a legitimate case to be made that it’s the noble role of the opposition to defeat the party in power.

Even so, isn’t it just a little sad that the most palpable and memorable expression of national unity over Obama was on election night, 2008 and it’s been downhill ever since?

But that’s the case and, frankly, I don’t want to hear over and over what Obama and the Dems have done wrong. I guarantee, however, that going forward every major decision and action by this President will provoke outraged hysteria from his right, left and middle.

How he and we handle that will be pivotal.

Obama and the Democrats had also better be smart and lucky.

At a minimum, smart enough to pass meaningful health reform and lucky enough to preside over a labor market recovery starting early next year and at full steam by the summer.

That might put Democrats in decent shape for the November, 2010 midterm election which - like it or not - will be seen as a vote of confidence on Obama and his party.

1 comment:

  1. As one that does not agree with everything Obama does, here is my reply:

    I don't run opposition to just Obama or the Dems. I also believe there are many things both parties and politicians are forgetting - practical and prudent financial values.

    For me this recession should have been a wake up call to not only the American people but also the politicians running this country. It has not.

    We are in a tragic state of debt, we owe money to other nations (China), we owe money to ourselves, and we keep spending as if we have the money to spend. If America was a family they would have lost everything a long time ago because of poor choices and irresponsibility.

    I want America and most importantly Americans to have better financial times. I want us to be successful again, and I want Americans to have access to realistic and practical health care. But not at the expense of all of America's values. The major problem I have with Obama's current plan is the price tag! Its not the right time or place to spend irresponsibily.

    I commend him for his efforts to unite a diverse political landscape, but not for his irresponsible spending. I hope you won't apologize for that!