Thursday, October 10, 2013


        Republicans are glowing because President Obama’s approval rating has hit a new low.  An AP poll yesterday showed it at 37%.
        There are two principle reasons for that, in my opinion. Part of the disfavor is due to the “buck stops here” syndrome. People are tired of the stalemate in Congress, and even though the fault lies with the House Republicans, the frustration and anger of the general public will eventually land on the chief executive’s desk. It is happening under Barack Obama’s watch, and he can’t escape being the target, albeit it unfairly, of some of the public’s dissatisfaction with our dysfunctional Congress.
        Never mind that it has been the House Republicans who have adamantly refused to support any of the President legislative proposals, no matter how helpful and necessary they might be, and despite their having been approved by the Senate. The Republicans have been “the Party of No” from the start of the Obama presidency, and they have obstinately refused to accept even the main piece of legislation that was enacted into law and upheld by the Supreme Court, viz. the Affordable Health Care Act.
        The second and even more influential factor in the decline of the President’s approval rating is, in my view, the persuasive power of negativism. The effectiveness of negative advertising and political rhetoric cannot be dismissed. The consistent and persistent blame-casting by the Republicans and their hate-filled supporters was bound to have its effect. They are experts at the karlrovian tactic of accusing the President of the very thing of which they themselves are guilty. Their false accusations, misrepresentations and outright lies, all of which can easily be refuted by the facts (see The Grand Old Party Is Anything But Grand), were bound to influence the thinking of some Americans, whose frustration with Washington has trumped their objectivity.

        The opposition to Obamacare is a case in point. Some of the very people who will benefit the most from the new law are being hoodwinked into opposing it! Witness the fact that some of them think the Affordable Care Act is okay, but they are against Obamacare!
        I listened to the debate in the House the night the government was shut down. I heard the arguments from each side. The Republicans were playing the blame game; the Democrats were appealing to reason. I listen to the President's speeches. I know what he stands for. I also listen to the Republicans. What a difference! I am one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have petitioned the news media to call the Republicans to task for their lies, and to stop treating both parties as if they are equally responsible for the fiasco in Washington. The blame for the failure to pass all the legislation on the President's agenda, dealing with jobs, the infrastructure, immigration reform, and everything else, lies with the House Republicans and nowhere else.
        I'm so grateful that we have a President who is intelligent, idealistic, articulate, thoughtful, reasonable, highly principled, and who lives his faith. He has been trying to do what is right for the country ever since he took office. He succeeded where everyone else had failed in getting a health care bill passed. To be sure there are parts of the bill that need tweaking, as is the case with any major legislation, and he has shown his willingness to make those changes. He has tried over and over again to no avail to negotiate with the Republicans, who at the last minute are blaming him for refusing to negotiate when they are trying to hold the country hostage! They act as if they won the last election. Why should the President have to agree to defund the Affordable Health Care Act in order to get them not to shut down the government?
        Meantime, for fear of the Tea Party Speaker Boehner refuses to allow a vote on a clean funding bill, when seventeen Republican members of Congress have indicated they would vote for it! The shut down could end immediately, but he keeps saying there are not enough votes. Why doesn't he allow the House to vote on the bill in order to find out? No, he just keeps blaming the President.
        Shame on them, and shame on everyone who out of hatred for our first black President, agrees with them! And that's putting it mildly!


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