Saturday, August 30, 2014


They even criticized him for appearing in a tan suit!
        No matter what happens, good or bad, the Republicans find some way to fault President Obama. In all but one respect they are consistently inconsistent, the exception being their rigid determination to see him fail. To that end they consistently misrepresent his words, quote him out of context, and impugn his motives, while in so doing they often contradict their own previously held positions.
        This has certainly been true regarding foreign affairs. Instead of cooperating with the President in dealing with the highly complicated and extremely challenging situations that have arisen, including especially the ISIS menace, they second guess and criticize the President's every move, every word, what he says as well as what he doesn't say. They blame him for what is happening in Iraq, conveniently forgetting that it was not Barack Obama who got us involved in Iraq in the first place.
        They jumped all over him two days ago for saying we do not yet have a strategy for dealing with ISIS; that obviously did not mean he and his military advisers have not been seriously weighing their options. It is understandable that they have not yet come up with a way of assuring that the Syrian and the Iraqi governments will be able to assume responsibility for gaining and maintaining security in their respective countries. That has to happen before permanent peace can be established in the region. With Syria engaged in a civil war and Iraq involved in a recent change of government any strategy on our part is highly complex and demands the most careful thought. We have to be prepared, moreover, to bear the consequences of our actions. This is not a time to shoot from the hip, as some hawkish politicians would do without counting the cost.
        This latest outcry is consistent with the havoc they raised about the Adminstration's so-called "failure" to prevent the attacks on our consulate and another compound in Benghazi, in which Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith, and two American contractors were killed. The Congressional critics ignored their own failure to grant the funds requested by the Administration for beefing up the protection of our diplomatic bases around the world. Their Benghazi witch hunt goes on, despite the fact that their own House Intelligence Committee cleared the Administration of any wrongdoing!
        Similar negative attitudes plague the President regarding his position in the on-going conflict between Israel and Hamas. His reasonable attempts to call both sides to account for their aggressive actions have been met with criticism from those who accuse him of being anti-Israel. They ignore his verbal and his demonstrated commitment to the security of the Jewish state, though he rightly deplores its continued practice of building Jewish settlements on Arab territories.
        On the home front Congress has consistently refused to pass desperately needed legislation, yet they blame the President for using his executive authority to do what he can, as he promised to do, if they failed to act. Never mind the fact that he has used that privilege fewer times than did Eisenhower, Nixon, or Reagan.
        They say Obamacare isn’t working, yet they are the ones who are doing everything possible to keep it from working! Witness the Republican governors who are denying their own constituents health care coverage by refusing to accept the Federal funding to which they are entitled! Despite their lack of cooperation, and despite the Congress's' persistent efforts to repeal the law, millions of formerly uninsured Americans now have health care coverage they never had before and the number is growing every day. At some point the critics will realize their opposition is a losing cause. It will be interesting to see how they try to spin their change of heart. They've never let themselves be confused by the facts!
        They fault the President for increasing the deficit, yet the deficit has been reduced by more than 60% (nearly one trillion dollars!) since he has been in office, and the rate of increase in government spending under his administration is the lowest it has been since Harry Truman!
        They claim that the economy is so much worse since he took office, ignoring the fact that corporate profits have never been higher, the stock market keeps setting new records, and the unemployment rate has declined to from 10% to 6.1%. There have been 53 straight months of private sector job growth, during which nearly ten million new private sector jobs have been created!
        It is not the President but the Republican-controlled House of Representatives that has refused to pass the American Jobs Act, or a comprehensive immigration reform bill, or meaningful gun safety regulations, or campaign finance reform, or the Paycheck Fairness Act. That last bill would help ensure equal pay for equal work and close the gap that has existed for women in the work place since the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963. And why has Congress persistently opposed the President’s monumental legislative efforts to deal with America’s crumbling infrastructure, efforts which also would have provided hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of jobs and stimulated more economic growth? All the while they complain that the President is doing nothing to improve the job market!
        Our do-nothing 113th Congress went on vacation this month without having passed the Senates’s bi-partisan Farm Bill, not to mention a budget.
        It is really unfair, however, to put all the blame on Congress. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. . .” Yes, it lies ultimately with us, the electorate. We are the ones who elect our public officials, and when we don’t exercise our right to vote or are not discerning in our choices, when we ignore the facts and fall for the panderers’ political propaganda, when we let partisan loyalties trump our desire to do what is best for our nation and the world, we deserve what we get.
        Many members of this totally ineffective Congress who are running for reelection this year deserve our condemnation not our vote. I hope that the majority of the American electorate will be alert and informed enough to make that distinction in the forthcoming mid-term elections and that more people than ever will be motivated and enabled to exercise their right to vote.    
        Unfortunately many red states with their various restrictive voting measures are doing their best to make it difficult for minorities and poor people to vote. It’s one more example of their consistent inconsistency, viz., loudly professing their love of America while seeking to deny some Americans their civil rights.
        There are many other examples that could be cited. Maybe inconsistency is too polite a term for the behavior of these politicians. Hypocrisy is a better word for it.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with everything you wrote. Hope that more people would think the way you do.