On January 20, 2009, the night of President Obama’s inauguration, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and others met for a late dinner at a posh DC restaurant. They weren’t there to eat.
They were there to plot their strategy following the Obama mandate and it took them just minutes to decide how to move forward. Their number one objective, as stated repeatedly by McConnell and others since that date was to ensure that Barack Obama was a one-term president. To that end, their strategy was to block anything that the new president proposed even if he proposed programs that Republicans believed in or had introduced themselves. They planned to make a political eunuch of the leader of the free world.
And that strategy, like every strategy, has had consequences. One consequence is that we do not have universal background checks for gun sales, even though 90% of we Americans want them. Another is that the Congress has spent enormous time and energy fighting healthcare reform the likes of which Republicans had promoted for decades and which a Republican governor instituted in Massachusetts. Still another is that the Congress has blocked every program that would create an economic environment that would produce new jobs. If you are unemployed, there is a good chance that the Republican power strategy is the reason.
The Republicans have filibustered in the Senate over 200 times and thus have abolished majority rule and prevented progress in that chamber. John Boehner has refused to bring nearly any bill to the floor of the House that would improve employment opportunities and has even blocked help for the unemployed (read: hungry and dispirited). Effectively, the Republicans in Congress have held hostage all American workers in order to stymie President Obama and make him look wimpy so that Republicans could regain the White House in the next election. We’re five years into that self-immolation policy with a net effect that there isn’t a Republican in the White House and over 7% of our people who want a job cannot find one. Approximately the same percentage of Americans are vastly underemployed, either in position or because they could only secure part-time work.
Some say that Republican intransigence on unemployment and their gleeful withholding of food stamps from poor children indicates a lack of compassion, but that isn’t the problem. They care about the suffering of Americans. But they care about themselves and having more power far more.
If you are unemployed, the accountability lies with the Republicans in Congress for holding you hostage for the purpose of their own self-aggrandizement. Clearly, they believe that they are more important than you. If you vote them back into office – any office – in November, you will have proven that you agree with them.
Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue. Please help by passing this along and encouraging others to do the same. Thanks. JA
Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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