Saturday, May 18, 2013

Here's egg in your face

It looked like it was going to be a tough week for the Big O, but then he pulled off one of his best moves to date by releasing the contentious e-mails from Benghazi, showing that the Republicans had planted the "doctored talking points" story in the news.  Right now, Darryl Issa looks like a total ass.  Yet, as Politics USA reports, Issa isn't backing down, trying to drag no less than the Joint Chiefs of Staff into "Benghazigate," which has even Boehner ducking for cover.

It seems the Republicans are doing everything they can to stall a vote on the immigration bill on the table in the Senate.  GOP co-writer of the bill, Marco Rubio, now wants a biometric tracking system included in it, and former Senator DeMint made the audacious claim that the immigration bill would cost taxpayers $6,3 trillion.  He has apparently been pouring over this cost estimate at the Heritage Foundation, which he now heads.  But, it seems few are buying this report or the attempts by desperate Republicans to derail this bill, which doesn't sit well with their Tea Party constituency.

There appears to be no long game in the GOP playbook, just an endless attempt to create scandals like this recent one over Marines holding umbrellas for Obama and PM Erdogan of Turkey at a press conference at the White House, hoping it will rattle Obama, and deflect public attention away from the real issues.

It is hard to imagine a leader emerging from the GOP during the next 3-1/2 years that can pull this imploding party together, much less appeal to a broad enough cross section of the country to win a national election.  All this political snipe hunting is taking its toll, with Republicans looking more and more like Chicken Little than a serious political party with an agenda for the future.

They seem content to be the political lapdogs of big business pushing through a highly controversial bill through the House that would allow private sector employers the option of offering compensation time (up to 160 hours per year) in lieu of overtime pay.  The bill would also have employees "earn" their annual paid leave rather than receive two weeks automatically.  The bill stands no chance in the Senate, much less on Obama's desk, but shows once again that the GOP has only corporate interests in mind, and continues its attempt to undermine long standing labor laws.

I'm hoping that Americans see through this scandal-mongering and all the subterfuges of the Republicans and return the Democrats to power in the House, so that we can move forward with the Affordable Care Act and immigration reform without these constant attempts to derail the process.


  1. Republican now view holding umbrellas as political sin. Funny thing is, when it was done for their party it was perfectly OK:

  2. I remember thinking at the time of the Clinton attacks that the Republicans could not accept someone of his class in the White House. Clinton's behavior of course didn't help, sort of proving their point, but I always felt it was a class issue.

    Now it's worse, because the President is black. Who let him in there? But they really can't find any scandal to attack him on. It's not like Reagan where the scandals don't stick (i.e., the Teflon president) -- there just aren't any scandals there.

    But personally I think Obama is running out of steam. He just isn't into the games. He started out as a real idealist -- I think he believed all that no red or blue America stuff initially -- and has paid for it.

    He could have been one of the nation's greatest presidents -- he's certainly one of our smartest. Unless he decides to put on a political coat of armor and really go on the attack, he's going to lose the potential of a great legacy.

    Some friends who were Hillary supporters said she would have been all over this fight, and as much as I hate to admit it, I think they are right. She's a political animal, particularly after all she's been through. Obama, so far, is not.

  3. By the way, Gintaras, I still think you should be assembling a book of essays -- an American view from abroad.

  4. I thought Obama played the Benghazi issue very well. He has a different style. Some view it as indifferent, but I see it as finding the right moments to deflate the Republicans' claims. This was certainly one. I think Obama is also a very patient man, willing to ride out a storm knowing that he will have that moment to pass a key piece of legislation that will affect people positively. I think that's the way he views the immigration bill, and in the end I think he will get it passed.

    A lot of persons were hoping for more from Obama, myself included, but the nature of politics today makes it very difficult to get anything done. The Republicans simply refuse to engage in a true political debate. They prefer subterfuge and scandal-mongering.

  5. Obama has a different style to be sure -- and he's playing chess, not dumping the checker board on the floor like the Republicans are fond of doing.

    The problem is the Republicans haven never given up on bringing him down, even when they couldn't keep him from a second term. They really don't care about the price to the country of all this negativity and attacks -- they just don't want a Democrat in general, and Obama in particular, to be in the White House or, worse, to do well.

    So they won't even pass legislation that would help their own constituents and party -- like immigration -- if they think it would help make the president look effective. They are ruthless in pursuit of power.

  6. That said, I still am an uncompromising supporter of the President. I just accept the fact that he is not the political animal needed, and probably not experienced enough (like Johnson was) given the opposition he is up against.

  7. I don't think even Johnson could have succeeded in this political climate. From day one the Republicans were determined to make it a painful four years for Obama, and they haven't let up in the second term. They simply refuse to recognize him as President. I don't think they would have been anymore accommodating with Hillary.

    I really don't understand the Republicans. Their approach is totally self-defeating, with their presumed strength eroding steadily. I think it is going to be a very tough mid-terms for them. The Dems could very easily take back the House and that would be the end of Boehner.

  8. The weird thing about this country is that they may gain seats because of all this. We are not exactly informed as a nation -- and then we have Fox news to make up the difference.

  9. They lost seats last time around, and I don't see them faring any better in '14. Even Pat Robertson warned GOP candidates last year about "demonizing" Obama, yet Republicans continue to paint him as a black anti-christ every chance they can. It has long gone past the point of political game playing and turned into a personal vendetta, the way he is constantly assailed in the right wing press.

    Again, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact the economy not only continues to run, but many people are prospering despite all the doom and gloom projected in the media. Of course, things would be even better if the Republicans had chosen the path of cooperation rather than obstruction, which I think will really hurt them this time around, because many economic projections show a vibrant 2014 with unemployment finally falling below 7%. As a result, they can't take any credit for the recovery.

    If Americans vote by their pocketbook this is a bad omen for the Republicans.

  10. I sure hope you are right. Alas, that is not always the case here in the U S of A.

  11. The media has become the problem. They run with stories without researching them, like the Republican-doctored Benghazi e-mails, cry foul when the White House probes the media leaks, even as their own pundits, like Joe Scarborough, say the WH should have tighter scrutiny. Axelrod recently took Scarborough to task over this one.

    The way I see it, the media treats news like a reality show, focusing on all these petty "scandals" because they sell ads. Meanwhile, the immigration bill has become a back page story, when it should be front and center. But, it takes too much effort to explain, it seems, so what little they show on the immigration bill is all about the Republicans trying to sabotage it.