June 19, 2012
The last two years from the view of the common American can be characterized as "life under a GOP gridlock in Congress" regardless of the cost to the country’s future for their deliberately subverting efforts to bolster the middle class and vast majority of Americans whose voices they choose to ignore, in favor of big money.
Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) pronouncement in early 2009 of making Obama a “one-term president," although both he and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) were absent from an inauguration day dinner with other GOP figures as documented in Robert Draper’s book, plotting the strategy they hoped would accomplish just that. They just hadn’t planned for news to get completely out, or hoped it would be counter-balanced by effects of Republicans’ and supporters' other planned activity toward their winning the White House in 2012, from the “birthers” to racists or just plain Obama-haters. According to Draper, those present that night (about 15 people in total) included these Republican Congressmen: Eric Cantor (Va.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Paul Ryan (Wisc.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) and Dan Lungren (Calif.), and Senators Jim DeMint (S.C.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Ensign (Nev.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.). Newt Gingrich also was present with a past partner in fomenting cloaked negativity in Republican focus groups, Frank Luntz, a long-time adverse wording engineer and conservative political messaging instructor.
Running Against Romney and GOP Congress
The Obama immigration gambit on Friday placed the last two years squarely under a microscope with the rest of the Obama presidency as a backdrop, for a bird’s-eye view of what happened in the country and who caused it, in portraying Republican rejection of his proposals in perspective: The American Jobs Act in 2011, the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act in 2009 and again in 2011, and shift in immigration enforcement policy announced by the President on Friday. Romney still refuses to state a detailed position on Obama’s announced policy shift or even state what he would consider doing, continuing to hedge and allow the opposition to further frame him in a fuzzy, unflattering portrait at best. Ironically for a non-business experienced incumbent president, his campaign is resorting to a business/sales type of tactic: Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.
There will be more to come as things appear set for President Obama to run against both the GOP Congress and Mitt Romney, with an interest rate issue on student loans to be resolved by July 1 and also the Supreme Court’s decision expected on “Obamacare”. These last two years have made it easy to run against both, particularly for his purpose of getting re-elected. With the re-working congressional district lines, both parties have ensured a measure of “safety” for incumbents, despite most Americans wanting to throw “most of the bums out," it still seems too many individuals like their own elected representative. Besides the Republicans clown-show of a presidential nomination race over the past year, too many common people are likely to recall the debt limit and federal spending negotiations that went on at the end of last summer and subsequent stalemate that left the Simpson-Boles agreement on tax reform measures to wither on the vine, until renewed interest in it being revived again in the past few days. It’s another issue that a reminder can be framed for use in a political commercial or a speech, about something that was becoming quite obvious then: the GOP’s lack of good faith in most inter-party interactions that could result in significant improvement to conditions in the country.
20 Weeks to Paint a Picture of a Clear Choice
With 20 weeks to go before voting day there are still a lot of things that can happen concerning the European crisis, voting in Egypt and Greece and the sputtering American economy. It is also a shorter time than many people think, depending upon one’s frame of reference. Many of the long-term unemployed who have lived in that status at any point during the last few years and seen their net worth fall as it has, is likely to pay closer attention to things from now on until the presidential debates begin. The debates are likely to convince many common Americans to recall for themselves what happened and how it occurred during the past four years, a potential 8-10 percent block of registered voters, presented with a clear choice between the two candidates presumed to have a serious chance of winning.
The picture being painted by the Obama campaign is the choice of proceeding with a small percentage of the population calling all the shots at the expense of everyone else, headed by someone who would say or do absolutely anything to become the POTUS and who feels it’s his turn to be the GOP standard bearer in 2012 (talking about harboring a sense of entitlement), who also continues to paint himself into corners trying to act like a real person. Or the choice of staying the course with Obama, and providing enough of an Election Day shift in the congressional balance of power to help the country survive the assault from right-wing extremists and pseudo-economic theories being peddled again that led to a 30-year stagnation in real pay that common American workers of the middle class have experienced, versus the top corporate earners’ increase by over 60 percent in the same time period. The disparity does not even include the pay of top corporate executives, weighted with stock options, golden parachutes and pay that can flexibly be termed “carried interest” for income tax avoidance (the danger of having allowed ALEC-like lobbyists to write legislation passed on to elected officials and their staffs).
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Sources, resources and references: MSNBC,