For whatever reason, the Republicans just don’t sound as believable as the President of the United States, and as he gave his speech in the East Room of the White House today about the fate of the Bush tax cuts, he just sounded more genuine and more reasonable, while making a very good argument for his case.
One of the best statements that President Obama made today during this speech when he offered up an honorable, common sense challenge to the Congressional Republicans was when he talked about how Democrats and Republicans both agree on extending tax relief for about 98% of the population, but specifically for the middle class. He said: “We all say that we should extend the tax cuts for 98 percent of the people. So we should all agree to extend the tax cuts for the middle class.”
The only discrepancy seems to come in over the tax fate of the top 2%, as the basic, Democratic ideology and President Obama’s ideology is to allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% to expire. But the Republicans, on the other hand, are intent on doing everything in their power to ensure that the top 2% continues to receive the Bush tax cuts. Borrowing a line from former Vice President Dick Cheney, when it comes to the so-called state of urgency surrounding the deficit as it pertains to the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, ‘deficits don’t matter!’
The president was precise and passionate with his message about the effects of the Bush tax cuts on the sustainment of the deficit, and he made a cagey move by suggesting that the Republicans and Democrats should go ahead and agree to do what they agree on doing, which sounds like a reasonable idea to anyone outside of Washington D.C. or anyone outside of any narrow-minded, party allegiances that continue to cripple our abilities to function politically in this country.
And, the President was absolutely right on this one. Why can’t the two parties go ahead and pass the legislation that they do agree on, and then work on the kinks in the parts that they do not agree on? He elaborated by saying ”Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans and our entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy.” He also vowed that he would sign the legislation that had the bipartisan support and welcome the debate over the disagreeable parts, and he sounded very believable, and there is no doubt in my mind that he would do both things.
But, the same cannot be said for the Republicans, who consistently sound anything but believable—unless it’s dealing with something that will undoubtedly result in some form of a legislative roadblock against the Obama administration! And although there are numerous conservatives who will accuse me of being in bed with the Obama administration, the fact still remains that the roadblock happy Republicans, especially those in the House of Representatives, might crow at the political sun all day about putting the country first, but they would not dare touch the idea of working across the aisle to pass any ideologically, politically agreed upon legislation with a 10 foot pole, because they don’t want to help the president, and that’s not just because it is an election year. It’s probably been that way since the beginning, or at least since the obstruction based, agenda driven, Machiavellian meeting of Republicans during the inauguration of President Obama.
Personally, I am in favor of the Bush tax cuts being eliminated for the richest Americans, and most polls suggest that the majority of Americans, along with President Obama, also agree with it. In my view, the idea of augmentative capitalism trickling down to the less fortunate or the disenfranchised is the equivalent of being drenched over the head by a rain-like substance by an unseen guy who is standing over you with his pants down and his faucet on, and this kind of charade is certainly not worth tying down the economy or the country just to preserve it!
And President Obama drove home that sentiment when he said “Congress passed trillions of dollars in tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest Americans more than anybody else. And we were told that it would lead to more jobs and higher incomes for everybody and that prosperity would start at the top, and then trickle down. And what happened? The wealthy got wealthier, but most Americans struggled.”
None of this means that President Obama can do no wrong in my book or that he hasn’t already failed to do some of the things that I wanted to see in his first term, like seriously address the historically high unemployment in the Black community. What this does mean is that he still sounds like the adult in the room, and his underappreciated reasonability continues to make the conservative/Republican brand look like the ultimate, ultimatum driven bullies who simply cannot wait to hold you down in a hallway, so they can clip away your hair or your political credibility, because you failed to conform to their standards.
And, if you are unfamiliar with this bullying, hair clipping comparison, just ask presidential nominee Mitt Romney about it.
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