Once upon a time, Republicans supported health care mandates, the Dream Act, gun control, public education, civil rights, child labor laws and 18 other perfectly reasonable policies and laws. And then, President Barack Obama got elected.
Here’s what Republicans supported back in the day.
1. Health Care Mandates) Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by Democrats, Republicans widely supported the idea of an individual health care insurance mandate, Newt Gingrich being perhaps the chief supporter. Republicans have always preached about how people need to take responsibility for themselves, and now that a law exists that makes people take responsibility, the GOP is rejecting it simply on the grounds that President Barack Obama and the Democrats passed it.
2. The Nuclear START Treaty) Republicans shamelessly filibustered the ratification of the Obama START Treaty for quite a long period of time and criticized it tremendously and continue to try and find ways to circumvent the treaty today. What Republicans conveniently forget is that Ronald Reagan, the man that Republicans worship like a God, negotiated the very first START Treaty which was signed by yet another Republican, George H. W. Bush in 1991. That treaty expired in 2009 so President Obama negotiated a new one to continue the Reagan legacy. But since President Obama negotiated this treaty, the GOP retreated from Reagan’s policy faster than the decade it took to create the START Treaty in the first place.
3. Dream Act) Immigration reform has been touted by the GOP for decades now. Reagan granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in the 1980’s. Most recently, Republicans worked on immigration reform under the Bush Administration and failed. President Bush and Senator John McCain both supported immigration reform and were willing to cross the aisle to work with Democrats, most notably Edward Kennedy. All of that work and bipartisanship ceased after the 2008 Election. Staunchly opposed to President Obama and anything his administration supports, Republicans turned their backs on immigration reform in favor of militarizing the border and laws that violate the civil rights of Hispanics. Obama’s Dream Act would do much that Reagan would approve of, but Republicans refuse hear anything of it.
4. TARP) Republicans supported TARP when they helped pass it in response to the economic collapse in 2008. President Bush even signed the legislation into law. But since it’s been up to the guiding hands of President Obama to deal with TARP, Republicans have since revoked their support and have been highly critical even as they take credit for it when presenting stimulus checks to their local constituents. The fact is, TARP is successful because President Obama oversaw it and Republicans hate that fact.
5. Bail Out of Auto Industry) Republicans once supported this too but abandoned it once President Obama called for it. The auto industry is a vital manufacturing sector that supports millions of American jobs and Republicans WANTED the industry to fail simply because President Obama wanted us to bail them out. If it had failed, Republicans would have blamed President Obama for not supporting the American auto industry. The bail out has been a resounding success with most of the money plus interest paid back to the taxpayers. Mitt Romney has since tried to take credit for the idea because it has been so successful.
6. Israel Going Back To Pre-1967 Borders) Many Presidents have suggested this, even George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. But once President Obama repeated it, Republicans immediately denounced the President and threw their support to Israel’s President. This action by Republicans is totally unprecedented. It is reprehensible for American politicians to support a foreign leader more than the American President. Imagine if the Republican Party had overtly supported Hitler over FDR during World War Two. The only reason Republicans are rejecting President Obama’s plan is because they cannot bring themselves to endorse any idea he suggests, even if it is a Republican one.
7. Gun Control) Republicans overwhelmingly reject any and all gun control measures today. Which is very strange considering Ronald Reagan himself supported the Brady Handgun Act. But, it’s still true. Republicans did indeed support gun control measures in the past. It’s different now. Today’s intolerant, prejudiced, and extremist Republican Party is only against gun control now because they believe there needs to be a war against liberals and minority groups. It’s all about fear and war.
8. Public Education) Even the Founding Fathers believed in education for all. Every Republican President in United States history has been supportive of the public education system in this country. Ronald Reagan campaigned on axing the Department of Education but not only did he NOT eliminate it, he amped up its budget. It is only now that President Obama seeks to improve the education system that Republicans are against public education. When President Bush sought to improve public education, Republicans were on board but now that Obama is President, Republicans have decided that all public schools are evil liberal institutions that must be destroyed.
9. Infrastructure Spending) Republicans have always believed in strong infrastructure, until now. Republicans used the power of the federal government to build the railroads in the 1860’s and 1870’s, the Panama Canal in the beginning of the 20th century, and the interstate highway system in the 1950’s. Yet when President Obama called for new infrastructure spending to improve America’s crumbling roads and bridges and to improve our rail lines, Republicans immediately reversed their long-held belief in a strong American infrastructure. Why? Because they hate President Obama and oppose everything he believes in, even if it was once a part of the Republican platform.
10. Child Labor Laws) This one is surprising. Republicans were the ones that championed child labor laws in the first place. Starting in 1852, in the once Republican state of Massachusetts, child labor laws have been fought for by both parties. The only opponent of child labor laws has traditionally been big business. Republicans tried to pass a Constitutional amendment in 1924 and it didn’t succeed. It wasn’t until Democrats passed the Fair Labor Standards Act that child labor laws became federal law. Republicans oppose child labor laws now because of their deep ties with corporations. The goal of the corporate world is to find cheap labor and because President Obama is against huge corporations, Republicans must stand with the corporations, even if that means killing child labor laws.
11. Civil Rights) Republicans were once the champions of civil rights as well. They ended slavery and adopted the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. They splintered over the Civil Rights Act in 1964, although it was a Republican led Supreme Court that ruled in the Brown v Board of Education case, and have become more and more opposed to civil rights ever since. President Obama has called for increased civil rights and because of that, Republicans now oppose civil rights for everyone except Christian white males.
12. Environmental Protection) Originally championed by Theodore Roosevelt, Republicans used to support efforts to protect the environment. Over the last century, however, that support has reversed. Republicans even once supported the environment in the 1970’s when Nixon created the EPA, but no longer. Republicans are now in complete support of the irresponsibility of the oil and coal industry and want to open the entire American coastline and even federally protected lands to drilling and mining.
Republicans even used to support cap-and-trade. The first George Bush signed legislation in 1990 that implemented the cap-and-trade system and many Republicans still do support cap-and-trade. But because President Obama supports it, most Republicans are now against it.
13. Deficit Spending) This one is big. The GOP has employed deficit spending since the Reagan years and abused it during the Bush administration to pass the conservative agenda and to fund wars. Reagan doubled the national debt and George W. Bush proceeded to double it again. But because Democrats controlled the White House and the Congress from 2008 to 2010, Republicans completely reversed their stance on deficit spending and still oppose deficit spending solely on the grounds that a Republican isn’t President. If a Republican were President right now, you can bet the farm that they would abuse deficit spending once again to slam the destructive anti-middle class, anti-poor, anti-women, and anti-America agenda through Congress with no thought about fiscal responsibility whatsoever.
14. Federal Reserve) The Federal Reserve is now a target for most Republicans, which is puzzling because it started out as the GOP’s idea. Proposed by Republican leader Nelson Aldrich to organize and regulate the banking system and to enforce monetary policy, and thus stabilize our financial system, the Federal Reserve Act was signed into law by Democratic President Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Republicans now want to dismantle or weaken the Federal Reserve because President Obama needs it to enforce Dodd-Frank which will force banks to be more responsible and accountable, and will protect consumers.
15. Women’s Rights) The women’s rights movement was born in and grew with the Republican Party in the mid 1800’s. Many Republicans supported voting rights for women although to pass the 19th Amendment it took women threatening to cause Republican losses in the 1920 Election to persuade them to help pass it in Congress. As women gained more equality, they also demanded equal pay for equal work and reproductive rights. Ronald Reagan made abortion legal as Governor of California in the 1960’s and a moderate conservative Supreme Court handed down the Roe v Wade decision in 1973. Today’s Republican Party is now waging a war against women and the harder Democrats and President Obama fight for women’s rights, the harder Republicans will fight to eliminate them because of orders from white Christian extremists.
16. End Of Life Counseling) Republicans referred to this as “death panels” in 2009 in response to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. But Republicans wholeheartedly supported end of life counseling in their own 2003 Medicare bill. Both of the Bush Presidents supported end of life counseling and even Sarah Palin herself supported it before she suddenly turned against it. In fact, the GOP had supported end of life counseling for decades. So what happened? Easy. President Obama supports it, so Republicans are now against it. It’s really that simple. And petty.
17. Financial Disclosure) Republicans were all for this in 2002 when they passed and President Bush signed McCain-Feingold into law. Campaign financing laws have always been supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, until now. Because of their hatred of President Obama, who supports campaign finance laws, and their desperation for absolute power and authority, Republicans are now completely against financial disclosure. They have allied themselves with the corporate world over the American people in their effort to steer elections their direction and do that, campaign finance laws must not exist. That is why the activist conservative Supreme Court struck down the laws to begin with.
18. Minimum Wage) The way Republicans have been talking about abolishing the minimum wage, you would think they’ve always been against it, right? Wrong. 82 House Republicans and 39 Senate Republicans joined the Democratic majority in passing the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. President Bush signed the bill into law. It is only now that President Obama stands with the American workers that Republicans oppose the minimum wage on behalf of their corporate masters, most notably, the Koch brothers. If Republicans were so against the minimum wage, they would not have voted to raise it. Three times.
19. Military Intervention In The Middle East) This should really convince you that the GOP is simply opposing policies because a black President supports them. Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43 all supported military intervention in the Middle East, yet when President Obama uses the military to intervene in Libya, Republicans all of a sudden become doves? They’ve really revealed themselves with this policy reversal. The fact that under President Barack Obama, Libya successfully overthrew their dictator without one American life being lost must infuriate the GOP.
20. Abortion) It may sound really far-fetched but there are many pro-choice conservatives out there and some politicians are part of that group. Take Ronald Reagan for instance. He made abortion legal in California as Governor of the state. And most recently, it was discovered that extreme right-winger Rick Santorum’s wife had an abortion to save her own life. In my opinion, that means Santorum is for the procedure when his wife’s life is on the line, but every other woman needs to die rather than exercise their right to an abortion which was ruled to exist in Roe v Wade by a conservative leaning court in 1973.
21. The Economic Development Administration) Never heard of this you say? This program provides grants to local projects which have created jobs. Republicans such as Susan Collins, Chuck Grassely, and even John Cornyn have supported this program in the past. Cornyn stated in March 2010 that funds from an EDA grant “would pave the way for the creation of new jobs and business opportunities, which will strengthen the region’s economy,” according to a local East Texas NBC news affiliate. But now that the GOP plan to crash the economy on purpose is in full swing, Republicans are now calling for an end to the EDA.
22. Lower Taxes) Republican do support lower taxes, except they only support them for the wealthy, NOT for the rest of us. Even as they crusade to reduce or eliminate taxes on corporations and the wealthy, the GOP fully supports a new proposal that would actually raise taxes on the rest of us. And guess who is opposed to it? That’s right. President Brack Obama. Republicans usually crusaded for lower taxes for everyone, but since they support class warfare now, they have partly reversed themselves.
23. Medicare) I’m aware that Republicans initially opposed Medicare when it was passed, but since its passage into law, Republicans have largely defended it, especially when they try to pander to senior citizens for votes. But if the GOP really wanted to kill Medicare, they would have actually done it when Ronald Reagan was in office. Reagan opposed Medicare when it was created but then did something quite unexpected as President. He saved it. By saving Medicare, Republicans practically endorsed it. Even Theodore Roosevelt supported national health care. And now the GOP has come full circle once again by opposing it, and are trying to slaughter it, along with the millions of seniors that rely on the popular health care program. Why? Because President Obama is in favor of keeping Medicare around for a very long time and Medicare represents just how popular government-run universal health care can be. So technically speaking, Republicans were against Medicare before they were for it before they were against it.
24. Social Security) Social Security is popular with just about everyone, even the most staunch right wingers. Ronald Reagan and Milton Freidman supported the New Deal programs of the 1930’s and even Ayn Rand collected Social Security up to her dying breath. Ronald Reagan even saved this program too by raising payroll taxes. This action also saved Medicare as it is part of the Social Security Act. The idea to privatize Social Security has popped up many times but has been met with negative reactions by a majority of the people so those ideas usually die in infancy. President Bush wanted to privatize it, but never did. Republicans had control of Congress and the White House from 2001-2006. If they had wanted to kill Social Security, they would have done so. But now all of a sudden they feel now is the time to privatize it, even as big bankers have proven that they can’t be trusted with money. Oh, and President Barack Obama supports keeping Social Security intact. Just another reason for Republicans to hate it.
Undoubtedly, one could add even more to the list but now you know what policies Republicans once supported and why they are now against those very same policies. If we take Republican claims to love America and their claims that the Founders were Republicans seriously, we could also now say that Republicans were for America before they were against her.