Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Republicans Missing Golden Opportuity

The President is taking his jobs plan directly to the American people.  The Republicans are upset.  It seems that after stonewalling every aspect of this President’s agenda and literally walking out during past negotiations, Republicans are shocked and appalled that he would have the nerve to go around them and take his case directly to the people.  Apparently, Republicans feel that it is inappropriate for the President to speak directly to the American people even as they refuse to take his phone calls.
Over the past two and one half years the Republicans have been very successful in bringing this President’s agenda to a halt.  Their goal is to continue that strategy all the way up to the election…even if the resulting gridlock hurts the country.  The President has decided that the only way to move the Republicans toward doing something substantive for the country is to make his case directly to the American people.
The Republicans have a huge opportunity.  The people are angry.  The poor economy and high unemployment rate all lie on the President’s shoulders.   His re-election is in serious doubt. 
But Republicans are flailing badly in their efforts to unseat him.
Let’s start with the campaign.  The frontrunner of the week is Herman Cain.  His campaign is a series of book tours and publicity stunts.  He has no foreign policy platform.  His stance on immigration reform is to “build a twenty foot high fence…with barb wire…electrified…with a sign on the other sign that says IT WILL KILL YOU in Spanish and English.”  His economic plan “9-9-9” is based largely on a sales tax that only eleven months ago he called “insane”.
Cain’s position as “flavor of the week” was formerly held by Rick Perry, Michelle Bachman, Donald Trump and Sarah Palin; none of whom have a prayer of winning a general election.  Serious candidates like Christy, Bush, Ryan and Pence need not apply.
The only qualified candidate, Mitt Romney has been stuck on 25% approval for months.  His claim to fame is that he was for a whole host of things…before he was against them…before he was for them.  Or was it the other way around?
Not only are Republicans having difficulty finding a viable candidate, they are struggling to craft an economic policy that will resonate with the American people.  The voters have caught on to their stonewall strategy and realize that it does nothing to fix the economy or put people back to work.  Forced to roll out their own economic plan, Republicans put forth a solution sure to appease the very rich while failing to provide immediate help to the other 99% of the country. 
Consider the following aspects of the Republican economic plan:
-Reduce regulations
-Repeal Wall Street reforms
-Drill on federal lands
-Repeal “Obamacare”
That’s it!  Cut regulations, allow Wall Street to operate as they did when they drove the economy to the brink of disaster, and return health care to a place where 50 million were without coverage and Americans spent 20 cents of every dollar they earned on health care.  Oh, and drill baby drill.
So how does this plan put teachers, police officers and firemen back to work?  It doesn’t.  But it guarantees that big corporations and the wealthiest Americans that fill the Republican coffers will continue to prosper.
The ineptitude in the Republican efforts to respond to the President’s jobs plan is best exemplified in Senator John McCain’s recent performance on the Senate floor.  Having nothing substantive to say about the President’s jobs plan McCain took to criticizing the Presidents ride calling the President’s tour bus: “the ugliest bus I have ever seen.”   Effective!
The Republican Party has an opportunity to defeat a sitting President and perhaps retake control of the Senate.  But intransigence, partisan economics and bus critiques won’t get it done.     


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