House Republicans

Republican Party Destroys Itself In Mad Dash To The Far Right, In Repudiation Of Chris Christie!

The Republican Party is destroying itself in its mad dash to the Far Right!

It convinced Maine Senator Olympia Snowe to retire, and defeated Indiana Senator Richard Lugar in his quest for another term,

It put former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel through hell, before he finally, with only four Republicans supporting him, won the Senate confirmation to be Secretary of Defense.

Now the party has declared war on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, because he worked alongside President Obama after Hurricane Sandy; criticized House Republicans and Speaker John Boehner; and showed his independent streak, which is anathema to the far Right!

Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and other right wing talk show hosts have also attacked Christie, as if he is a liberal, despite his very conservative record as Governor, but showing a willingness to work across the aisle with the state legislature and the President.

Christie should be applauded as a man who has managed a massive public opinion rating in a strong “blue” state, but instead, he has been slighted, by NOT being invited to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference next month, while all kinds of characters, including Sarah Palin and Herman Cain and numerous others who are an embarrassment to intelligent people, were invited.

So Chris Christie, as unacceptable as he is to anyone on the left, is not good enough to be invited to a right wing conference!

Actually, it helps Christie in his reelection battle for Governor this fall, and makes him able to stand out as NOT being owned by the Far Right of the GOP, and it might just help him in future endeavors for public office, including being a sane alternative for the Republicans in 2016, if he can get past the Tea Party loonies!

The Mounting Challenges Facing Barack Obama As He Gets Ready To Take The Oath Of Office

President Barack Obama faces mounting challenges as he gets ready to take the oath of office for a second term as President a week from now,

These challenges include:

The Fiscal Crisis promoted by the House Republican majority

The Iran Crisis, with the growing threat of a nuclear Iran, threatening Israel, the whole Middle East, Europe and the United States

The winding down of the Afghanistan War, but continuing the fight against terrorist threats

The Gun Control debate as we have growing violence and collection of guns rapidly increasing

The Immigration Controversy at a time of growing Hispanic-Latino and Asian American population

The Global Warming-Climate Change challenge after the warmest year on record

The Education crisis as decline in standards has escalated

The Health Care issue, including the full implementation of ObamaCare and the Medicare-Medicaid crisis

The Energy issue, how to expand energy resources and move away from dependence on oil and coal

Obama has more than a full plate here, and to accomplish much of this will be a major achievement, but will not be easy to accomplish! And of course, there is always the unseen, unpredictable crisis which will arise, which will require a response as well. So let us all wish Barack Obama the best of luck and fortune as he, and this nation, faces the future!

Barack Obama And The Debt Ceiling Crisis: A Moment Of Presidential Assertiveness Needed!

President Barack Obama has done his best to avoid antagonizing opponents with his use of Presidential powers.

He has shown willingness to negotiate and make deals, but the Republican House has refused to do anything, other than threaten to have the good faith and credit of the United States destroyed, a calamity that could lead to a Second Great Depression and harm to the world wide economy.

The Republican Party in the House refuses to help create jobs through federal funding, or to work on building an infrastructure repair and expansion.

The Republicans have made it clear that they are willing to hold all Americans hostage, as they promote their extreme right wing ideology, and work to take America back to the Gilded Age and the 1920s.

So therefore, it is time for action soon by President Obama, a moment of Presidential courage, to refuse to allow the destruction of our economy!

So he has two alternatives.

Invoke the 14th Amendment, which includes language on the payment of government debts.

Use the concept of a trillion dollar coin minted by the US Treasury to cover all debts already incurred and more in the future.

The point is that it was the Republican Congress which built up most of the massive debt we now face, and yet they are ready to refuse to pay the government bonds when due, unless they are able to destroy the social safety net of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

This cannot be allowed, and although Obama is highly reluctant to take controversial action in either direction mentioned above, he owes it to the nation at large to do so if no alternative is available at that time, which seems likely to be the case!

What is the worst that would happen if Obama took unilateral action?

He would be bitterly condemned by the right wing, called every name in the book, so what else is new?

There might be greater death threats against him, but there are already more than ever before as it is.

The realization is that there would be the likelihood of the Republican House choosing to impeach President Obama for “high crimes and misdemeanors” in office.

But has Obama committed such crimes, or is about to do so?

No more than Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, or Franklin D. Roosevelt arranging the Destroyers for Bases Deal with Great Britain, or thousands of executive orders utilized by many of our Presidents!

And even were he to be impeached, the odds of Obama being removed from office with a Senate of 55 Democrats is totally out of the question, since 67 Senators would be needed to remove him from office, and there are only 45 Republicans!

Would an impeachment besmirch the reputation of Barack Obama? It would certainly be part of his obituary, as with Bill Clinton, but Clinton has survived very well from the impeachment, and his popularity went up during the impeachment crisis, and the Republican reputation suffered great harm.

The Republican Party would only be putting nails in its own coffin, if it decided that our economy should be destroyed and the President impeached.

The nation and the President would be the winners in such a scenario, so it is soon time for Obama to show guts and courage and do what is necessary, knowing the consequences are something he can deal with, although regrettable that he has to go through those consequences!

The Chris Christie Boomlet: Interesting, But Leading Nowhere!

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has become a media “darling” lately, due to his courage and leadership in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which did devastation along the shoreline of New Jersey and New York, and other damage to Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

Christie had the common sense to work with President Obama on surveying the damage, even though the alliance occurred a week before the Presidential Election of 2012, and caused great upset in the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign.

Also, Christie was quick to criticize the House Republicans and Speaker of the House John Boehner for their failure to pass an extensive Hurricane Sandy relief package in the waning moments of the 112th Congress, and blamed Boehner by name.

Now, Christie has become the cover of Time Magazine, named “The Boss”, and has continued to lobby publicly for quick action by the House Republicans in the 113th Congress on the disaster relief bill, pointing out that aid to Louisiana and Mississippi, after Hurricane Katrina, occurred ten days after the tragedy, and now it is more than 70 days since Hurricane Sandy.

Many see Christie as the ideal GOP nominee for President in 2016, without understanding that he does not represent the core constituencies of the present day party. He speaks his mind, and in many respects, he does not match the extreme right wing tilt of the House Republicans and even many Republican Governors. He is a Northeastern Republican, who has learned within limits to work with the opposition Democrats in the New Jersey legislature, while House Republicans are on the warpath, refusing to cooperate at all with President Obama.

To believe that Chris Christie will, somehow, magically, become the Republican nominee for President in 2016, and that he will defeat the Democratic nominee, whoever he or she is, is to be willing to gamble big time.

But as this blogger and author stated last month, there are still many reasons to believe that Chris Christie is highly unlikely to be the Republican nominee in 2016, and in any case, the odds of the GOP nominee becoming President are highly remote, not worth betting money!

Barack Obama Now Attacked Over Dog Bo: What Else Is New?

President Obama is now being attacked by the Republicans over the issue of spending an hour shopping for his dog Bo for Christmas, in the midst of the controversy over the middle class tax cut continuation, which finally was resolved by a caving of the House Republicans and Speaker John Boehner.

The nerve of Obama to spend time shopping for Christmas for Bo! This shows how preposterous and ridiculous things have become!

And yet, we did not hear criticism of George W. Bush spending time and money on his dog Barney!

Now we DID have the famous speech of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, defending his dog Fala against attacks, and interestinly, there is a sculpure of Fala as part of the FDR Memorial in Washington, DC!

So maybe Obama should make a speech like FDR did, and it would certainly be a light moment of laughs, something America needs!

Barack Obama And The American People Given A Christmas Gift By The Caving Of The House Republicans And Speaker John Boehner!

The House Republicans, led by Speaker of the House John Boehner, caved in this afternoon, under pressure from the Wall Street Journal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Karl Rove, and numerous Senate Republicans including a new convert, Senator John McCain of Arizona, and agreed to the two month temporary extension of the payroll tax cut, unemployment compensation, and delay in Medicare cuts to doctors.

The House Republicans were pushed into a corner, and this is a major victory for the American people, the Democrats, and President Barack Obama, who finally took a no negotiation stand and forced the hand of Boehner, Eric Cantor, and the Tea Party radicals.

The effect of this victory is that Boehner has been weakened as Speaker; the Tea Party radicals have been shown to be destructive to the nation at large; Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy, the chief deputies to Boehner, have been shown for the deceit they practiced on Boehner in their mad rush to seize power from him; and this event has likely assured a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress!

The Republicans have, symbolically, shot themselves in the foot, and will have trouble convincing the American people that they care about the middle class, and that they are not beholden to the corporations and the top one percent wealthy in this country!

Barack Obama looks a lot stronger and more assertive as a result of this confrontation, and with Ron Paul rising in Iowa, and being exposed for his racist and anti Semitic past, and with the GOP in total disarray, the odds of Obama winning reelection have improved tremendously!

Barack Obama Goes British: The Question And Answer Session With The House GOP

President Obama took a courageous step on Friday, when he appeared before the House GOP retreat in Baltimore, defended his record, and took questions for almost an hour.

He put on a maestro performance, and showed that the Republicans had the opportunity to promote health care reform when they controlled the Congress for twelve years, with six of those under a Republican President, and yet did not, but now claim they have plans for health care reform, although they have refused to cooperate with Obama in any way on the subject.

He also pointed out that Bob Dole, former Kansas Senator, Senate Majority Leader, and 1996 Republican Presidential nominee, had endorsed much of the Obama health care plan when it was first introduced last year. Also, former Tennesee Senator , Senate Majority Leader, and candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 1980 and 1988–Howard Baker–had also supported the basic elements of the administration’s health care reform in 2009.

What Obama was implying is that in the past, there were reasonable Republicans who were moderates and worked toward cooperation and bipartisanship, rather than total opposition and confrontation as the present Republican party is engaged in on not just health care, but also education loan programs, job creation, global warming, economic stimulus, and really everything else imaginable! 🙁

Watching this equivalent of the British House of Commons question and answer session for the Prime Minister, it seems to me that it might be a good idea for every President to schedule this kind of session at least once a year to defend his program and be challenged directly by the opposition.

The only problem is that it would be hard to imagine George W. Bush being able to do this in front of a Democratic gathering and come across as legitimate and capable. Some Presidents would have a rough time, as they do not have the knowledge and speaking presentation that Barack Obama has.

While of course there will be partisan review of this event, it seems clear to neutral observers that the President came across as having legitimized and improved his standing and defense on the issues, and that the House Republicans came across as overly preaching rather than asking questions, looking to make points which have no validity but sound good as sound bytes. Their long introductions to their questions became very obviously a propaganda moment, but the President deftly handled them and responded in an assertive but good natured way, with his brilliant smile and charm always evident.

This was not an equal bout, with about 140 or more Republicans against one President. It only made the GOP look more ridiculous, more negative, more confrontational, more a party without any solutions, but instead catch words and propaganda lines that will not solve the problems of the economy or the American people.

And the more that the Republican party caters to the Freedom Works and Tea Party crowd, which is more extreme with elements of anarchism and implied hatred, racism, and violence, the more they will lose any chance to gain mainstream voters. As Barack Obama said, rhetoric that is extreme makes it hard to work together, and to unify to deal with the massive problems the nation faces.

So the ultimate reality is that moderation is the way for the GOP to go, and if they do that, they have a far better chance of making a contribution, and of eventually regaining respectability and the possibility of being given responsibility to run the government and do the people’s business!