Shifting through the canned talking points and attacks upon President Obama during tonight's GOP debate was a daunting task but we must realize that the candidates tonight crystallized the issue heading into 2012. The moment of crystallization came when they were all asked if they would turn down a deal that would have $10 of spending cuts for every $1 of tax increases. Unashamedly, they all raised their hands saying that protecting the rich and drowning the government in a bathtub is their primary goal of their would be presidencies.
Iowa Debate by Frum
I am not suggesting that Barack Obama's presidency has been a rousing success. The nation's economy teeters on the brink and certainly he has not been able to significantly affect the downward spiral. But the revisionist history and espoused Foxygen needs to be corrected. This horrific economy was handed to Obama when he took over the reins from the most incompetent president we ever had. The primary driving forces behind the Bush recession were tax cuts which gave 98% of the money to the top 2% of the country and wars on multiple fronts.
So what did the candidates espouse as their goals for this country? Continued war and keeping the Bush tax cuts. Essentially what we heard tonight is that the GOP field wants to return to the policies that put this country in situation it is facing now. They will pretend that the current situation is all the fault of Obama and conveniently omit that it was Bush that started all of this. So that is what the 2012 election will come down to. Will the American people actually believe that the eight years of Bush policies had nothing to do with our current economy?
Keep in mind that when Bush enacted the tax cuts for the rich that he said it would add jobs to our economy because the rich were the people who create the jobs. This of course was an oversimplification as is the silly notion that a government needs to balance a budget like a family does. But that is the new tactic of the GOP/Tea Party crowd. Take extremely complex matters that scare Americans and boil them down to edible sound bites that have no basis in reality. If the rich create jobs when given more money than the Bush tax cuts would have worked -- period.
If you want to see the true agenda of the GOP look no further than Wisconsin. Governor Walker has tried desperately to strip unions of rights they have bled and died for over the past century. Somehow all of the problems we face are the fault of teachers, firemen, and laborers. This led to an historic recall election this past week as the people tried to overcome this affront. But because of the recent Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the super rich were able to pour 40 million dollars into these six little local races. Every one of the dollars went to the GOP candidates. In the deciding race alone, 8 million dollars was poured in.
But here is the truly depressing fact. No matter how much money is spent to buy advertising, it doesn't buy votes. People still have to buy the manure they are selling. Local farmers and mid-western Americans still went to the polls and somehow thought the GOP had their best interests at heart this past Tuesday. I have personally witnessed this in New York over the past decade as Mike Bloomberg bought three Mayoral elections despite not improving the city for the working class. Is this a harbinger of things to come?
In 2012 we will again have a choice between airline food and hospital food. Once again because of the stranglehold the two party system has on our republic, we will be forced to determine the lesser of two evils. But when you peel away the talking points you have to realize that we are in this position because of policies enacted under the Bush administration. No one denies that, not even Fox News -- they just avoid mentioning it. On one hand you have President Obama who wants to return the tax rates to what they were under Bill Clinton, the last time we had growth in our economy. The other side; all of the candidates, want to continue the same failed policies that put us in this mess to begin with. That's a hell of choice.
Michael Douglas' character in the movie "The American President" said that the way to win elections is not to come up with solutions to problems but to gather the middle class and make them afraid of the problems we face and tell them who's to blame for it. Tonight's GOP debate was once again, life imitating art. Only the Republican hopefuls are also counting on some severe short term memory loss. They are hoping that they can blame Barack Obama for the economy George W. Bush created. Untold riches will be poured into the race by the super wealthy to buy advertising designed to erase the Bush presidency from our minds and lay the manure at the door step of the current president. Hopefully the nation will not go the way Wisconsin did.