|The Real Reason Republicans Have Been Sabotaging America
It's not so much that Obama is black. That is a factor, of course, but that's not the biggest issue.
The real reason Republicans have been trying to sabotage Obama and the country is humiliation, personal humiliation. Their man, George W. Bush, was president for eight years, and their party also held majorities in Congress for most that time. And the result? Well, to put it mildly, they basically peed their pants on live TV with the world watching. Republicans cheered Bush as he cut taxes. They whistled and applauded when he strutted around on the deck of that aircraft carrier in the full flight suit. They were riding high.
And then everything went horribly, horribly wrong. All on their watch. All in broad daylight. Afghanistan fell apart as Bush's unnecessary, ill-conceived, and falsely motivated war in Iraq dragged on. Osama was on the loose. Bush made a complete ass of himself in every news conference. And the whole country came apart at the seams in 2008. Republicans were wrong, and it was obvious. The whole Republican ideology was caught like a bug in a skillet, and they had nowhere to turn to avoid humiliation.
Now, they could have just backed off and taken a second look at their policies. Maybe tax cuts for the wealthy don't solve everything. Maybe someone should keep an eye on what the scamps in Wall Street do with the matches they seem to like to play with so much. Maybe war wasn't cheap and easy. Maybe going after Osama Bin Laden was worthwhile. In short, Republicans could have looked at revising their playbook.
Not these folks. The first thing these Republicans did was get angry. Like assholes in the wrong always do, they looked for any out they could find. Introspection? Reflection? Yeah, right.
It is important to remember that this humiliation was personal. It was not just an organizational failure. Individual Republicans across the country had been gushing and fainting over Bush since his first term began. These were real people with real families. How were they going to explain to their children and grandchildren? Their party, their president, their Congress had wrecked the country. They themselves had laughed while people at their convention wore purple band-aids, mocking duly awarded military medals. They had swooned over George W. Bush in his cowboy hat as he drove his pickup around "the ranch." Republicans, in short, had made complete asses of themselves.
Enter the Tea Party. After finally and belatedly waking up at the economic switch and discovering that they had caused a catastrophe, the Republicans lost the election in 2008. The Republican Bush Fan Club—essentially their entire party—suddenly decided that Bush wasn't a Republican after all. In fact, neither were they. No one was a Republican. You say you are looking for the Republicans who caused all of this horrible damage to the country? Well, said the Republicans, we don't know this party of which you speak. What are Republicans? We are the Tea Party. We aren't responsible for what Republicans did. Who's George W. Bush?
The Tea Party dodge helped to throw off the bloodhounds, but then the Republicans had another problem. The Republican party still existed. It was their whole infrastructure. The Tea Party didn't have a single building, no checking accounts, no donor list, no elected officials under its banner. It was just a few travel trailers and some Founding Father kitsch provided by the Koch Brothers. Sooner or later Tea Partiers were going to have to be Republicans again.
It is kind of beautiful when you think about it. The most incompetent, most blameworthy, most idiotic Republicans dodged their identity as Republicans to become Tea Partiers. Then they came back and "took over" their party again. It wasn't the old Republican Party that had done all of those bad things to the country anymore, though. All that sin was washed away by the name change and the Uncle Sam costumes. The Republican party rose phoenix-like from the ashes. And all the old, bad ideas were now new and worse.
But they needed one more thing. They needed Obama to fail, and it was not because he was black. Republicans needed Obama to fail because Republicans had themselves failed so badly. America lost horribly under their leadership, and the were not about to let America win under someone else. It is as ugly and simple as that.
Rush Limbaugh said it clearly. He wanted Obama to fail. Mitch McConnell said it only slightly less clearly. Job number one for the Republicans was to make sure Obama was a one-term president.
Now would good Americans fail their country and then deliberately try to make sure no one else could succeed? Would good Americans take the country's economy hostage and play chicken with our national creditworthiness? Would good Americans put down American economic gains and business environment at every opportunity? I don't think so. Good Americans wouldn't do that.
Republican politicians would though. And, by the way, they want to run the country again.