While anything political can change in a heartbeat it seems to me, at the moment, the Republican party is unwilling or unable to say anything good about what is happening in America. At their peril they cannot acknowledge the successes of the Obama Administration.
Those successes include:
- Sustained, albeit slow, growth in the gross domestic product.
- Continued decline of the unemployment rate and the numbers of workers filing unemployment claims. As jobs open up the unemployment rate may increase but only because people are regaining hope and re-entering the job market.
- An increase in jobs in all areas including manufacturing.
- The American auto industry is back and again has a future.
- Many jobs that were before outsourced are returning home.
- The stock market’s leading indexes are back to pre-recession levels.
- For the first time we have a system of affordable health care for all Americans.
- All US combat troops have been withdrawn from Iraq and the withdraw from Afghanistan is ongoing and being accelerated.
- Don’t ask, don’t tell has been repealed without any major problems in the military.
- Economic sanctions against Iran are working and all options remain on the table.
- Bin Laden is dead and al-Qaeda mostly destroyed.
Having followed 20 GOP debates and countless sound bites the Republican Party has backed itself into a corner. They can’t admit culpability in helping to cause the Great Recession, they can’t admit the economy is getting better, they can’t retreat from Afghanistan for fear of losing the support of the Military-Industrial Complex, they can’t favor consumer protection without offending the corporations and wealthy individuals who are funding their super-PACS, they can’t admit Obama did okay with Libya, and they can’t quit beating the drums of war over Iran’s nuclear program or what is occurring in Syria.
Finally, they can’t admit to any of this because they can’t claim any ownership of the accomplishments. From the outset of the Obama years the GOP has truly been the party of NO. Their congressional bloc acted in unity to oppose almost every idea proposed by the president or the Democrats. Since 2010 they have used their control of the House to block most meaningful legislation and in the Senate their unprecedented use of the filibuster has meant the same.
That they can claim no ownership to the come back of America leaves them no choice other than denying America being better off than it was when Obama took office in 2009. While many Americans, as Obama has said many times, are not better off yet, a growing number are and hope is aglow. Charlatan economist and politicians can claim their schemes will result in instant recovery but the honest ones know that we’re in for at least five more years of recovery regardless of who sits in the White House.
If you are one of the millions of Americans who lost their job at the end of the Republican-Bush era and don’t yet have a job, your changes of going back to work are increasing. If you are still getting an unemployment check it is because GOP efforts to cancel your check failed. If your kids are getting some of their nutritional and medical needs met by government programs it is in spite of GOP efforts to slash those programs. If you are approaching retirement the GOP has done nothing to stabilize the Social Security system other than suggest privatizing it and making it subject to the whims of an unstable stock market.
For most of the first decade of the 21st Century and entirely since 2009, the Republican party cannot own up to the mistakes it made or its refusal to help find workable solutions to those mistakes. In fact, they have done their best to distance themselves from the two-terms of the Bush White House. The last decade shows they forfeited the right to decide and the last three years have shown they lack the will to see and correct their way of doing the people’s business.