If we had a Republican President right now, we’d already have boots on the ground in Syria.
That’s right. I was actually surprised recently to have people balk at this assertion, but my guess is that they’re broken heart Republicans: they grew up emotionally attached to the party, probably because their parents were conservative, but in the last few years the crazy was just too much to take. It’s kind of like that girlfriend or boyfriend you had in college who was phenomenal in bed, but whenever you woke up at night you’d find them awake, staring at you. But still, you downplayed the crazy to friends, cause hey, you never know…
But I digress. The point is that under a Republican President, our country would be all in. They’d whip up the fear and frenzy of every mouth-breathing moron in the Midwest and the South (their base, by the way) to the point where they were so ginned up with blood lust that it’d make Rush Limbaugh blush. It would be the Bush-Cheney playbook all over again: lie, lie, and accuse anyone calling you on it a traitor. Oh sure, you might have some token libertarian Republicans like Rand Paul that would oppose the war, but the vast majority would get their backs up and start crowing about patriotism, pride, and national security like the chicken-hawks they are.
So why is it different with Obama? Because he’s Obama, and anything he does or proposes is automatically bad—no thinking, principle, or integrity required. Pretty scary, because it’d be nice to think that our politicians would act with conscience on an issue like this, but not today’s Republicans. Which brings me to truth number two…
There’s a simple explanation for Obama’s inability to govern as our President: racism.
Sorry, but it’s true. Now, I’m not saying every Republican is racist. The number who are actually blatantly racist is probably less than 20%; however, a huge number of the other 80% are tacitly racist—unaware to be sure—but racist nevertheless.
Proof? Well for one, they call the man a terrorist. Ask yourself this question: would we ever call a white President a terrorist? Would we ever hear the labels of socialist, Marxist, communist, Maoist thrown so violently at a white President? Would we be seeing, as we are now, a Republican Party that is so reactionary that they’re unwilling to cut deals in which they get 90% of what they want, if we had a white President? Surely not, and there’s proof: the Republicans hated Clinton passionately—they fucking impeached the guy—but they were willing to deal with him on a number of important issues. What’s more, they didn’t label him the way they’ve labeled Obama.
As it is now, the mere fact of Obama being in favor of something—anything—automatically means that Republicans will oppose it: even if it’s something like cutting the corporate tax rate and eliminating loopholes, which was the signature fiscal proposal their presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, just ran on.
It actually makes perfect sense. I mean, you can’t negotiate with terrorists, right? You can’t agree or deal with someone that’s going to take away all the guns of the white race, ban the bible, institute Sharia law, denounce capitalism, and bring about a miserable egalitarian socialist society; I know I certainly wouldn’t.
And therein lies the issue: Republicans have spent so much time and effort hurling filthy slander at, and lying about, this President, that he’s basically become the Devil to the base of the party. But none of it would have been possible to do to a white man—it was Obama’s race that allowed the Right Wing to throw out all civility and turn him into a monster. And by definition, that’s racism.
The really frightening thing is that it has worked. A lot of liberals reading this right now blame Obama for Washington’s disfunction. Make no mistake: he’s one of the most functional people in government. Gay marriage is legal, marijuana is on its way, the economy is coming back to what extent it can considering Congress is paralyzed by the Tea Party, and we’re on a path to universal health care. And MY GOD, our President just asked Congress for permission to use military force instead of just doing whatever the fuck he wanted. Aren’t all of those things good. Finally, he’s set up a scenario in which:
The Republican Party WILL run itself into the ground; it’s just a question of when.
Liberals are a jittery bunch by nature, and many of my friends worry loudly that the Republicans will eventually take back control of the government, only this time it will be the crazy, Tea-Party strain. They point to cousins, aunts, uncles, and other relations that are unabashedly conservative and say some of the insane things about Obama discussed above as proof that hey, these people are out there and they aren’t going away.
That’s true, but isn’t that a good thing? I mean, as a poker player, I’m happy to sit across from idiots and crazies. Sure, they might occasionally get lucky and win some big pots, but over the long run, they’re going to lose their shit, because they’re dumb. Take a moment to think about some of the things conservatives regularly tell themselves:
A) When they lose, it’s because they aren’t conservative enough (even as they’re running candidates that declare women’s bodies naturally reject rape pregnancies).
B) If we just make things easier and better for the rich and multinational corporations, they’ll create millions of good paying, middle class jobs in America (even as wealth disparity is reaching its highest proportion since the Gilded Age).
C) We should eliminate the minimum wage and all union jobs (even as wealth disparity is reaching its highest proportion since the Gilded Age).
D) We should not reduce the military budget—if anything, we should spend more.
E) Climate change is a Left Wing conspiracy perpetrated by Al Gore and Hollywood liberals.
F) We need more guns: guns in classrooms, guns in the mall, guns in the hands of every man, woman, and child. Guns make us safer, not the other way around.
Now look, in a vacuum, people might actually believe these things. However, the only people who live in a vacuum are the idiots who listen to Limbaugh or watch Fox News, and there aren’t that many of them. Limbaugh has 3 million listeners at any one given time, and though Fox News reaches almost 100 million households, only an average of 2 million are watching during primetime. Even better, the consumers of Right Wing media are old—the median age of a Fox News viewer is 65 plus, and the actual age could be even more ancient; we’ll never know because Nielsen stops giving an exact age beyond 65. I’d also like to point out here the horrifying hypocrisy of these people; here they are receiving Social Security and Medicare, two of the biggest government handout in the budget, and yet what do they focus their hate on? People receiving government handouts, making them by far the age demographic with the largest percentage of assholes. But let’s not forget, they’re also the demographic with the most people that will die soon. Too far?
Anyway, in a nation of 300 million and counting, if Right Wing media reaches even 50 or 60 million people (which is a hell of a generous estimate) on a semi-regular basis, it’s still less than a quarter of the population. More importantly, almost every American has, or will soon have, multiple experiences that personally affect them or someone they know, that show the above messages of the Republican Party to be blatantly false. In other words, the people who get hit hard by a natural disaster, which are occurring more often and more violently than at any time in the prior century, will have a hell of a hard time ignoring climate change. Likewise, people who see their job shipped to China, or who’ve experienced layoffs, pay-freezes, etc., even as corporate profits rise, aren’t going to be too receptive to more trickle down economics.
And frankly, the general public, already weary of partisanship and extremism, just isn’t going to elect extreme conservatives to office—and those that do will pay the price. Residents in red states like Texas and North Carolina are finding this out now, as they see voting rights taken away and a woman’s right to medical privacy undermined. Worse, instead of accepting billions of dollars in Medicaid subsidies and making the Obamacare health exchanges functional, Republicans in these states are actively trying to prevent people from receiving health care. All of that may play well with the crazies, but it’s going to make everyone else pretty mad, and when you attack people in a way that makes their life measurably worse, they tend not to forget.
Let me put it a different way: what have Republicans done to help regular people in recent years? Complain about Benghazi? Strip food stamps out of the farm bill? Enact voting restrictions on low income and minority voters? Refuse to pass immigration reform or universal background checks for gun buyers? Again, these acts may please their insane, mean-spirited base, but the Republican Party cannot point to anything they’ve done in recent memory that actually helps solve any of the problems this nation faces. Indeed, by most accounts, their platform of deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, and sabotaging the social safety net has only made things worse—much worse in some cases—and over time that is going to be impossible for Americans to ignore.
Could they stop now and start proposing creative conservative ideas aimed at helping people and solving problems? Sure. But they won’t (because they don’t have the balls to stand up to their base, or their rich campaign donors), and so they’re going to continue on toward the cliffs of insanity until they fall off into obscurity and another party takes their place.