A Word with My Republican Friends

Written by David Glenn Cox

I thought that perhaps I’d take a break from my usual fare to try and reach out a hand to the other side. Sometimes we let rhetoric get on top of us and the name calling escalates to rock throwing and anyplace where we might find common ground is lost. I hear things said from the Republican side that I don’t understand, and I find it hard to believe that many Republicans believe it themselves.

First among these is that Barack Obama hates America, you don’t really believe that?

Do you? Really? Do you know of anyone in your own life that hates America? Can you imagine being a small boy and rising from obscurity to become an attorney, and then a college professor at a prestigious university. To then become an author, a millionaire, a Senator and then the President of the United States, only to hate the country that made it all possible? Really? Does that make any sense to you?

Next is the claim that Barack Obama is a Muslim. The man says he is not and that should be the end of it. But lets supposed that he was, so what? Being an American means that you are free to worship in anyway you choose, you can be be a follower of Abbot and Costelloism in this country, if you like, it is your business and a private affair. I once visited an Islamic center and do you know what I found inside? American’s worshipping God in the way they chose.

Now here is where or paths intersect because I must tell you my Republican friends that I’m more liberal than Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank combined and I have as many problems with Barack Obama as you do. I’ve heard this one at least a hundred times, that Barack Obama is a Socialist or a Communist.

If Obama were a Communist or a Socialist his health care plan would have had a public option and if he were a Communist it would have been the only option. In the 1960’s the Liberal Democrat Lyndon Johnson passed a single payer health care plan for seniors known as Medicare. It was based on the 1948 heath care proposal by the Liberal Democratic president Harry Truman. Truman and Johnson weren’t Communists!

In 1972 the Republican Richard Nixon proposed a generous health care proposal based on a reliance of private health care corporations. Nixon’s proposal was far more generous than Obama’s plan but both plans depended on private health care corporations. So the question that now demands an answer is, was Nixon a Communist? His plan was based on the same platform as Obama’s, so if Nixon wasn’t a Communist which side of the fence does that put Obama on?

In 1980 the Democratic President Jimmy Carter and the Democrats in Congress bailed out Chrysler Corporations to the tune of several billions of dollars. The Democrats proposed straight business loans while Republicans in Congress asked for an equity stake in the company, stocks, bonds or perhaps a seat on the board of directors. The Democrat’s would not yield and the deal remained a straight lender / lendee relationship.

When Chrysler and GM approached the Obama administration about loans the Democrats in Congress along with labor unions were opposed to a bankruptcy. Republicans in Congress were in favor of a bankruptcy. Which side did the Obama administration come down on? Barack Obama sided with the Republicans on bankruptcy and not only that, he fired GM CEO Rick Wagoner and demanded and equity stake in the company. Rather than leaving the federal government holding a debt note like a banker the government was reduced to a stock holder in the company.

Obama did everything the Republicans wanted done, so I don’t understand why you my Republican’s friends don’t like this guy?

During the Presidential campaign John McCain said that he would send 100,000 troops to Afghanistan but Barack Obama has sent more than that. Obama has stepped up predator drone attacks in Pakistan that Bush began and fired cruise missiles in to Yemen. He’s followed George W. Bush’s withdrawal timetable plan from Iraq to the letter. He’s kept Bush’s defense secretary in his cabinet and it’s almost like Bush never left.

Obama’s reaffirmed the Patriot Act and codified Bush’s signing statements about the treatment of prisoners. His justice Department has defended Bush era policies in lawsuits before the courts and they’ve defended the defense of marriage act. They plan to fight the courts ruling on don’t ask, don’t tell and Attorney General Eric Holder threatens California of federal prosecutions if the state legalizes marijuana. So, splain it to me Lucy, why don’t Republicans love this guy?

The Republican President Richard Nixon imposed the ban on deep water oil drilling and successive Republican administrations have all tried their best to lift it. Barack Obama did lift it, Barack Obama succeeded in doing something Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both tried but failed in doing. John McCain said that if he was elected he was going to get the ban lifted and Sarah Palin chanted, “Drill baby drill!” With in weeks of lifting the ban “drill baby drill” became “spill baby spill.” Do you know why? Because Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, John McCain and Sarah Palin were all wrong and the Republican Richard Nixon was right.

It is my understanding that many Republicans dislike runaway federal spending on boondoggles and programs that don’t work. For thirty years we have spent more than ten billion dollars a year on star wars missile defense shield. The shield is useless against cruise missiles and short range missiles. It has never knocked down a missile it wasn’t told in advance where it was going to be and it can’t hit a missile that’s painted white. We’ve spent more money on this program than on Republican President Eisenhower’s interstate highway system. Imagine Kennedy proposing going to the moon and thirty years later we still can get out of Earth orbit. Talk about your bridge to nowhere!

Now don’t think I’m throwing rocks at you, Clinton wasted money on this boondoggle and so has Obama. Doesn’t make them better or worse than Republicans because a bad idea is a bad idea no matter who first suggests it. It was after all the Republican Dwight Eisenhower who told John Kennedy that he should bring the troops home from Europe and fifty years later we are still there defending a prosperous Europe from a Soviet Union that doesn’t exist anymore.

It was Bill Clinton who told Russian President Boris Yelsin if the Warsaw Pact was disbanded NATO wouldn’t expand in those countries. Clinton broke the agreement and so did Bush. It was an agreement that helped all countries, NATO gains nothing by expansion, except the animosity of the Russian Federation.

Here’s a quick question, who has passed more tax cuts Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama? The answer is Barack Obama, twenty five tax cuts in two years. More tax cuts than Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Carter and Clinton combined. Obama’s not done yet, he wants to continue the Bush era tax cuts on all but the wealthiest three percent of Americans. For the wealthy he has proposed 100 percent instant depreciation on capital expenses. So if the head of Goldman Sach’s buys a two million dollar Picasso for his office its tax deductible! A new corporate jet, tax deductible! I just don’t understand why you don’t love this man! You know who first suggested this? Ronald Reagan.

We are all concerned about our economy and jobs, the first President to propose American factories inside Mexico was Lyndon Johnson. Do you know which Presidents favored expanding this program? All of them! Do you know which candidates favored NAFTA? George Bush Sr., Al Gore, Dan Quayle and Bill Clinton only Ross Perot disagreed and was portrayed as a nut and a looney tune by both parties. That giant sucking sound Perot warned us about was coming from our candidates.

The passage of NAFTA prompted tens of thousands of Mexican workers to pull up stakes and move from central Mexico to northern Mexico in search of jobs. The Mexican minimum wage is three dollars a day and if they could land a factory jobs making three dollars an hour that’s a pretty strong inducement for poor people to move!

In 2001 after a full court press by the Clinton administration China joined the world trade organisation. The incoming Bush administration welcomed this and thought it was the greatest thing to come along since Cheney’s pacemaker. Everyone, Republicans and Democrats welcomed the move. Except, since that time employment in Mexico has fallen. All most half of those low wage jobs moved on to even lower waged China leaving Mexican workers with a choice of going all the way back home to work for three dollars a day if they can get it or going a little further north.

The drug violence and gangsterism along the border is reminiscent of Al Capone’s Chicago in the thirties. With little honest work available more and more turn to drug trafficking. With increased competition for a slice of the market the gangs add soldiers to fight for their turf, no differently than Al Capone or Bugs Moran.

My point is that there is enough blame to go around. A bad idea is a bad idea no matter who is its father. Today both parties suggest cutting spending because of the economy. Cutting spending will mean less money circulating through the general economy and more money flowing in the banking economy. Does that make sense to you? When the fire dies down in the fireplace do you take wood out or add wood to get the fire going again?

There is too much rhetoric and not enough honest talk about real solutions. We all live in this country together and calling each other names will not make our political opponents either leave or be silent. How can we begin to solve these problems if we cannot even call each other by our proper names but instead resort to grade school name calling tactics.

Ask yourself, if you wear a funny hat and carry an ugly sign to a political rally just how serious are you about politics? Is it a game? Did the founding fathers rant about the people whom they disliked, or did they talk about working together?

I have many disagreements with Barack Obama on his policies but they don’t extend to his wife or his children or his dog. I simply disagree with the way he wants to run the government. I’m a liberal Democrat, Barack Obama is further to the right than Nixon, has cut more taxes than Reagan and spent more on the military than Bush. That’s the reason I have problems with Barack Obama but I still don”t understand why so many Republicans do.