GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stated that his principal goal is to cause Obama to lose in 2012. Tangible improvements in the economy are key to Obama’s reelection. If, as the GOP claims, Obama’s policies are bad for the economy, then the GOP should give him everything he proposes and reap the political benefits in the 2012 election. If, on the other hand, the GOP fears that Obama’s policies will revitalize the economy, then those policies must be obstructed in any way possible.
The April raising of the debt ceiling will show if the GOP priority is the economy or their own political ambitions.
Without the raising of the debt ceiling, the government would have to shutdown, a Republican opportunity for blackmailing the president that they won’t be able to resist. How much blood they will be able to extract is still to be determined.
Now, the Republicans, along with China and Germany, are on the warpath against the Federal Reserve System and its chairman Ben Bernanke. The Fed is proposing buying long-term debt as a means of reducing unemployment. A side effect of this purchase will be a somewhat devaluation of the dollar, making US products more competitive overseas. Now I can understand why trading surplus giants like China and Germany don’t want products from the US to be more competitive, but Republicans? Republicans see economic hardship as a path to returning one of their own to the White House. They’re the only alternative in a two-party system.
The new START treaty, and our national security, is being endangered not because of any legitimate objection, but because there’s a Democrat in the Oval Office. Brent Scowcroft, a former national security adviser to President George H.W. Bush, ponders the lack of approval of the treaty: “I’ve got to think that it’s the increasingly partisan nature and the desire for the president not to have a foreign policy victory.” The Republicans would endanger the nation rather than approve an Obama administration foreign policy initiative.
If the President doesn’t start playing hardball politics with these clowns, it’s the country that will suffer. This is the time to release the administration’s political attach dog: the Vice-President. But this administration is burdened by Joe “Gaffe Machine” Biden, whose too frequent verbal screw-ups become the story. At times like these, I wish Obama had picked Hillary instead.
-David Drumm (Nal)