Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The President does not always walk away empty handed when negotiating with Republicans

The 2008 regurgitated talking points in 2011 are that President Barack Obama is:
  • Weak and cowardly
  • Not a true leader
  • Too inexperienced
  • Chicago thug
  • Lacks confidence
  • Cannot make decisions
  • Out to destroy America
  • Has destroyed the American way of life
  • Does not believe God, and is not a Christian
  • Is a secret Muslim
  • Lazy and disconnected and emotionally distance
  • "Shucks" and "jives"
  • Hates White people
  • More interested in golfing and traveling than running the government
  • Gives "free stuff" to African Americans
  • Birth certificate is forgery 

The list of names an accusations thrown at President Obama is too numerous to post. The list grows daily. Politicians are just as vocal as are haters and critics of the President.

Not one to miss an opportunity to take a shot at President Obama, Governor Slick Rick Perry recently threw a bone at  Southerners. He knew the lot  would take the bait. The Mexican hating sheriff in Arizona said last week that he plans to investigate the legitimacy of President Obama's birth certificate. Donald "The Hair" Trump is back on stage singing his birthers song again. He is suffering Attention Deficit Disorder.  Again.

If President Obama did not care about the interests and concerns of the people that he was elected to serve, he could kick back and say this is what God told him to do. Forget the uninsured. Forget the unemployed. He could let Republicans kill and bury the social programs that have helped poor and middle class Americans for decades.  The President could demand that all subsidies and tax breaks stay in place for the rich, which is a Republican goal. This what Republicans want him to do. Pretend he is president, leaving decision making and running the government  up to them.

Republicans say the President is anti-business. Just like he wants to destroy America and free enterprise, he wants to tear down big business. It is his fault that American businesses are providing jobs in third world countries. Republicans want continued subsidies and huge tax breaks for the rich. They feel these are not government welfare, compared to unemployment checks for all of those unemployed "free loaders." Republicans see the weekly checks as welfare and a burden on the economy. Lucrative social programs for the rich and richer are breaks for jobs creators.

Slick Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann have been hands on recipients of social welfare ever since they have been in politics. Because they are politicians and gainfully employed by the government, they label these government largess differently.

Republicans say the unemployed are lazy drug addicts and drunkards living on the government dole. They say the unemployed do not want to find employment, because it’s easier to sit home and wait for the checks. The real fact is that people getting unemployment cannot sit home and collect checks. They have to keep a tally of  the places they have gone to apply for work. That information is turned in weekly. 

Sharon Angle, candidate for the Nevada senate seat held by Senator Harry Reid, said in 2010: “I was criticized for saying that Americans won't do certain jobs, and the reason that they won't do certain jobs is because they get more pay on unemployment than they can get to work those . . . those good jobs that are really out there. What has happened is Harry Reid has just extended unemployment, and when he did that he not only made it so that people are less employable, but he makes it so that they want to be dependent on the government. This entitlement pays them more than getting a real job.”

President Obama could have adopted that attitude and let the 2010 lame duck session slip by without any achievements. But he saw thousands of people out work to no fault of their own. Instead of judging the unemployed as did Republicans, the President fought to get what he could for them. And, yes, he compromised with Republicans. And, no, he did not walk away empty handed as the media and pundits are repeatedly broadcasting .

The media headlines blared that President Obama caved. Republicans won. Pundits repeated the headlines incessantly. Both turned the lives and hardships of the employed into a contest of winners and losers. 

Republicans got extended Bush tax cuts for the rich. President Obama got a 13-months  extension for the unemployed, thousands of whom later complained that he was not helping them find employment. A presidents cannot hire,  nor can he force businesses to hire.  He can set the tone for hiring.  President Obama has done that and more.

Through compromise the President got and signed a food safety bill. The GOP does not deem it necessary to worry about food safety. I assume all Republicans and tea party politicians in Washington grow their own vegetables, raise their own beef and poultry, catch the own fish.

Through compromise the President signed “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” legislation. Thousands in the gay community complained, saying he refused to touch the same sex marriage issue and other issues relating to gays. In 18 years no Republicans or Democrats had dealt with DADT and same sex marriage. Unhappy gays have threatened to withhold their support for the President in 2012.  Good.  I'm sure tea party politicians and Republicans will give them everything they want if a Republican wins the presidency and the Senate.

Through compromise and bipartisanship on both sides of the isle, President Obama signed a bill for the ratification of START. Through compromise and bipartisanship he signed the 9/11 First Respondents Bill. The GOP did not want to support this bill unless it was paid for in advance. During the eight years George Bush was in office, hate talk radio and Republicans could not praise the first responders enough. They lauded them as American heroes. But when it came time to help them financially, the hero worshipers dropped the first responders faster than a dog can lick its balls.

Republicans would not bulge on the Dreams Act, leaving President Obama to take the blame for their nonactions. Hispanics said the Presidet is not showing leadership. They said he is refusing to take on the Republicans. They have threatened to withhold their support for him in 2012. People, groups and organizations that are not happy with President Obama seem to think that can wave a magic wandand Republicans will automatically cooperate with him. 

These complainer have not listened to anything Republicans are saying. They have not listened to Republicans boastfully vowing to obstruct everything the President attempts to do. Republicans made a promise to themselves that Barack Obama will not be a second-term president. Having an African American president is too much of a shock for them to handle.

Republicans were in control of the presidency, the House and Senate in 2003. They treated Democrats like homeless children. They were allowed to observe Congress and the Senate, but they had to observe quietly, and not ask to participate. Republicans did not demand that bills be paid before they were signed into law by President Bush. According to Orrin Hatch, senator from Utah:  Six years ago it was standard practice not to pay for things."  He made that flip statement in 2009, followed by a broad smile. VP Dick Cheney said with a smirk on his face: "Deficits don't matter."

Despite President Obama telling Republicans they were not to touch Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security--protesting tea party folk took the streets, telling big government to get out of their lives.  They did not want "big government" to touch their Medicare and Social Security.  I wondered if they are aware that their monthly checks are issued by the maligned big government.

The health care related issue never gone away. Republicans say it's too expensive. We can expect more of the revival of the “death panels” junk talk, popularized by Sarah Palin, with the help of the media and Fox. The uninsured does not want to be insured Republicans are saying, without consulting people who have no health care insurance.

In the midst of the fear-mongering , relentless critics conveniently forgot to mention that insurance companies already have death panels. They decide on a daily basis who will get life saving medications, operations and stays in hospitals. Insurers do not accept people with “pre-existing conditions.”  Being a woman is a "pre-exisitng condition." All  Republicans candidates running for president have said they will wipe out the health care legislation,  Social Security and Medicare,  all of which they will to turn into voucher programs.

Out of anger, the uninsured say President Obama has no right to tell them that they should have health insurance. If he was a Republican he would not care if the poor and middle class had insurance.  Politicians sent to Washington have the best health insurance that taxpayers money can help them pay for. The President feels that citizens have a right to the same excellent, hassle free health care.

The President explained when talking about health care insurance, if a young man gets hit by a bus, and needs to be hospitalized, the cost of his care, no matter how extensive, will be passed onto taxpayers. George Bush said every American aldready has health care insurance. He said they can use emergency rooms. A number of Republicans voiced the same ignorance.

The truth is that emergency rooms are temporary pit stops, where individuals are treated, patched up, given a small supply of medication, and a referral for continued care under a private physician. If they do not have health care insurance they are on their own. Emergency rooms are not on-going health care clinics. They are limited to treating emergencies.

If President Obama did not care or believe that Americans deserve the best that America has to offer, he could restrict his concerns and attitude.  Republicans do not want Americans to have the best if it comes from this president. Republican candidates vying for the presidency have already proven that do-nothing politics and big campaign donations are more important than people who will enviably vote them into office. 

President Obama is lazy, disconnected, does like like America or Americans, weak, inexperienced, not a loyal American. . . . Really, Republicans?

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