January 30, 2014 6:14 AM

Republicans LOVE democracy...as long as it works to keep them in power

That type of rhetoric might normally be expected from another Texas Republican, Rep. Steve Stockman, but Stockman’s reaction was relatively tame. The lawmaker who thought it fitting to bring Ted Nugent to last year’s State of the Union address simply walked out on this year’s event, according to the Dallas Morning News…. “Tonight I left early after hearing how the president is further abusing his constitutional powers. I could not bear to watch as he continued to cross the clearly-defined boundaries of the constitutional separation of powers,” Stockman said, according to a statement his aide provided…. “Even worse, Obama has openly vowed to break his oath of office and begin enacting his own brand of law through executive decree,” the statement added. “This is a wholesale violation of his oath of office and a disqualifying offense.”

My visceral reaction to such arrogant, self-righteous ignorance aside, I was offended as an American by some of the Republican reaction to the President Obama’s State of the Union Address. The people who stood idly by while George W. Bush stole an election, lied his way into an immoral war, and used 9.11 as a pretext to curtail our liberties were highly offended by the President’s speech.

I can understand disagreement; in this highly polarized day and age there are always going to be those who’ve convinced themselves that Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ and will disagree with every word he utters. Even considering that, the level of vitriol and pure, personal hatred directed at the President is astonishing. Rather than engage in honest and open debate, Stockman and other Republicans have revealed themselves to be classless, intolerant, reactionary assholes. They refuse to work with the President, and they can’t stop him from doing what the law and the Constitution allows him to do, so they’re reduced to impotent bleating and tossing unfounded accusations at him.

Let’s see if I have this straight: Republicans have sworn to obstruct Barack Obama at every step, and some would rather be forced to bugger a goat than to hand the President anything resembling a victory. So they refuse to cooperate with the President, and then complain when he decides that he has no other options but to explore how to get around Congress? I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but that’s some world-class chutzpah and disingenuousness.

What I fail to understand is why those on the Right feel that disrespecting the President and tossing scurrilous accusations at him is appropriate. These are many of the same people who waxed apoplectic when Democrats went after George W. Bush. Apparently, a Republican resident is off limits, but a Democratic one is fair game, especially if that President happens to be African-American with a foreign-sounding name. Respect, it would seem, is not a two-way street if you’re a Republican.

Does it get any more pitiful than this? I’m learning never to underestimate the depths to which Republicans are capable of sinking.

Former senator and current Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint echoed that criticism, accusing Obama of acting like an “imperial president” in his speech.

“This President has acted like the playground bully who, when he can’t have everything he wants, decides to take his ball and go home,” DeMint wrote in his Facebook post Tuesday morning.

“The state of our union will be much stronger and more united if he works with the elected representatives of the people, instead of threatening them,” DeMint added, presumably ignoring the part of Obama’s speech where he said he was more than willing to work with Congress in addition to take executive action.

“[I]f he works with the elected representatives of the people, instead of threatening them”? [Insert any version of “WTF???” here]

How about the “elected representatives of the people” lose the hypocrisy and work with the President? THEY’RE the ones who stated in no uncertain terms that they’d block him at every step. That’s like stealing a hamburger from a starving man and then complaining because they’re aren’t any fries with it.

What Republicans really want is a compliant lap dog of a President who will do exactly what they want- and ONLY what they want. If they can’t have that, they’ll take their ball and glove and go home…which is exactly what they’ve done. It doesn’t matter what might be best for the country, because they JUST. DON’T. CARE. The only thing they care about is their agenda and taking care of those whose millions line their campaign war chests.

Tuesday’s display of craven hypocrisy was just about the most cynical thing I’ve seen from Republicans in Congress. Just when I think they couldn’t possibly sink any lower, they surprise me yet again.

For Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, it wasn’t dictatorial strength but foreign policy weakness that drew the most critics.

“The world is literally about to blow up,” Graham said, according to Roll Call, while criticizing the president’s threats to veto legislation on Iran sanctions.

Cruz agreed, suggesting that Iran could be planning to nuke New York City or Los Angeles. “The result could be hundreds of thousands of lives lost,” Cruz said according to various reports, calling Obama “perhaps the most dangerous line of the speech for the security of our nation.”

“Dictatorial?” “Imperial?” These are merely words used by small people who don’t have the cojones to admit to reality. Instead, they pout, whine and stamp their feet like spoiled children told they can’t have another cookie. Barack Obama is neither imperial nor dictatorial. He’s merely trying to work around a Congress committed to intransigence and obstruction. What else can he reasonably be expected to do in order to be able to do his job? If Congress refuses to play with him, what choice does he have?

Congress has a job to do, one that they’ve made clear they have no intention of doing. The President’s decided to do what he can via executive orders and other means available to him. If Congressional Republicans were to suddenly decide that it’s time to be adults again, then I suspect the President would be happy to consult with them. Given that it’s highly unlikely they’ll be blessed with the gift of maturity and initiative, I think the President’s to be commended for deciding that he needs to do what he can to carry out his commitments to the American Sheeple. There’s nothing imperial, dictatorial, illegal, unethical, or unconstitutional about it. Republicans just believe that they are the only ones who deserve to call the shots. If the President won’t play along, all they have left is impotent bleating and cheap, overheated, meaningless rhetoric.

If Republicans were serious about doing what’s best for America, they’d lose the hypocrisy, stop bloviating, and negotiate with the President. They’d respect the reality that negotiation is not a zero sum game. They’s stop acting like classless bullies. And they’d stop pretending that disrespecting and disparaging the President is appropriate and acceptable behavior.


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This page contains a single entry by Jack Cluth published on January 30, 2014 6:14 AM.

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