The Chance to Hope

Again and again I see Republicans on television saying that President Obama “had his chance” and that “his policies have failed”.

I’m sick of it.

There is no part of this statement that is true; every part of it is an outright lie, and I really wish one of the show hosts would finally call someone out on it, because it’s infuriating.  But since they never do, I thought I’d take a few minutes today to completely refute this entirely false assertion.

There are two components to the lie, and I’m going to show you what they are and how they are not just mistakes, but absolutely calculated lies.

1) PRESIDENT OBAMA HAD HIS CHANCE.

Let’s take a look at this statement, shall we?  Because it’s not as simple as it first appears.  On the surface you might think, “Yeah, he DID have his chance.  He got elected didn’t he?  He’s been President for nearly 3 years.  That’s a pretty big chance! Good call, Republicans, America did indeed give him a shot, by electing him.”

But what kind of chance are we talking about here? The chance to live in a nice house?  The chance to be in the news a lot?  The chance to make speeches?

No.

The chance they mean is the opportunity to do what the job of President of the United States of America entails.  That’s more than just a really choice seat on a nice airplane.  It means you set the agenda for Congress in terms of voting on laws.  You also make appointments to fill key positions in government agencies, and you choose the people who ensure how those agencies will be run.

Saying PBO “had his chance” amounts to saying “Hey, once he took office he had free reign to do all those things and put every policy he wanted in place.”

That’s not what happened.

Republicans have fought, tooth and nail, every single thing the President has tried to do since he took office.  In terms of legislation, they’ve not only voted against everything he’s attempted in solid blocks, they’ve spent millions of dollars in advertising to turn the public against him at every turn.  The billionaire Koch brothers orchestrated the creation of the Tea Party, the biggest “Astroturf” political movement in recent memory, to try to squelch the Affordable Care Act and win back the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections.

Now, you might say, they’re supposed to fight for their position, nothing wrong with that.  And I’m with you, as far as that goes, nothing wrong with that.  But that’s not “giving him his chance”, is it?

And it doesn’t stop there.  In the Senate, the Republicans have filibustered more than any Congress in U.S. history, killing bills that had over 50 votes.  In other words, even with a MAJORITY VOTE, bills have failed because of the non-stop overuse of the filibuster.  The REQUIRED vote for a bill to pass the Senate is now 60, a so-called “Super-majority”.   And this from the same party that never stops going on about what the Founding Fathers might have wanted.

Is that “giving him his chance”?  Misuse of power to stop majority-supported bills from passing at every single opportunity?  Hardly.

But wait, there’s more.  Congress has blocked nearly every single appointee the President has tried to make, and there are STILL, four years later, agencies with no head because of it.  Republicans would rather make sure there is no qualified person running the offices that head our government than allow President Obama to get one thing done.  Because once the agencies aren’t run effectively, goverment will break down, and once it does, they can blame the Present, and say “he had his chance”.

Don’t believe it.  It’s the worse kind of lie, and anyone who says it should be called out for it and shamed.

2) PRESIDENT OBAMA’S POLICIES HAVE FAILED.

Republicans have really been hammering this one home, haven’t they?  Now that you’ve seen how clearly the President “had his chance”, surely you’ll see this too.  The economy is still sluggish;  PBO must have failed.  Debt is skyrocketing; PBO must have failed.

Let’s leave aside for a moment the first part, that the President never really had his chance to put his policies fully in place.  We’ll pretend it’s true, even though it almost makes you want to vomit.  We’ll play along.

When President Obama took office, this country was hemorrhaging jobs at an astounding rate.  We were on the verge of a great depression.   What did the President do to stop this?

Let’s talk about the stimulus package.  The stimulus package was intended to be over $700billion in spending which would stimulate the economy and stop the shrinking, encouraging it to grow again.  Almost IMMEDIATELY, we stopped losing jobs at the same rate.  And over the next year, the job loss rate declined until we started gaining jobs again, and we have been EVER SINCE.  The economy stabilized.  Panic was assuaged.  People began to feel better about things.  Spending came back somewhat, not where it had been, but some.

Never mind that this was a spending package watered down by the Republicans to be half tax cuts, towns got big checks to spur work on their infrastructures.  Lots of Republicans got their pictures taken handing them out to city mayors, smiling through their teeth and hoping no one noticed they voted against them (sorry, guys, Rachel Maddow noticed).  Even with all their attempts at screwing it up, it still worked.

That’s not a failure.  It’s not as much a success as it might have been if Republicans hadn’t managed to screw it up so much, but failure? Hardly.

How about the auto bailout?  PBO engineered that, saving a million jobs in the process.  How did prominent Republicans like Mitt Romney want to handle it?  Let the auto companies enter managed bankruptcy, so they could be sold off.  Of course, the banking system had nearly failed months before, so no capital existed anywhere in the system to support such a bankruptcy, so that was pretty much a pipe dream.  Of course, even if such a bankruptcy had happened, thousands would have still lost their jobs in layoffs, probably kicking off a real live Second Great Depression.  That wouldn’t have affected the Romneys of the world in their ivory towers.  The Koch brothers don’t care if blue-collar people are out of work, that doesn’t affect them; so basically, the GOP solution was to put their fingers in their ears and hum real loud.

As winning a solution as that seems to be, personally, I’m glad PBO didn’t go that way.  The auto bailout kept a bad situation from driving (pun intended) right off the fiscal cliff.

Failed?  …Really?

Yes, deficit hawks, debt is skyrocketing, thanks in part to the Bush tax cuts, which gave huge savings to rich people.  They also gave us the worst job creation rate in history, the biggest recession since the Great Depression, and put the final nail in the “trickle down” theory’s coffin.

Yes, the bailouts and stimulus added to the deficit, and therefore the debt, but the purpose of those measures was to halt the absolute freefall of our economy.  The Affordable Care Act is also, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, a cost-saving measure, which will cut the deficit over time, no matter what Mike Huckabee says on television or how many times GOP Super-PAC money allows them to run him saying it.  The ACA also enabled thousands of people to have coverage who otherwise couldn’t.  These policies did not fail.  They worked.  Despite all attempts by Republicans to quash or sabotage him at every single step, they worked.

THEY WORKED.

So don’t let anyone tell you President Barack Obama had his chance, and his policies failed.  Stop them in their tracks.  Tell them they never even considered giving him a chance, and despite all that, his policies worked.

And in November, let’s truly give him the chance to do good things for this country, by giving him four more years, and a better Congress to work with.

Just you watch him then.  Just you watch.

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9 Responses

  1. I agree with every one of your points. Doesn’t matter. Perception supersedes truth, and Romney has such a huge money advantage, he’ll decide what voters perceive.

    • Don’t give up, Kurt! You can make a difference, get out and tell people the truth, and don’t stop. And above all, get as many as you can to those polls on Election Day. Thanks for stopping by and reading, and responding!

  2. Excellent assertion of the facts. I just can’t understand why more people don’t state, nor notice, the obvious. I have been talking for years how Obama is the first President that didn’t give lip service to everything he said he was going to do. He TRIED to play mediator between the parties, and TRIED like hell to be non-partisan, which drove his own party nuts…But he said he was going to, and did. The Republicans treated that show of grace as an entitlement, instead of recognizing the gentleman Obama was trying to be. He is also the FIRST President that ran on a campaign to fix the health care system in America and PROCEEDED. I have been hearing that line since the Regan years, but Obama is the only person that actually did something about it. No matter what, win or lose, he is going to be one of the great Presidents of my lifetime, hands down. If only people would notice integrity like they used to, instead of believing what they are told to believe.

    • Absolutely right. I say often that politics being the “art of the possible”, PBO did everything that he possibly could. Anything he didn’t do, he at least TRIED to do but couldn’t get it done. And there’s a laundry list of things he DID get done: ACA, open service in the military, death of Bin Laden, and on and on.
      Don’t stop shouting from the rooftops! The truth needs to be told. And thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

  3. What gets me is that the first “bailout” was driven by President Bush. John McCain stopped his campaign because passing it was so important. In the Senate, both parties had far more votes for the legislation than against it (34-15 R, 4-10 D) Then when Obama won the election, and they had the next round for the automakers, the Republicans started saying that these Democratic bailouts were going to ruin the country.

  4. Ok that should read 40-10D not 4-10 lol

  5. I think am perhaps victim to the Romanticism that us in the UK/Europe still have with Obama, but our disappointment that Romney has got this far is still huge.

    Obama has set a new, higher standard for doing a dirty job as cleanly as can be done. Managing the most powerful country in the world is never going to be a smooth ride, but he has shown that it can be done so much better than many that came before him.

    I would like to say that the UK would elect Obama over Romney, but I fear there are too many people gullible enough to believe media spin rather than look at the evidence themselves. However, the University cafes and bars that I frequent often has American accents bursting from corners always speaking with praise of Obama and listing the Republicans’ inadequacies at leadership. There is hope!

    If – ‘God forbid’ – Romney makes it in, you can imagine the rest of the world, and me, sighing deeply.

    • Always nice to get comments from “Across the pond”! There is a huge engine for misinformation and destroying public education here, which is why so many in the US deny basic knowledge like evolution. All we can do is keep putting the truth out there and hope enough people see it to make a difference. Thanks for the comment!

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